Thurrott Daily: December 4

Posted on December 4, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Hardware, Mobile, Office, Office 365, Outlook.com, Windows 10, Xbox, Xbox One with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: December 4

An update on my “season” tree. The good news? No snow. Yet.

Here are some more tidbits from around the web.

15/12/04 10:49:46 AM

HP abandons the low-end (Android?) tablet market

HP told PC World this week that it was exiting the “low-cost tablet market,” though it’s not clear if this means “low-end Android tablets” only, or all low-end tablets (i.e. including Windows tablets). I believe it’s just the former.

HP is exiting the low-end tablet market amid declining prices and slowing demand. Instead, the company will focus on detachables, hybrids and business tablets at the higher end of the market.

But…

The least expensive tablet on HP’s site is now the $329.99 HP Envy 8 Note tablet with Windows 10. HP has Windows on most tablets now, with only a handful running Android.

I will point out that HP just announced that device. And it’s pretty awesome.

HP’s low-end PC range remains largely intact. The company is still offering the inexpensive Chromebooks and Stream PCs with Windows 10. Demand for those products is big in consumer and some business segments, said Mike Nash, vice president of customer experience and portfolio strategy at HP.

Apple open-sources Swift

Apple announced this week that it has open-sourced its Swift programming language.

As an open source language, the broad community of talented developers — from app developers to educational institutions to enterprises — can contribute to new Swift features and optimizations and help bring Swift to new computing platforms.

“Swift’s power and ease of use will inspire a new generation to get into coding, and with today’s announcement they’ll be able to take their ideas anywhere, from mobile devices to the cloud,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

Swift is easy to learn and use, even if you’ve never coded before, and it’s the first systems programming language that is as expressive and enjoyable as a scripting language. Designed for safety, Swift also eliminates entire categories of common programming errors.

I still see Swift as a mostly unnecessary addition to the world’s over-full collection of C-like languages, and the result of Apple’s inability to embrace superior languages, like C#, that it did not invent and cannot control. But Objective-C has always been the Achilles Hell (sorry, Heel) of Apple’s developer story, so they had to do something. And open sourcing Swift was a savvy move, and one that could put acceptance of the language over the top. This is smart.

Microsoft Garage releases FindTime add-on for Outlook

One of the things that’s interesting about Microsoft’s embrace of mobile computing is that it’s leading the company down a road where its monolithic, all-in-one (bloated) desktop applications are slowly being replaced by small, UNIX-like mobile apps that only do one thing. But before we can get from here to there, so to speak, we will see a number of interim solutions. And this is one of them.

FindTime is an add-in for Outlook that helps you pinpoint times to meet by looking at available free/busy data for your attendees as well as creating a poll where attendees can vote on the times you suggest or suggest new times themselves!

Recipients can receive invites on any email provider and can access the FindTime voting website on any device. Organizers’ email accounts must be on Office 365 and can access the FindTime Outlook add-in in Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016 or Outlook on the web (preview).

The Microsoft Garage turns fresh ideas into real projects. Find more great projects at garage.microsoft.com.

Telltale to make a Batman game in 2016

Telltale made one of my favorite mobile games—OK, two, The Walking Dead: Season One and The Walking Dead: Season Two, both of which I’ve completed—and I’ve been vaguely interested in a few others (like Game of Thrones). Now, they’re turning their attention to Batman, which could be pretty good.

“At Telltale, we’ve been honored to bring our unique approach to interactive storytelling to some of the biggest entertainment franchises in the world, and we’re excited to announce that we’ll soon be exploring what it means to be Batman in an all-new series starting next year,” said Kevin Bruner, Co-Founder and CEO of Telltale Games. “This iteration of Batman will give fans a first-hand opportunity to dive deeper into the complex life and mind of Bruce Wayne, the duality of his own identity, and the struggle of responsibility in saving a city overcome with corruption and villainy.”

 

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