Thurrott Daily: December 17

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Music + Videos, Windows 10, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: December 17

Good afternoon. Some other tidbits from around the web…

12/17/2015 4:47:45 PM

New Microsoft app is basically a Microsoft app store … on Android

For the past few weeks I’ve been testing an interesting new Android app from Microsoft called Microsoft Apps. As you might expect, this app simply provides a front-end to virtually all of Microsoft’s (non-Garage) apps for Android. Some have questioned the need for such a thing, since you can semi-easily find all of Microsoft’s apps in Google Play Store already. But I think these folks are missing the point.

If you accept the fact that Android is Microsoft’s Plan B in mobile, and consider this app in the light of Microsoft’s Android lock screens and Arrow Launcher home screen replacement, a more nuanced view appears. That is, this app is nothing less than a Microsoft app store for Android. In this case, literally a store of Microsoft apps. And on that note, I think it’s wise of Microsoft to give users a single place to look for its apps. I also think this is the first step to something more profound.

Get Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter for $400 off

For all the server admins out there, you may recall as I do when Window Server Datacenter was a specialty item that required in-person support from Microsoft and a hardware vendor. Well, now you can just buy it.

And (relatively) inexpensively, too: NewEgg is currently offering up to a $400 discount on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter (2 processors) OEM version. You have to admit, that is pretty crazy.

Microsoft brings Translator conversations to Android and iOS

… and to their respective smart watch platforms, Android Wear and Apple Watch. What that means to you is that you can now “translate face to face conversations in a more natural way by simultaneously using your smartwatch and phone.” It is, in other words, essentially the Babel Fish from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Which means it’s awesome.

Here’s a YouTube video that explains how it works.

Some dubious advice about Windows 10 automatic installs

PC Advisor has an interesting workaround for those disgruntled that Microsoft is automatically installing updates in Windows 10:

you’re going to have to trick the system into not automatically downloading updates. To do this you’ll need to switch your Wi-Fi connection to metered so that it thinks you’re connected to a mobile network. Unfortunately you can’t do this with an Ethernet connection.

I have better advice. If you can’t stand this behavior, just skip Windows 10. This system is designed to be updated regularly. You should let it do so.

That said, their advice about changing the scheduled restart schedule for Windows 10 updates is sound. (And I make it in Windows 10 Field Guide. You should always be prompted before any restart.

Plex is now free on Xbox One and Xbox 360

And on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, but who cares about those guys? What this means is that you can now stream your PC- or home server-based media to your console-connected HDTV without needing a Plex Pass subscription.

More info on the Plex web site.

 

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