A few tidbits from around the web.
1/26/2016 10:25:55 AM
Remember how Windows Defender wasn’t all that good? Well, not anymore
Windows Defender has gotten a bad rap from some users, though as I point out inSecure PC: Keep Windows 10 Safe From Malware, this free product plus some common sense has kept my family’s PCs safe for years. Anyway … PC Magazinereports that Windows Defender just got a lot better.
AV-Test Institute is one of the labs that treats Microsoft’s test results as a baseline. They don’t come out and say this, but if a product doesn’t beat the baseline, it’s not doing very well.
In last November’s report, Microsoft scored 14.0 points. Of the 20 tested products, 14 scored better than that baseline. Avira, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Norton managed a perfect 18 point score.
In the latest results report from AV-Test, things look quite different. Microsoft scored a very decent 15.5 of 18 possible points. This time only 9 of the 20 products beat the baseline. Avira, Bitdefender, and Kaspersky stayed at the top, with 18 points, but Norton dropped to 17.
Audible for Windows phones updated with streaming option
Good news, Audible fans: The latest version of the Audible app for Windows phones (and Windows 10 PCs) now supports the ability to stream (rather than just download and then play) your audiobooks. Here’s the complete list of changes:
- Added option to stream audiobooks
- Search – now displays suggestions as you type
- Bug fixes and improvements
Apple set for slowest ever iPhone sales growth
As I reminded people on Twitter yesterday, “slow growth is still growth, and slow growth in a mature market (especially one you already dominate) is not a bad thing. Reuters reports:
Apple is expected to report iPhone sales increased slightly more than 1 percent in the holiday quarter when it announces earnings on Tuesday, its slowest growth ever and far from the double-digit growth investors have come to expect.
Analysts estimate Apple sold 75.5 million iPhones in the October-December quarter, a 1.3 percent increase from a year earlier. This compares with a nearly 46 percent year-over-year jump in iPhone sales in the first quarter of 2015.
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus … are now facing weak demand, according to analysts, because they have fewer distinguishing features than their popular predecessors.
China, the company’s fastest-growing market, may also have weighed on first-quarter results, as a slowdown in the country’s economy forced consumers to tighten their purse strings.
Actually, on that note I’ll also remind people that Apple has a way of exceeding expectations. Let’s see what they really announce. And let’s admit that we’d all love to have this kind of problem while we’re at it.
Spotify ready to introduce music videos
The WSJ reports on Spotify’s move into video, which I assume is being done to counter Google, which offers the best music video experiences today in Google Play Music and YouTube Red.
The Spotify music-streaming service is planning to introduce video content on its Android app starting this week, followed by the iOS app by the end of next week in the U.S., the U.K, Germany and Sweden, the company said.
Spotify has been gradually testing video on its apps over the past several months with less than 10% of its users in the four launch markets.
Spotify has found that presenting contextually relevant videos—based on the kind of music people listen to or Web videos that are simply tied to music—seems to spur people to watch clips.
Yes, I noticed no mention of Windows phone in there as well.
The Wall Street Journal asks if Amazon has reached “Peak Prime”.
The Seattle online retailer is estimated to have had 54 million U.S. Prime members at the end of 2015, up 35% from 40 million a year earlier.
Prime members spend about $1,100 on average per year, down from $1,500 per year in 2014. Non-Prime members accounted for about $600 in spending on average, compared with $625 the year prior.
And the rate of growth in signups slowed to 35% from 54% in 2014.
An Amazon spokesman declined to release Prime membership figures. The company is scheduled to release fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.
I feel like I keep Amazon afloat sometimes. I need to rethink this one.