Thurrott Daily: August 1

Posted on August 1, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Bing + MSN, Microsoft-Band, Mobile, Windows 10, Windows Phones, Xbox One with 0

Thurrott Daily: August 1

Sometimes we really can get along.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

8/1/2016 11:54:48 AM

Note: I will almost certainly be offline for all or most of tomorrow because we’re flying home from France. That said, tomorrow isn’t just a big day for me, as Microsoft is releasing the Windows 10 Anniversary update and the initial (2 TB) Xbox One S model. See you on the other side. –Paul

Microsoft Band 2 fire sale continues

I assume it’s obvious by now that Microsoft’s strategy for its current wearable, the Band 2, is to sell off remaining inventory. The question, of course, is whether this device will be followed up by a Band 3, or by something else. Or by nothing at all.

Anyway. MSPowerUser notes that Band 2 is now cheaper than its ever been, assuming you can fit into a medium sized version.

Microsoft Band 2 Medium Size alone is now available forjust $99.99 from Amazon in the US, down $150.00 from its original price of $249.99.

That said, all three Band 2 models are on sale. Here are some affiliate links from Amazon:

Microsoft Band 2 – Small – $140 ($110 off)
Microsoft Band 2 – Medium – $99.99 ($150 off)
Microsoft Band 2 – Large – $174.99 ($75 off)

“Is Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile strategy really going to plan?”

Yes it is. Sorry, but this is exactly what the company told me it planned to do: Sell fewer and fewer of these devices every quarter in order to lose less money on the business.

Xbox exec: “Any developer” will be able to upload apps for Xbox One to the store “soon”

I don’t want to make too much out of a two sentence tweet—and I certainly wouldn’t waste your time and mine with a complete blog post about it—but this is interesting. From Xbox’s Mike Ybarra:

We’re working out details on when any developer can upload UWA apps to Xbox. More details in near future. It will happen soon.

To be clear, Microsoft is still going to heavily curate apps for Xbox One. That is, the bar will be much higher than that for Windows phones and higher than for Windows PCs as well. Too, the apps have to make sense on Xbox, and will be mostly entertainment- and content consumption-based.

Microsoft is updating Windows 10 again, in its latest bid to win you back

Ah, Microsoft. Always “bidding” to win you back. I’m not sure why CNET has to color this story about the Anniversary Update as if this were any different from any other desktop OS upgrade in history—is Apple “bidding to win you back” with its latest macOS upgrade? I think not—but they do.

A new update to Microsoft’s Windows 10 is coming, but you’re forgiven if you didn’t know. It turns out not many people are going to tell you.

Admittedly, there’s not much to talk about. The list of refinements for Microsoft’s free paper-anniversary update to Win 10 can fit on a small sheet with less than a dozen bullet points. The changes boil down to features like making the digital pen more useful, new technology to detect hacking attacks and the ability to log into a computer with a wearable device instead of a password.

Huh. Not that interesting. Two of those three things are impossible on the Mac the author no doubt used to write this drivel, by the way. But … not much to talk about.

Maybe you could talk about that?

Microsoft’s Bing Bet Is Starting to Pay Off

Only in the financial world could tens of billions of dollars lost to R&D and several years of quarterly losses could a single and supposedly profitable year be considered a bet that is starting to pay off. The Motley Fool does it again.

In Microsoft’s latest fiscal year, which ended on June 30, its search advertising business brought in roughly an estimated $5.5 billion in revenue. That’s more than major digital advertising platforms such as Twitter or Tencent.

As the post notes, Google brought in $52 billion in revenues in the same time period.

More importantly, Microsoft managed to make Bing profitable in 2016.

Neat. How so?

While Microsoft doesn’t break out the profitability of Bing, there are reasons to be optimistic that Bing will continue to become more profitable even if growth slows this year.


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