Thurrott Daily: February 13

Posted on February 13, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Hardware, iOS, Mobile, Music + Videos, Office 365 with 28 Comments

Thurrott Daily: February 13

We are living in Narnia.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

2/13/2017 9:47:49 AM

You can still extend your Office 365 subscription out by five years

Back in December, I exclusively revealed how you can extend an Office 365 (consumer) subscription out to a total of five years. The reader who told me about that time limit, Roger H., just checked in to say the policy is still in place.

Just to let you know that I was able to successfully apply my Office 365 code today and extend it by a year to Feb 2022. So hopefully there are no sinister plans for the future by Microsoft to stop me maintaining a five year rolling extension.

Nice!

“Microsoft Won’t Stop At Smartphones, Wants to Make Smartcars”

Sure. Why not seek the same success in a new market?

Intel goes for yet another tock with next-gen CPUs

Anandtech has an interesting story about Intel’s continued stumbling around. It looks like 10 nm will need to wait.

Intel’s 8th Generation Core microarchitecture will remain on the 14 nm node. This is an interesting development with the recent launch of Intel’s 7th Generation Core products being touted as the ‘optimization’ behind the new ‘Process-Architecture-Optimization’ three-stage cadence that had replaced the old ‘tick-tock’ cadence. With Intel stringing out 14 nm (or at least, an improved variant of 14 nm as we’ve seen on 7th Gen) for another generation, it makes us wonder where exactly Intel can promise future performance or efficiency gains on the design unless they start implementing microarchitecture changes.

“Why Microsoft Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017”

Because it’s not even mid-February yet?

Google Assistant on the Pixel can now control your smart home devices

CNET explains.

You no longer need a $130 Google Home to take full advantage of the search giant’s connected tech.

Teased a couple of weeks ago via a blog post, the Google Assistant on the company’s own Pixel phones will now be able to control your smart home with a voice command. Simply go to the settings of the Google Assistant and pull up “Home Control” and you’ll have access to the same connected tech as the Google Home.

“Tim Cook Thinks Augmented Reality Could Be as Big As the iPhone”

Reality check. He said the same thing about the iPad and Apple Watch.

Google offers a Google Home/Google Play Music bundle

Google talks up a new deal for its music service.

If you haven’t tried Google Play Music yet, starting today through February 27, you’ll get six months of Google Play Music for free when you buy a Google Home device. Complete your home music system by adding a Chromecast and get $15 off when you buy the two together.

*With Purchase. Ends 2/27/17. Redeem by 3/6/17. $9.99/mo. charge unless you cancel before trial ends. New subscribers only. Terms apply.

Apple is giving away three months of Apple Music with wireless Beats products … Even if you’re already a subscriber

The Verge reports that Apple is countering Google’s music offer, sort of:

Apple’s BeatsX wireless earbuds will finally hit store shelves tomorrow after a few months of delays. But it turns out there’s a slight silver lining, because buyers will find a card inside with a code that’s good for three free months of Apple Music — a $30 value. Better yet, Apple will also include the promo card in other Beats products, like the Powerbeats 3 Wireless, Solo 3 Wireless, Studio Wireless, and Beats Pill+ for a limited time.

The offer applies to existing Apple Music subscribers, too.

Sony is adding Google Assistant to its smart TVs

Wired reports:

Sony’s latest 4K panels boast powerful processors that improve the look of just about any video you throw onto the screen. But the chips inside these TVs don’t stop at making movies look better: Like giant Pixel phones, the TVs will have Google’s voice-controlled Assistant built into them.

Well, they will eventually. According to Sony, Google Assistant will be added to their new sets via a firmware update later this year.

Sony’s sets already come with Android TV, but this year’s models will be the first television sets with Google Assistant.

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Comments (33)

33 responses to “Thurrott Daily: February 13”

  1. Avatar

    5234

    "We are living in Narnia"

     

    Puh.  Only 2 degrees below freezing.

  2. Avatar

    5510

    Who said that "Why Microsoft Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017?” Microsoft? LOL.

    Microsoft wanting to join Google and Apple in the smart car market is expected. Why not? They followed them in all the other markets.

  3. Avatar

    442

    Microsoft was actually quite successful early on with car technology, with Ford and some others, then they kind of fell asleep.  Wait.  Oh, just like they did in phones....  Duh :)

    Intel did some really good things with Gen 7, if it keeps up that pace with the 8th it should be all good.  Seems any more than in any technology, the "first version" in any running set of generations is the one to miss.

