Thurrott Daily: April 29

Posted on April 29, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Games, Windows Phones with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: April 29

Tech tidbits from around the web.

*4/29/2016 2:07:24 PM *

Microsoft’s “buy a Lumia 950 XL, get a Lumia 950 for free” deal is ending today

Got the following heads-up from the Microsoft Store today.

Microsoft Store anticipates ending their Lumia 950XL BOGO deal earlier than expected due to inventory levels.

It’s ending today, not tomorrow. I wrote about this deal earlier in Buy a Lumia 950 XL, Get a Lumia 950 For Free.

Microsoft Flow takes the work out of workflow … or something

Microsoft on Friday introduced its own take on IFTTT, a workflow solution called Microsoft Flow. Available now in preview, Microsoft Flow is designed to automate workflows such as notifications and data entry across applications and services in business.

How much time do we spend sifting through streams of messages for the few notifications that matter? How much manual labor is spent transferring information from one place to another, or entering data into tracking systems? Too often these tasks are done manually, or not done at all. Some examples:

I get hundreds of emails every day, and my notification options are all-or-nothing. It’s hard to keep up with all that traffic when I’m travelling. I’d like to get an SMS when specific people like a key customer prospect reach out directly to me.

Our teams are constantly meeting people at events and following up over email. We want to ensure we don’t miss any of these leads, but re-typing information from emails into our CRM system is tedious.

We work with agencies who create content and upload large files to OneDrive or Dropbox accounts. Our teams want to know right when the latest files arrive, without having to check every 30 minutes, and then they want to transfer a backup to SharePoint Online as soon as it comes through.

Microsoft Flow makes it possible to automate all of these scenarios and many, many more. Business users can connect their accounts, take advantage of pre-built templates, and create their own flows in an easy visual designer that works anywhere on the web.


More info here. Plus a related public preview for Microsoft PowerApps, a “service that fundamentally transforms and accelerates how organizations build custom line of business applications.”

John Romero’s next game is “paused” on Kickstarter

With BLACKROOM only raising $130,000 of a $700,000 goal, John Romero and Adrian Carmack have paused the Kickstarter campaign I mentioned the other day so they can come up with an actual game play demo.

The team is at work on a demo which demonstrates the kind of gameplay, look and innovative, cool features that make BLACKROOM truly unique — the things we’ve waited years to put into an FPS and which make us incredibly excited about this game.

There’s a hitch here … we’re pressing “PAUSE” on the fundraising campaign for BLACKROOM to complete this gameplay demo. Simply put, this will take more time than the Kickstarter has left, so we’ve decided to suspend the campaign and launch a new one when the gameplay demo is ready.

We will, of course, honor backer achievements in the next campaign (and an extra something for those of you who continue to support us in the next campaign).

Since I pledged $50 like an idiot, I’m curious to see how this develops.

King’s Quest (Chapter 1) is now free for Xbox One

I’m not sure how good this remake is, but the first chapter of the new version of the adventure classic King’s Quest is available for free on Xbox One.

King’s Quest – Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember [is] the first part of a five-chapter game series that boldly reimagines one of gaming’s most groundbreaking franchises. An aging King Graham reflects on a life of adventure with his granddaughter, Gwendolyn, taking players back to his teen years and his quest to become a knight of Daventry in King Edward’s royal guard. Discover a wondrous world full of whimsical characters, charming puzzles and perilous dangers in this fun and enchanting coming of age story.

The original King’s Quest was my first experience with a 16-bit computer, in this case the Atari 520 ST. When I finally got an Apple II GS and the later an Amiga, I played through almost everything Sierra Online made, and still have curious love/hate feelings about this. Anyway, it’s free. And hopefully there are fewer dead-ends than in the past.

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