The long wait for video game consoles to be available to the public in China is over.
But it appears that the public may not be that overjoyed by the news.
Microsoft and Sony are poised to start selling their popular video game consoles in the country after a ban on them was lifted.
Both companies are estimated to sell over half a million of their Xbox One and Playstation consoles respectively, but those numbers pale when lumped into global sale tallies for Microsoft and Sony.
Part of the issue is that gamers in China are more prone to play games on mobile devices or personal computers as opposed to games on consoles hooked up to television sets.
Another issue that comes into play is that both Sony and Microsoft were required to associate themselves with a Chinese partner to sell their consoles and games.
Sony teamed up with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, and Microsoft partnered with BesTV.
But both of those local partners merged late last year.
Game publishers have also seen some obstacles as government regulators are slow to approve a heavy amount of games due to their internal codes regarding offensive content.
At present, 31 titles have been approved by the government with 20 titles pending.
The Supreme Court of The United States has shut down Google in a case heard before them today involving Oracle and Java.
The case, Google v. Oracle, 14-140, was brought by Oracle Corp. was seeking $1 billion in damages over allegations that Google used their Java programming code to hurriedly create their iconic Android operating software for smartphones and tablets without paying them for it.
The situation focuses on how there is a split between companies that create these API’s, or application programming interfaces, and those companies who uses those codes to develop software without having to devote a great deal of time and finances.
A federal court in Washington State found in favor of Oracle being the creator of the code.
Google then made its appeal to the highest court in the land, claiming that the lower court’s decision would stifle future innovation in programming technology.
The justices came back and ruled in favor of the decision of the lower court.
Oracle had gotten support from Microsoft and other API developers when it first brought the allegations against Google, and the Obama administration had made a recommendation against reversing the decision to the Supreme Court.
The case will now return to the appeals court so that Google can argue their claim of fair usage.
An anonymous source has reported that Microsoft is gearing up to shutter their Web display advertising business and will turn over control to AOL and AppNexus.
The source, who asked not to be named, says that the move will affect 1,200 jobs at the Washington-based technology company with some being offered other positions within the company and others being laid off.
No details concerning the financial numbers of the move were discussed.
This decision is part of the larger mission that chief executive officer Satya Nadella has outlined for Microsoft over the past few months, a mission that has a trifecta of goals at its core: business productivity, more innovative personal computing and cloud platform expansion.
In the process, the company’s workforce has undergone a selective trimming process in line with the vision of Nadella in addition to acquiring smaller mobile and cloud software manufacturers to fold into Microsoft.
Representatives for the company declined to comment when contacted.
The online cab-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. has struck a deal to obtain part of Microsoft’s maps technology for their uses.
Reports on Monday stated that Uber would obtain a license to the intellectual property regarding the mapping technology as well as image-analysis software and cameras in addition to a data complex site just outside of Boulder, Colorado.
Uber also plans to hire 100 engineers that are currently with Microsoft’s mapping division.
Kristin Carvell, a spokeswoman for Uber, spoke on the deal and stated: “We’ll continue to work with partners, as well as invest in our own technology, to build the best possible experience for riders and drivers.”
Uber has ramped up its efforts recently to rely less on mapping services provided by Baidu, Apple and Google and to build more capabilities for the technology in-house.
The company has also acquired a start-up in the same field, deCarta.
Uber is also in the running along with other companies to purchase the mapping division of the Finnish telecommunications company Nokia for an estimated $4 billion.
Part of this initiative will benefit their fairly new carpooling service, UberPool.
Microsoft has been awfully busy teasing the public with bits of information on the latest version of their operating software, Windows 10.
But there is one tidbit that hasn’t been fully revealed that may earn the company some irate users.
Recent reports have found that all Windows users who upgrade to Windows 10 will be locked into a pattern that forces them to accept each and every update Microsoft gives to them, and choosing not to means that their security updates will be cut off.
This applies to both free and paid users.
The process itself lies in what the company designates as “Current Branch”.
With this method, users of Windows 10 can opt to get their updates on a fast or slow path; the former gives you updates more quickly while the latter gets them to you once all bugs and other issues are worked out.
But opting for the slow path apparently makes you susceptible to the forced updates.
Microsoft apparently made no secret of this feature, mentioning it in a posting on their website in January.
But some users may balk at the fact that they can’t have the freedom to pick and choose what updates they desire like in other programs.