    On the Google Assist thing, hubs are so out of date anyway.  Cloud connected should be any device can control any other device within your account.  Period.  Why did this take (..or is this taking) so long?

    Glad to see Sony adding this to their TVs.  Love that Amazon has it Alexa in some too.  This is the thing to have on the next TV you buy IMHO.  "Connected" homes still have a long way to go though...  So many devices still don't communicate together very well, if at all.

  4. Avatar

    5486

    You'd have to be incredibly brave or stupid (or both), to drive a car with an MS badge on it. Based on their hardware track record, and O/S bugs and problems, you'd probably end up dead within the first 5 miles, or a door will fall off in v1 cars, or you'll have a forced update in the middle of a motorway forcing a car reboot. Either way, you'll end up dead. Don't do it Microsoft!

  5. Avatar

    5767

    Paul - this really is beginning to irritate me with some of your snarky comments.

     

    F.e., 

     

    “Microsoft Won’t Stop At Smartphones, Wants to Make Smartcars”

    Sure. Why not seek the same success in a new market?

     

    If you read the story:

    http://www.autoworldnews.com/articles/29970/20170212/microsoft-wont-stop-smartphones-make-smartcars.htm

    If mentions MS is working on Cognitive Services, NOT making the physical car. Yet you choose to not mention it. Are you bashing Microsoft or the click-bait headline? Because honestly can't tell anymore.

  6. Avatar

    699

    Tim Cook really needs to find some more things to talk about during interviews. How about "New Mac Pros Coming Soon!" ?

  7. Avatar

    5496

    Microsoft had the sync system in Ford for like 10 year before Ford stopped using sync.

  8. Avatar

    1294

    Microsoft ..., Wants to Make Smartcars

    Yeah, and when the next version of Windows ships out your car will be obsolete and they'll tell you to buy a new one

  9. Avatar

    10775

    Office 365 University has a 4 year validity period,  so a 5 year limit does make sense. 

  10. Avatar

    1306

    I'm not sure why Google is promoting the Google Play Music/Google Home deal as new.  I got a Google Home for Christmas (something I probably wouldn't have bought for myself, but I admit that we are using it a lot) and it came with that same offer.  I think they have been offering it since the Home first shipped.

  11. Avatar

    5394

    A Smartcar needs a mapping program. Does Microsoft even have one? Their Bing app has maps, but it doesn't seem to be a standalone program. Microsoft is great at promising things, but just not following through.

    Intel doesn't need to go 10 nm until there is sufficient competition. The actual competition is mobile where it doesn't have a place.

  12. Avatar

    5234

    "Get out the duct tape, we're making Core i7 D's!"

  13. Avatar

    5234

    "hopefully there are no sinister plans for the future by Microsoft to stop me maintaining a five year rolling extension"

    What happens when support for Windows 10 ends in 2025 and you won't need those Win32 versions of the software?

    "Intel’s 8th Generation Core microarchitecture will remain on the 14 nm node"

    We're in a alt-post-Moore's Law era.  Or #fakearch.

    "You no longer need a $130 Google Home to take full advantage of the search giant’s connected tech."

    So we can take those Sono Wi-Fi speakers back out of the trash then?

    “Tim Cook Thinks Augmented Reality Could Be as Big As the iPhone”

    He said #fakenews rots people's brains too.  Queue up, Apple buyers!

    "Google talks up a new deal for its music service."

    Does anybody but me not see any point in getting free months on a subscription that must be perpetual?  It's 6 months free out of x months total, where x approaches ∞ to keep listening to your music selections.  Hooray for Calculus!

    "Apple is giving away three months of Apple Music with wireless Beats products"

    Ugh!  Not again!

  14. Avatar

    SvenJ

    @glenn8878 (seems we can't respond to 'premium' comments directly anymore)  Yes, MS has a mapping program. It is a UWP application that runs on both WP and Win 10. The nav works very well on my WP, and the Win 10 version has some interesting and useful pen support. You can trace a route on the map and it will provide you the distance, and tapping points on the map will establish from and to for route planning, among other usual mapping features. It's called Maps, and if you have Win 10, you probably have it.  As was mentioned it still is based on HERE data.

    BTW, about two years ago my Grandma bought a Ford Escape and it came with a SYNC, by Microsoft, system. Worked very well with her iPhone. Had all the expected steering wheel controls for voice activation and such as well as nav, media, etc.

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