Thurrott Daily: April 11

Posted on April 11, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Microsoft-Band, Mobile, Xbox, Xbox One with 0 Comments

Tech tidbits from around the web.

4/11/2016 9:37:49 AM

Microsoft Band 2 is on sale again, $75 off!

Which is a testament to how well it’s selling, I guess. But that’s OK, the Band 2 is the best wearable in the market as far as I’m concerned. And it’s fair to note that even Apple has had to—permanently—reduce the price of its own over-priced Apple Watch too. And you thought tablet sales were in the dumpster.

Anyway, you can pick up the Microsoft Band 2 now from Amazon.com for just $175. That’s a whopping $75 off the normal $250 price tag.

Gears of War 4 trailer drops

It’s not launching until this Fall, but Microsoft on Sunday released the first trailer for “Gears of War 4.” I assume its “Sounds of Silence” soundtrack is meant to evoke the excellent trailer from the original “Gears of War,” which used the song “Mad World.” It’s nicely done if a bit repetitive given the history of these games. Which … is probably true of the game as well. (Or as one fan blog notes, “it’s pretty awesome.” Sure.)

Quantum Break is “biggest selling, new Microsoft Studios IP this generation”

And speaking of video games, “Quantum Break” has received lukewarm to barely positive reviews (with IGN giving it a score of “good,” or 7.6 out of 10, for example), but Microsoft now says the game is the “biggest selling, new Microsoft Studios IP this generation.” OK, it’s a low bar. And it’s not clear if this guy means UK-only. But …

“We’re delighted that Quantum Break has been so well received by fans and critics. It’s a testament to the hard work, ambition and commitment of the team at Remedy that the game is already surpassing expectations.”

HTC 10 leaks

How do you follow up the HTC One? Well, with the HTC One M2. But how do you follow up that phone? With the HTC 10, of course. Which has leaked. Courtesy of this video.

How radical. At what point do we all agree that this stuff is just getting boring?

Oh, and. This ad is a rip-off of an earlier Lumia 930. Not that anyone remembers it.

The economics of cloud computing

The New York Times has an interesting report that describes how the big cloud players—Amazon, Microsoft and Google, pretty much—are making billions on micro-transactions.

When tolls that tiny are paid often enough, they can make a billion-dollar business. At Amazon Web Services, which pioneered this method late last year, there is no charge for the first million times a customer runs code. Thereafter, A.W.S. charges by the million times, or for the hundreds of milliseconds the computer is used.

This economics of tiny things demonstrates the global power of the few companies, including Microsoft and Google, that can make fortunes counting this small and often. In other words, you have to be really big to worry about making money off things that are really tiny.

The thing I like about the cloud is that Microsoft is such a big player, even The New York Times can’t pretend they don’t exist. You know they want to.

Microsoft is trying to do A.W.S. one better by microslicing the cost to rent some of its software licenses into the minutes of actual use. “We’re renting the sand and charging for the sun’s UV rays that hit you,” said Scott Guthrie, who runs Microsoft’s cloud.

Daily Mail is apparently interested in Yahoo too

And from the “it don’t get any more nuts than this” department, news that the U.K.’s Daily Mail is, for some reason, interested in Yahoo.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail has emerged as a suitor for Yahoo Inc.’s assets, joining a wide group of interested companies said to include telecom giant Verizon Communications Inc. as an April 18 deadline for preliminary offers nears.

Daily Mail, the British newspaper and global tabloid website, said on Monday that it is in preliminary talks with other investors to launch a bid for Yahoo, confirming a report on Sunday by The Wall Street Journal.

Apparently, the Mail is only interested in taking over Yahoo’s news and media properties and would let a partner take the rest.

 

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