Thurrott Daily: September 26

Posted on September 26, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Games, Mobile, Music + Videos, Windows 10 with 29 Comments

Thurrott Daily: September 26

It’s a busy week in Atlanta for Microsoft Ignite. But here are some tech tidbits from around the web.

9/26/2016 6:26:25 PM

Report: OneDrive Placeholders are coming back, now called On-Demand Sync

I’m not sure what to make of this one. MSPowerUser writes:

At Ignite 2016, Microsoft has just announced that it is bringing Placeholders back to OneDrive on Windows 10. Now, they are not called Placeholders anymore — Microsoft is renaming the feature to “On-Demand Sync” which makes a lot more sense than “Placeholders”.

The company demoed this feature at Microsoft Ignite today, and it works just like it used to previously … Of course, this feature isn’t anything new as it was available back in the Windows 8 days. However, Microsoft removed the feature with Windows 10, and after lots of waiting, they are finally coming back.

So. Hm.

This doesn’t sound right to me. And I find it odd that such a blockbuster revelation was mentioned in an Ignite demo when the presenter and his team posted two humongous posts today, SharePoint innovations further advance intelligence and collaboration in Office 365 and Major OneDrive updates at Ignite 2016 include SharePoint Online sync preview and never even mentioned this change. I hope its true and not just some partial step back to true placeholders functionality, as I fear.

Disney emerges as Twitter suitor … for some reason

This makes zero sense to me, but Bloomberg says that Disney is considering buying Twitter.

Walt Disney Co. is working with a financial adviser to evaluate a possible bid for Twitter Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

After receiving interest in discussing a deal, Twitter has started a process to evaluate a potential sale. Inc. is also considering a bid and is working with Bank of America on the process, according to other people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

Representatives for Twitter and Disney didn’t respond to requests for comment.

I think Microsoft could make a case for buying Twitter, and certainly Google could. Salesforce? No. Disney? Not even close.

Android + Chrome = Andromeda

If you thought running Android apps on Chrome was a threat to Windows, your head is going to explode when you see what Android Police says Google is plotting next.

Two independent and reliable sources have confirmed to us that Google is planning a new Pixel laptop to be released in Q3 2017. The project, known internally as ‘Bison’ and by the informal nickname ‘Pixel 3,’ will likely be the first brand-new device to showcase Google’s combined Android / Chrome OS ‘Andromeda’ operating system in a laptop form factor. Bison, then, would be the culmination of years of work by Google’s Pixel team and Google’s Android and Chrome OS teams.

We are extremely confident Google plans for the device to run Andromeda. We are also confident that Andromeda is a completely distinct effort from Google’s current campaign to bring Android apps to Chromebooks, and that Bison would not be marketed as a Chromebook. Android apps on Chrome OS descended from the ARC project, while Andromeda is a much larger, more ambitious initiative that is being pursued via merging Chrome features into Android, not vice versa. As such, it would be more accurate to say Bison will run Android than Chrome OS, and could finally be Google’s internal commitment to releasing Andromeda.

Very interesting. But Q3 2017? Come on. Too slow.

Zombie Author Max Brooks Writing Minecraft Novel

The world was just crying out for a Minecraft novel, I’m sure.Mojang. which for some reason gets to pretend it’s not Microsoft, explains the unexplainable.

Yes, that’s Max Brooks, the author of amazing future-history zombie yarn World War Z. He’s writing a Minecraft novel, titled “Minecraft: The Island”. I’ve peeked at an early draft and it’s entirely amazing, just as we knew it would be. Think cuboid Robinson Crusoe, but madder: a hero stranded in an unfamiliar land, with unfamiliar rules, learning to survive against tremendous odds.

We’re all huge fans of Max’s work in books and comics – The Harlem Hellfighters and The Extinction Parade are personal favourites – and his enthusiasm for Minecraft is truly inspiring.

“I’m very excited to be part of this new venture,” said Max Brooks. “Finally I can justify all those hours I’ve spent playing Minecraft.”

Crazy. That said, Max Brooks is amazing.

The the 4K Google Chromecast Ultra gets outted

VentureBeat publishes a high-quality render of the Chromecast Ultra, which we can expect to be announced soon.

Google is holding a wide-ranging hardware launch event on October 4, where it’s expected to debut a pair of Pixel-branded phones, a VR headset, a Wi-Fi router, the Amazon Echo-like Google Home, and the device pictured here, a 4K-capable digital media player. A person familiar with the company’s plans confirmed an Android Police report that the device will be marketed as the Chromecast Ultra.

Tipped to run firmware version 1.21 at retail, the Ultra will allegedly be sold alongside the existing high definition Chromecast dongle, released last year. Whereas that product retails for $35, Ultra will cost nearly double at $69.

Since I just got a 4K TV, I’m really looking forward to this one.

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