Windows 10 is set to be fully available to the public on July 29th.
In an email to the staff, the CEO of Microsoft outlined a sparkling future for the company but also tempered that message with some forthright words.
Satya Nadella wrote the memo including his perspective on what’s to come for Microsoft along with some details for fiscal plans in 2016.
The CEO spoke of wanting the company to be an aggressive leader in productivity across the board, and mentioned that the road would not be a smooth one.
He went on to say: “We will need to innovate in new areas, execute against our plans, make some tough choices in areas where things are not working, and solve hard problems in ways that drive customer value.”
The 1,500 word letter also made it a point to hammer home the fact that diversity and its deepening inclusion in the corporate culture of the company will be the main goal for Microsoft moving forward.
Nadella underscored that by writing the following: “We don’t just value differences, we seek them out, we invite them in. And as a result, our ideas are better, our products are better, and our customers are better served.”
The mission statement doesn’t provide much in the way of specific technical goals outside of being stoked for the release of Windows 10.
Samsung has been disabling the update feature of the Windows operating system on their computers, and in the process may have left their users highly vulnerable.
A researcher, Patrick Barker, announced on Tuesday that his investigation determined that the South Korean tech company has been crippling the Windows Update process for Microsoft’s operating system on their desktop and laptop computers.
Barker, a debugging expert who is a Microsoft certified professional was alerted to the situation on a forum.
He found that Samsung’s own updating process, SW Update, was behind it all.
Specifically, he found a distinct command in the OEM software that led to the Windows Update being shut off.
The immediate concern that was presented was, there was no discernable way to tell if the SW Update was conducting the internal patches and fixes that Microsoft directed their update to do.
Industry observers were surprised and gravely concerned for good reason; if neither update program was fully functioning, the computers would be exposed to malware that specifically goes after already-patched computers.
Microsoft did confirm to the press that it was aware of the situation and that they had reached out to Samsung concerning the problem.
It looks like Microsoft’s previous news concerning Windows 10 may have lacked a level of full disclosure.
Microsoft had made the announcement of Windows 10 being available to all without any charge this past Friday in a blog posting on their website.
Since that initial posting regarding the Insider program however, it appears that there have been some edits done on it which makes everything less clear concerning the pricing of Windows 10.
Specifically, the post explained that those users who signed up for the program would be able to get Windows 10 for free with activation.
The language regarding activation has since vanished, and in its place is a sentence clearly meant to clarify: “It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer.”
The key issue at hand is the fact that Microsoft has changed the policy in place, possibly to keep down the number of non-genuine subscribers with Windows 8.1 and 7 looking to upgrade.
Users can probably still make the upgrade to the Genuine version of Windows 10, but they may need to keep referring back to the blog post to make sure there’s no catch that Microsoft will insert more language that may cost them.
The Pacific Northwest will potentially be home to a prominent new technology research institute, which will be the result of a partnership of two universities from two different nations.
The University of Washington will be partnering with one of the leading research universities in China, Tsinghua University, to create a new learning institute. It will be known as the Global Innovation Exchange with the aim of bolstering the educational foundation of the region’s high-tech industry.
Inspiration for this was also due in part to the recent opening of Cornell Tech in New York City, which was due to a partnership with Cornell University and international partner Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
The announcement was made on Thursday in Seattle, Washington by various academic and business figures of the area.
Microsoft has already promised $40 million to the institute.
Part of the funding will go towards the construction of a campus in downtown Bellevue, Washington.
Faculty will be culled from the University of Washington and Tsinghua University to start, with an eye on other international partners to join in down the line.
The expected opening date will be the fall of next year, offering a masters degree in technology innovation.
When it comes to the Xbox One, Microsoft is finding that the old ways can still be very helpful.
At the E3 conference held in Los Angeles, California on Monday, Microsoft announced that popular older titles that worked on the Xbox 360 will be able to be played on their latest video game entertainment system.
This is all thanks to backwards compatibility being a key feature of the Xbox One, a feature beloved on the Xbox 360.
Attendees at the event were surprised by the news, but received it warmly.
The main rival for the Xbox One, Sony’s PlayStation 4, doesn’t offer that same compatibility feature in terms of disc-based games.
It does have older games available for purchase and play on its PlayStation Now cloud-based service.
The news has already caused a stir across social media platforms and forums, with some publicly declaring their intentions to switch from the PlayStation to the Xbox One.