Microsoft's mobile play is reportedly worth $200 million
Consumers aren't the only ones looking to make purchases during the ongoing Black Friday and Cyber Monday festivities, firms are going on spending sprees as well. One of them is Microsoft, which today announced it has acquired Acompli, a venture-backed startup in San Francisco that offers a self-titled mobile email application available for both iOS and Android platforms.
With so many people clinging to Windows XP despite Microsoft's repeated attempts to bury the legacy OS and the lukewarm (at best) response to Windows 8, it didn't seem like the latter would ever overtake the former in market share. Never say never, right? For the first time ever, the combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is higher than that of Windows XP, based on the latest data provided by Net Applications.
When Microsoft introduced the Windows 10 Technical Preview back in October, it requested ordinary consumers (i.e. humanity minus enterprise users and enthusiasts) to steer clear of the new operating system until the release of the consumer preview. However, it did not give a specific date for the release of the consumer preview, only saying that it would be sometime during early 2015. A much more specific time frame for the release of the consumer preview has now emerged.
Some things in life you just have to suck up and accept. You know, like having to deal with in-laws during the holidays, Fido chewing up your high tech programmable universal remote, and one day leaving this world without having played every game in your Steam library. Life is a lot less stressful if you don't fight these types of things. So with that in mind, here's a heads up that Steam's Exploration sale is going on now.
New and used games retailer GameStop reported its third quarter financial results this week, which fell below what analysts were expecting. GameStop's total global sales for Q3 came to $2.09 billion, a drop of 0.7 percent compared to the $2.11 billion in the same quarter a year ago and below the $2.2 billion analysts on average were predicting. As a result, GameStop's stock went into free-fall mode.
Many things retro end up coming back in style years after the fact, though what about old school adventure gaming? You know, the point & click variety that was so popular in the 1980s and early 1990s with games like Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, and several others I recall playing on a Commodore 64, and then later on an IBM compatible 286 PC. Well, after years of waiting, I'm happy to report that Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick have teamed up once more to create a point & click adventure game called Thimbleweed Park.
11 Bit Studios, the developer behind This War of Mine, has been hanging around The Pirate Bay lately, though not because it's looking to get anyone in trouble for pirating its game. Instead, 11 Bit Studios is handing out Steam codes to gamers who would otherwise pirate This War of Mine, an unorthodox strategy that it hopes will win the company a loyal following and buy it some goodwill.
Latest technical preview build changes the way OneDrive files get synced
The latest Windows 10 technical preview build rolled out this past Wednesday with a number of changes supposedly inspired by user feedback (or, as the the company put it on the Windows Blog, by user “awesomeness”). User feedback may very well have inspired most of the changes contained in Build 9879, but the removal of the “smart files” feature from OneDrive does not appear to be one of them, at least going by the amount of flak it has drawn over the past few days from Windows Insider Program members.
This time around, Microsoft isn't repeating its past mistake and will instead do Lumia phone customers a solid by committing to a Windows 10 update for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 handsets. Microsoft made the promise in response to a customer's question on Twitter. The customer said he was interested in buying a Lumia 930 phone but wanted to know if it would get the update to Windows 10.
Make browser-based calls via Skype using a new plugin
If for whatever reason you don't want to download and install Skype to your PC but are still interested in making calls through the service, you now can (or soon will be able to). Microsoft today introduced Skype for Web, a beta plugin that allows you to make Skype calls from your browser without having the download and install the full software package. You can also use it to send and receive chat messages.