Thurrott Daily: January 29

Posted on January 29, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, iOS, Mobile, Windows, Windows 10 with 17 Comments

Thurrott Daily: January 28

Tech tidbits from around the web.

1/29/2017 1:32:01 PM

Microsoft market cap hits $500 billion for the first time in 17 years

Here’s a feel-good story from Reuters.

Microsoft’s market capitalization topped $500 billion for the first time since 2000 on Friday, after the technology giant’s stock rose following another quarter of results that beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Shares of the world’s biggest software company rose as much as 2.1 percent to $65.64, an all-time high, in early trading, valuing the company at $510.37 billion.

The last time Microsoft was valued more was in March 2000, during the heyday of the dotcom era, when it had a market value of a little above $550 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Despite the gains, Microsoft still lags Apple’s market capitalization of about $642 billion and Google-parent Alphabet’s market value of a little more than $570 billion.

Ex-Mozillan comes out in support of Microsoft’s AV

From the “you didn’t see this one coming” department, Robert O’Callahan, an ex-Mozilla engineer, has some interesting thoughts about anti-virus.

Antivirus software vendors are terrible; don’t buy antivirus software, and uininstall it if you already have it (except, on Windows, for Microsoft’s).

(Perhaps it should go without saying — but you also need to your OS to be up-to-date. If you’re on Windows 7 or, God forbid, Windows XP, third party AV software might make you slightly less doomed.)

AV products poison the software ecosystem because their invasive and poorly-implemented code makes it difficult for browser vendors and other developers to improve their own security. For example, back when we first made sure ASLR was working for Firefox on Windows, many AV vendors broke it by injecting their own ASLR-disabled DLLs into our processes.

Users have been fooled into associating AV vendors with security.

Chrome gets another performance boost

Mashable reports on a key new feature of Chrome 56, which is now available.

Google says refreshes on Chrome browser are now about 28 percent faster, adding that improvements should be visible on both mobile and desktop versions of its marquee browser.

Explaining how it managed to cut short the time it takes to reload a page, Google said it is changing the way its browser handles what is known as “validation.”

Every time a user visits or revisits a page, Chrome requests hundreds of network requests for it. In the latest version of Chrome, likely v56, the browser only validates the main resource (things that it believes may have been changed and need to be validated).

“The existing reload behavior usually solves broken pages, but stale content is inefficiently addressed by a regular reload, especially on mobile,” Google’s Takashi Toyoshima wrote in a blog post.

“This feature was originally designed in times when broken pages were quite common, so it was reasonable to address both use cases at once,” he wrote, adding that it was no longer necessary for browsers to validate each and every element.

Not only will the pages reload faster, it will also result in lower data consumption and energy.

“Android Apps Are Coming To Laptops (Chromebook) In 2017: What You Need To Know”

That is what you need to know.

With Apple’s earnings this coming week, all eyes on iPhone

As the Wall Street Journal notes, the Plus version of the iPhone has been growing year-over-year. I’m not surprised: Apple artificially puts certain features only in those models. Because Apple.

The iPhone 7 Plus, which starts at $769, comes with a dual-camera system that delivers better portrait photos and sophisticated zooming capabilities unavailable in the standard iPhone 7, which starts at $649. The 7 Plus also offers longer battery life and more random access memory, or RAM.

The strategy appears to be working. Cowen & Co. estimates the 7 Plus accounted for about 40% of the roughly 58.5 million total iPhone 7 devices it estimates Apple sold world-wide in Apple’s fiscal first quarter, which ended in December. That’s a 17 percentage-point jump from the 23% who opted for its larger predecessor, the 6s Plus, in the same quarter the previous year.

That should lift the average-selling price of iPhones to $693 for the December quarter from $691 a year ago, according to UBS. And the increase would help Apple report an expected 2% rise in revenue for the December quarter when it announces financial results on Tuesday—despite what analysts say was softer-than-expected overall demand for iPhones.

 

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