Thurrott Daily: January 17

Posted on January 17, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Microsoft Surface, Mobile, Windows, Windows 10, Windows Phones, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One with 28 Comments

Thurrott Daily: January 17

So I’ve completed all the assault rifle challenges in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. Now what?

I keep expecting Thurrott Now—the micro-blog that will replace these Thurrott Daily posts—to happen, but I’ve been neglectful. Here are a few tech tidbits from around the web today.

1/17/2017 7:10:15 AM

Reminder: Two more Games with Gold titles are now available

It’s the second half of January, so two more of the Games with Gold Games I wrote about earlier this month are now available:

Killer Instinct Season 2 Ultra (for Xbox One)
Normal pricing: $39.99
Free availability: January 16 to February 15

Description: The Ultimate KI Season 2 pack. 8 new fighters (starting with TJ Combo & Maya), 8 costumes, 16 premium accessory packs — all released as the season progresses. Plus the KI2 Classic game. Fight On!

Rayman Origins (for Xbox 360)
Normal pricing: $14.99
Free availability: January 16 to January 31

Description: Michel Ancel, celebrated creator of Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil and the Raving Rabbids returns to his roots to bring us Rayman Origins: a new 4-player co-op comic adventure set in a lush, 2D world, teeming with unexpected secrets and outlandish enemies. When the Glade of Dreams is overrun by “nefurrious” Darktoons, it is up to Rayman and his buddies Globox and the Teensies to save the day. Their challenge, restore peace to the Glade or witness their beloved home vanish like a bad dream.

Microsoft Germany warns that Windows 7 is supported for only three more years

Yes, really. Or, put another way, Windows 7 is still fully supported. Feel free to keep using it.

In the translated version of this Chicken Little warning, Microsoft Germany notes:

Today, Windows 7 can no longer keep up with the increased security requirements.

Rather, it provides for higher operating costs – for example, maintenance, lost working time due to increased malware attacks, or increased support requests. At the same time, many hardware manufacturers no longer provide drivers for Windows 7, which means that modern peripherals such as printers are no longer recognized.

Windows 7 is based on long-outdated security architectures.

Report: Microsoft lowers 2017 Windows 10 licensing rates for low-cost notebooks

The occasionally reliable Digitimes says that Microsoft is lowering the price of Windows to PC makers for some devices to meet the Chromebook threat.

Microsoft has settled with notebook vendors on Windows 10 licensing rates for models to be launched in 2017, with costs for under 14.1-inch low-cost models lowered from 2016, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

The reduction in licensing rates specifically for low-cost models is possibly because Chromebooks have brought increasing competitive pressure on Windows, the sources explained.

“Alcatel’s IDOL 4S arrives in the Microsoft Store as an unlocked model”

Great. Don’t buy it.

Didn’t we already know that batteries were the problem with the Samsung Note 7?

The build-up to Samsung’s reveal about what caused the Note 7 disaster is starting to feel like LeBron’s “The Decision.” But didn’t we already know it was the batteries? Reuters bates its breath. (And yes, it’s “bate” not “bait”.)

A Samsung investigation into what caused some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire has concluded that the battery was the main reason, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

The results of the investigation will likely be announced on Jan. 23, a day before it announces detailed fourth-quarter earnings results, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and declined to be identified.

Samsung may not have given enough room for the battery inside the phone.

“Here’s Why the Microsoft Surface Pro 5 Will Own it’s Predecessor”

And here’s why you don’t know jack shit about the Surface Pro 5.

“Hidden costs” of Nintendo Switch are hugely exaggerated

The Nintendo Switch has come under a lot of criticism, some warranted—like the complaint about no in-box games—and some unwarranted. Like this waste of time from Forbes, which catalogs all the ways in which you could spend money on mostly-unnecessary peripherals. You could easily compile a list like this for any video game console, laptop, or whatever. (I guess a carry-on bag is a “hidden cost” of a laptop, for example. That’s how they get you!)

The more we learn about the Switch, the more Nintendo is stretching that price. $300 comes with the Nintendo Switch and … nothing else.

The Joy-Cons are charging when they’re plugged into the Switch tablet screen, but not the grip controller that comes with the system. Rather, you have to buy a separate charging grip for $30 that charges the Joy-Cons.

$70 For A Pro Controller

[Etc.]

“MacBook Pro might become a lot more ‘pro’ this year, report claims”

Courageous.

Android Wear 2.0 now expected to launch February 9

Not that anyone is actually looking forward to this, but as Evan Blass notes, here it comes…

Mark your calendar: Android Wear 2.0 launches on February 9th.

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