Thurrott Daily: February 23

Posted on February 23, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Xbox One, Android, The Sams Report, Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: February 23

A few tidbits from around the web.

2/23/2016 5:06:53 PM

Pre-order DOOM now on Xbox One, Windows

Id Software’s remake of DOOM can be digitally preordered now on Xbox One and Windows. Here are the details:

Xbox One
Pre-order now and get the original DOOM and DOOM II (for Xbox 360 in backwards compatibility mode) for free. You also get the Demon Multiplayer Pack, which includes “one, unique Demon-themed armor set with three skin variations, six Hack Modules—one-use consumable perks—six exclusive metallic paint colors, and three id logo patterns that can be applied to weapons and armor.”

You can preorder DOOM now for Windows from Steam.

In both cases, the game is $60 US.

2/23/2016 4:33:56 PM

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition heading to the Windows 10 Store

OK, so yes we did know this was happening. But apparently it’s happening soon.Windows Central reports:

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition has appeared on the Windows 10 Store, continuing Microsoft’s Xbox push onto PC.

The game is currently unavailable for purchase, but the listing likely indicates that it’ll go live very soon.

The Windows 10 version boasts “all-new ultra-high definition graphics up to 4K”, showcasing the “latest in PC gaming performance.” Those who pick up the Windows 10 version will also gain access to a Deluxe Weapon Skin Pack and 11 bonus multiplayer characters.

Good stuff. And that 4K bit is very similar to how Rise of the Tomb Raider also offers better graphics on Windows 10. Looks like I’ll be replaying Gears yet again soon. 😉

Microsoft Garage releases a small business marketing content creation app for Android

Microsoft Garage this week released an app called Sprightly that can help small businesses create marketing content directly from an Android phone. Here’s the official description:

Small and medium-size businesses that need to organize and share product images quickly with their customers can use Sprightly to make flyers, catalogs, price lists and e-card reminders – all on their phones.

This free Android app makes it easy to create professional-looking content on a mobile device, share it on WhatsApp and Facebook and re-use already-existing content, such as photographs. Users can also choose from templates, with more coming.

Sprightly is made by the same team behind the Connections app, which helps you better manage your relationship with your contacts.

Needless to say, it’s almost impossible to keep up with Microsoft Garage these days.

Microsoft joins IoT industry group

Not sure how I missed this a few days back, but Microsoft announced its support for the creation of the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF). Also supported by Cisco, Electrolux, General Electric, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung and others, the OCF will “set standards for devices from a wide range of manufacturers of IoT devices, ensuring that each device can interact with others seamlessly and securely.” Here’ssome info from Microsoft:

The OCF will create a set of open specifications and protocols to enable devices from a variety of manufactures to securely and seamlessly interact with one another. Regardless of the manufacturer, operating system, chipset or transport – devices that adhere to the OCF specifications will simply work together.

Much like W3C manages the standards for the World Wide Web, the IEEE sets electrical engineering standards and the UPU sets the global postal code – standardization can help consolidate industry attention and create opportunity, via an agreed upon set of protocols that move industries and the world forward.

Windows 10 devices will natively interoperate with the new OCF standard, making it easy for Windows to discover, communicate, and orchestrate multiple IoT devices in the home, in business, and beyond. The OCF standards will also be fully compatible with the 200 million Windows 10 devices that are “designed for AllSeen” today.

Amazon bumps purchase minimum to $49 for free shipping

Free two-day shipping on virtually all orders isn’t “why” I subscribe to Amazon Prime, but it’s one of the reasons. But for those who don’t use Prime, the price of free shipping is going up (so to speak): You now need to spend $49 on a purchase before you get a free shipping option. This little change was uncovered first by the Wall Street Journal, I think:

The Seattle retailer has raised the minimum order size for free shipping for its regular customers by 40% to $49. In October 2013, Amazon boosted the threshold to $35 after holding the line at $25 for at least a decade.

The move highlights how much Amazon covets Prime members, customers who pay $99 a year in exchange for unlimited two-day shipping on many items, as well as a streaming movie and music service. By some estimates, Prime customers spend about double what non-members do over the course of a year.


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