Thurrott Daily: July 23

Posted on July 23, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Skype, Games, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Mobile, Windows Phones, iOS, Android, The Sams Report, Windows, Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: July 23

They use the Nintendo 3DSXL for audio guides at the Louvre in Paris.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

7/23/2016 7:31:32 PM

Report: Windows Server moving under Terry Myerson

Mary Jo Foley has an interesting story about a subtle but important reorg within Microsoft: The Windows Server team is moving from the Cloud and Enterprise group into Terry Myerson’s Windows and Devices unit:

Microsoft is moving the engineering team responsible for Windows Server to the Windows and Devices Group, resulting in all versions of Windows at the company now being part of the same unit.

Terry Myerson will continue to run the expanded Windows and Devices Group.

I asked Microsoft about the moves, which I was tipped to by sources, and a spokesperson confirmed with the following statement:

“As we advance our goal to build operating systems that provide the best experiences from the smallest IoT devices to the largest scale server deployments in public and private clouds, the Windows Server team will move from the Cloud and Enterprise Group to the Windows and Devices Group. These groups already work closely together, and we believe this move will help us bring even more value to our customers as we deliver our most cloud-ready server OS with the Windows Server 2016 launch this fall.”

So this makes sense, of course. Though you could previously argue that viewing Windows Server as “the on premise subset of the Azure services Microsoft offers through its Cloud and Enterprise group” also made sense too. I wonder if there’s more going on here than we now understand.

Lost in the all the excitement around the new Skype infrastructure…

I was itching to tell the story about Microsoft’s infrastructure migration, but one thing the company didn’t tell me about explicitly was that some pretty high-profile legacy clients would be lost in the transition. Among them is Skype for Windows Phone 8.0, which MSPowerUser says is “more than 80 percent of Windows phone users.”

Following an architecture change Skype is set to drop support for Skype on Windows Phone 8.1, and older versions of Android. The Windows Phone app is set to stop working in October 2016.

Rudy Hyun has now reminded us that this means more than 80% of Windows Phone users will soon be excluded from the app.

They should have looked at the numbers, as it’s even worse than that: Windows Phone 8.0 and 8.1 collectively represents over 86 percent of Windows phone users, as noted by AdDuplex’s latest data.

The Xbox One backwards compatibility train rolls on

Xbox fans are probably all over this already, but it’s worth noting from time to time that the number of Xbox 360 games that Xbox One users can now play thanks to backwards compatibility technology just keeps improving. And now there are 8 more games added to the list. Neowin reports:

If you were worried that Microsoft was slowing down on adding games to the list of Xbox 360 games that are backward compatible with the Xbox One, fear no more. The company is adding eight new titles to the list today, bringing the total for the week to 11 after adding three on Tuesday.

Last week only saw the addition of Interpol. The week before that was just Red Dead Redemption, so you wouldn’t be crazy for thinking that the firm might be taking it a bit more slowly.

Here’s what got added: Bionic Commando Rearmed 2,Capcom Arcade Cabinet, Crystal Defenders, Fret Nice,NeoGeo Battle Coliseum, Pac-Man Museum, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I, and Sonic 4 Episode II.

There are now over 225 games on the Xbox One backwards compatibility list. Nice!

Apple Watch sales nosedive, but it’s still the best-seller in a terribly small market

Google Play Books gets “bubble zoom” for comic books

While I mostly read graphic novels (like “The Walking Dead”) in the Amazon Kindle app on iPad, which has a more general panel zoom feature, here’s a neat addition for comics readers using Google Play Books:

We just announced [a feature called] Bubble Zoom: a new way to read digital comics on phones and tablets. Using the same technology to recognize objects in photos, we trained our system to identify speech bubbles in comics. Bubble zoom expands the speech bubbles of a comic one-tap-at-a-time, making them super easy to read on your mobile device. It’s much easier to read digital comics one-handed as Bubble Zoom automatically identifies and expands each speech bubble for readability. No more compromising the full-page experience or getting lost while panning around.

Bubble Zoom will be available on the latest version of Google Play Books app for Android as a technical preview with all Marvel and DC collected volumes supported. We’re also celebrating this preview with a 50% off sale on select DC Comics and Marvel comics in the Google Play Store — just use the code SDCC2016 by July 24th, 2016.



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