Thurrott Daily: February 1

Posted on February 2, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Mobile, Windows 10, Xbox 360, Xbox One with 0

Thurrott Daily: February 1

A few tidbits from around the web…

2/2/2016 5:24:15 PM

Accessibility Update for Windows 10 Mail

Microsoft announced today that it is improving the Mail app in Windows 10 “to enhance usability with screen readers.”

Narrator, the screen reader built into Windows 10, currently provides the most complete experience when using Mail. We are … continuing to improve both Mail and the platform. We know that many of you are using other screen readers, and we are also working with the developers of other screen readers and assistive technology vendors to improve the Mail experience here as well.

Our focus for Mail over the next few months will be on enhancing the screen reader experience for reading complex emails and improving the account setup experience. Microsoft is working hard to make it easier for people with disabilities to communicate, consume and create content on any device, and for everyone to create accessible content.

Mojang ships Cobalt on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Windows PC

Minecraft maker Mojang (now the smallest freaking part of the Microsoft empire) has finally published another game. Described as a “couch multiplayer and action platformer,” Cobalt is available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC, and costs $20.

Here’s a trailer.

Android is the future … of Blackberry

No surprise, really, but a Blackberry senior director said this week that Blackberry 10 was winding down, and that the future of the firm is all Android.

“The Priv device is essentially our transition to Android ecosystem. As we secure Android, over a period of time, we would not have two platforms, and may have only Android as a platform [for smartphones]. But for now, we have BB10 and Android platforms for our smartphones…The future is really Android. We went for Android essentially for its app ecosystem. In addition, all the enterprise solutions that we have been doing have been cross-platform for a long time now. So it’s a natural progression towards Android”-Damian Tay, senior director of APAC product management, BlackBerry

Hammer starts falling at Yahoo

Yahoo, as expected, is trying to turn things around. Venture Beat reports:

“Today, we’re announcing a strategic plan that we strongly believe will enable us to accelerate Yahoo’s transformation,” said Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive. “This is a strong plan calling for bold shifts in products and in resources.”

The new Yahoo will be focused on growing engagement with its users. Its portfolio of products will be trimmed down with its consumer area including Search, Mail, and Tumblr. Advertisers will still have Gemini and Brightroll. Yahoo will also consolidate some of its Digital Magazines this year under one of its four core categories and will shut down the rest. Noticeably, Flickr is absent from the mix … Products that are on the chopping block include Yahoo Games and Yahoo Smart TV.

It will be laying off approximately 15 percent of its workforce consisting of 9,000 employees and fewer than 1,000 contractors.