Over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be making some interesting changes to Thurrott.com, including a new layout that will remove the redundant “Recent Articles” sections you see on the home and category pages. We’re also moving towards an optional, low-cost subscription that aims to remove the advertising, provide high-priority/visibility comments, and a new daily micro-blog. While the work to make this happens progresses behind the scenes, I thought I’d start experimenting with the micro-blog, which will eventually appear in the home/category page sidebars where you now see ads. And since I’m doing it on the current site design, these early experiments will appear as individual articles.
Everything is up in the air—the name, the presentation style, etc.—so it could/will change over time. But I see the micro-blog as a happy medium between Twitter (which can be too short to fully express something and is not connected to this site in any way) and a full article. It’s a place for me to mention things that I think will be of interest to people, but may not warrant a full write-up. Oftentimes, I will be linking to information provided on other web sites and commenting on it in some ways. It’s bit like Short Takes over on Petri.com, but will probably end up being formatted differently. And will happen daily.
Here’s what’s happening today.
Cortana is not coming to Xbox One until next year
OK, this might have warranted a full post, but it’s Saturday and I’m traveling. In a post to his Major Nelson blog, Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb revealed that Cortana isn’t coming to Xbox One until 2016.
“Our plan is to add Cortana to the Xbox One experience preview later this year,” he writes. “From there, we’ll ensure that the experience is tuned for gamers before we officially launch Cortana in 2016.”
This speaks to the weirdness of the Xbox One rollout of Windows 10, where it’s not all happening at once. In November, Xbox One will receive the Windows 10 underpinnings, providing a performance boost. And Cortana is coming in 2016. I’m curious what other Windows 10 features will pop-up on the console in the coming year.
Xbox One Fallout bundle is a great deal
I’m not a Fallout player, but this looks like a great deal: In November, you will be able to purchase an Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle that includes an Xbox One console with a 1 TB hard drive, an Xbox One wireless controller (the new version with a 3.5 mm headset jack), Fallout 4 (the full game), and Fallout 3 (the full game in digital download) … for just $399.
You can pre-order the bundle now from the Microsoft Store. Or, if Fallout isn’t your thing, look into other recently-announced Xbox One bundles, including the Xbox One Rise of the Tomb Raider Bundle, Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle, Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame Bundle, Xbox One with Kinect Bundle and the Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle.
Skype 6.3 for iPhone and iPad adds iOS 9 support, more
Microsoft announced this week that Skype has been updated to version 6.3 on iPhone and iPad, adding support for iOS 9 features like Slide Over and Split View, the ability to reply to chats directly from a lock screen notification, and the ability to start a chat directly from the Spotlight search screen.
Office Delve Adds Favorites, Praises, More
If you’re using a commercial version of Office 365, you may be interested to hear that Microsoft has updated Delve with new “people experiences,” including a new Praise feature, the ability to create modern pages in SharePoint Online and add Favorites from across Office 365. Learn more on the Office Blogs.
Candy Crush Soda Saga Comes to Windows 10
Candy Crush Soda Saga is now available for free on Windows 10. I couldn’t personally care less, but I know this is a big deal in some circles, and there is apparently a sale of some kind on in-app purchases through the weekend.
CBS launches a Windows 10 app
The new CBS app for Windows 10 lets you watch full episodes of hit shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and “The Young and the Restless” for free. Or, you can subscribe to CBS All Access (for $6) and get next-day on-demand episodes, live streaming from select local CBS stations, and access to the CBS library of more than 7,500 episodes. There are apparently still ads, however, as the network notes that this service also offers “ad-free viewing of classic fan favorites like ‘Star Trek,’ ‘CSI: Miami,’ ‘Survivor’ and more.”
Netflix for Windows 10 is updated with Cortana voice control support
On a more interesting note, Netflix for Windows 10 has been updated with support for Cortana. This means you can go hands-free and speak to Netflix, saying such things as “Netflix, search for ‘Narcos,'” (which is a fantastic show) or “Netflix, find ‘Continuum,'” and so on.
The Netflix app is free on the Windows Store but you must of course have a Netflix subscription to use it.
The iPhone 6S/6S Plus is apparently waterproof
I wrote a couple of articles recently about the ways in which new iPhones have caught up with or surpassed what’s available on Windows phones. But this could be added to the list too: Though Apple has not advertised this in any way, the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are apparently waterproof, according to multiple sources. This iFixit video is particularly interesting.
Google walks away from “Don’t be evil.”
As Steve Jobs so correctly pointed out, Google’s corporate mantra of “don’t be evil” was always completely bullshit. But with Google transitioning to Alphabet this past week, the “new” company has come up with a new corporate mantra: “Do the right thing — follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect.” As with Alphabet, nothing is really new: That statement is just a slightly more detailed way of saying the same thing. And is still utter bullshit.