Tech tidbits from around the web.
Microsoft’s cloud business still trails Amazon’s
Microsoft had some big cloud numbers in its earnings announcement this week, and I made the case that the results cement Microsoft’s transition from a maker of traditionally-delivered software. But as Quartz points out, the firm still has a long way to go before it topples the market leader, Amazon.
Microsoft arrived late to the game and is still playing catchup against a formidable rival. Amazon transformed its own internal web resources into AWS in 2006, and it’s already become a nearly $9 billion a year business. The company expects it to grow as big as its retail business one day. Microsoft only launched Azure in 2010 and doesn’t even break out its revenue yet. (Barron’s estimated its first quarter revenue at $560 million, compared to $2.5 billion for AWS during the same period.)
As more enterprises decide to ship off their infrastructure to the cloud, Microsoft wants to be their provider. So far, AWS’ lead shows no real signs of narrowing.
It might be interesting to compare how these services to, say, Hyper-V and VMWare. This is another area where I believe Microsoft is still quite far behind the market leader, but it’s still established itself as a credible number two.
Now Windows 10 is prompting Chrome users to switch to Edge
While I have a huge problem with the way Microsoft handled the “Get Windows 10” upgrade advertisements in Windows 7 and 8.1 for much of the past year, this kind of pop-up, as described by Laptop Magazine, is perhaps more defensible.
Windows 10 — the operating system, not the Edge browser itself — has apparently begun encouraging users to switch away from Chrome, warning them that it’s a drain on their laptop batteries.
The warning hasn’t been confirmed across a wide range of people yet, but the primary source is a reliable one. Rudy Huyn, an app developer who works with Windows devices, tweeted the message along a screenshot of the events. “Chrome is draining your battery faster,” the popup claimed. “Switch to Microsoft Edge for up to 36 percent more browsing time.”
If you can make it go away, I have no problem with this, given that Edge really does offer a serious battery life improvement over Chrome (and Firefox). And over Opera too.
Firefox is the latest browser to kick Flash to the curb
Browser plugins, especially Flash, have enabled some of our favorite experiences on the Web, including videos and interactive content. But plugins often introduce stability, performance, and security issues for browsers. This is not a trade-off users should have to accept.
Mozilla and the Web as a whole have been taking steps to reduce the need for Flash content in everyday browsing. Starting in August, Firefox will block certain Flash content that is not essential to the user experience, while continuing to support legacy Flash content.
In 2017, Firefox will require click-to-activate approval from users before a website activates the Flash plugin for any content. Websites that currently use Flash or Silverlight for video or games should plan on adopting HTML technologies as soon as possible.
Plex comes to Sonos
This may have limited usefulness, but if you’re accessing a NAS/PC/server-based music collection at home through Plex, you can now stream that content to Sonos smart speaker equipment.
Our Sonos app gives you a sleek and beautiful way to enjoy all of the great features Plex has to offer.
Free Plex users get:
Any Format. Support for all file types (well, virtually all), including hi-fi music and video formats.
Available Anywhere. Stream all of your media to all your devices, anytime, anywhere, with the same beautiful experience on all of them.
Library Organization. Organize all of your media–videos, photos, and music–and make it beautiful with artwork and info like plot summaries, bios, and more.
Privacy and Security. Enjoy your media while away from home, knowing your connection is securely encrypted.
Sharing. Effortlessly share libraries among friends to all discover and enjoy even more content together.
And Plex Premium users also get:
Audio Fingerprinting. Manage your music with song identification via audio fingerprinting, get world-class album reviews and artist bios, as well as the best cover art available.
Plex Mix. Kick off playback of similar tracks from your collection at any time — it’s like your own personal radio station.
It appears that this is a public beta now. Here’s some info on how to get going on that.
How to undo iOS 10’s most annoying feature
This is great advice, as this stupidity is something I’ve been struggling with when using iOS 10. From ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes:
With iOS 10, Apple made a fundamental change to the way the Touch ID sensor worked, and it’s a particularly annoying change.
Previously, you just had to tap the Home button and you were into your device. But with iOS 10 Apple tweaked this so that you are now able to unlock the device and still be on the lock screen, and you have to tap the Home button again to get to your apps.
If you’re running iOS 10 Beta 3 or Public Beta 2 and want to make Touch ID work like it did under iOS 9, then the setting you are looking for is called Rest Finger to Open, and this can be found under Settings > General > Accessibility > Home Button.
Tagged with Thurrott Daily