Thurrott Daily: March 4

Thurrott Daily: March 4
9 years ago today, I was in London.

The first Black Ops III map pack is out, so I’m going to be a bit distracted today. Here are a few tidbits from around the web.

3/4/2016 1:26:37 PM

Epic co-founder rails against Microsoft UWP games, is made to look the fool

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Taking the place normally reserved for Steam’s Gabe “I killed Half-Life” Newell, Epic co-founder Tim Sweeney has come out against Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform games in a curiously-placed editorial in The Guardian, which I think we can all agree is the place we all turn for gaming news.

Microsoft wants to monopolize games development on PC. We must fight it.

With its new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative, Microsoft has built a closed platform-within-a-platform into Windows 10, as the first apparent step towards locking down the consumer PC ecosystem and monopolizing app distribution and commerce.

Microsoft has launched new PC Windows features exclusively in UWP, and is effectively telling developers you can use these Windows features only if you submit to the control of our locked-down UWP ecosystem. They’re curtailing users’ freedom to install full-featured PC software, and subverting the rights of developers and publishers to maintain a direct relationship with their customers.

Sounds clear cut. But wait. Then there’s this, from Microsoft’s Phil Spencer.

Windows has always been an open ecosystem welcoming the contributions of hardware and software partners, and will always continue to be.

UWP is a fully open ecosystem, available to every developer, and can be supported by any store. Broad range of tools.

We will discuss our next steps with the Universal Windows Platform at //build later this month.

To which an easily chastened Mr. Sweeney wrote:

I like the sound of this, and look forward to thorough technical details on UWP’s planned openness at //build.

So much for that stupid tirade.

Vodaphone Italy leaks possible Windows 10 Mobile upgrade dates

I won’t be linking to this site because it tries to install malware in your browser, but an Italian tech site claims that Vodaphone Italy has revealed the “Windows 10 roll out list.”

Vodafone Italy has released a list of devices that might receive the update next week. However, this is not an official statement from Microsoft and is only a speculation from a representative of Vodafone Italy. According to the carrier, these devices will receive the latest operating system between March 7-13, 2016.

Here’s the list in text form rather than a lazy screenshot. (You’re welcome.)

Lumia 1520 – March 7-13 Lumia 930 – March 7-13 Lumia 735 – March 7-13 Lumia 830 – March 7-13 Lumia 635 – March 7-13 Lumia 535 – March 7-13

So. What does this mean to you? Absolutely nothing, unless you live in Italy and use one of those phones on Vodaphone Italy: Windows 10 Mobile upgrades follow the same tortured schedule as previous Windows Phone OS updates, meaning they’re carrier-dependent.

Already-useless Windows Phone Wallet app is further neutered

The Windows 10 Mobile Wallet app was just updated. Except that it was really downgraded, as Microsoft has removed features, not added them. Here’s what’s going away:

  • Credit or debit card support
  • Wallet PIN
  • Location awareness
  • Date awareness
  • Microsoft gift card

In other words, everything. Microsoft Wallet—which was already useless—is now less than useless.

Oculus Rift CEO calls Apple’s bluff, explains why expensive Macs aren’t really all that great

This one is priceless. (And yes, I covered this in Short Takes too, deal with it.) In an interview with Shacknews, Oculus Rift’s Palmer Luckey had some unkind words for the Mac.

When asked if there would ever be Mac support for the Rift, Palmer responds by saying “That is up to Apple. If they ever release a good computer, we will do it.”

Now that sounds like a hater thing. But he backs it up.

“It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn’t prioritize high-end GPUs. You can buy a $6,000 Mac Pro with the top of the line AMD FirePro D700, and it still doesn’t match our recommended specs. So if they prioritize higher-end GPUs like they used to for a while back in the day, we’d love to support Mac. But right now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it.”

Think about that. You could spend $6000 on a Mac. And that Mac wouldn’t be the best PC on earth somehow. Makes zero sense.

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