Microsoft’s Windows 10 Push Comes to Shove for Some Users

Microsoft's Windows 10 Push Comes to Shove for Some Users

Microsoft really, REALLY wants you to upgrade to Windows 10.Since last summer, the tech giant has pushed and prodded PC owners to upgrade their machines to its latest Windows version. While the upgrade is currently free for most consumers with Windows PCs, critics say the company’s heavy-handed nudging amounts to an “offer you can’t refuse.”

Microsoft initially offered Windows 10 as an optional upgrade – that is, one that users had to choose themselves. Then, earlier this year, the company reclassified it as a “recommended” update. Some Windows 10 holdouts cried foul, since many PCs are set up to automatically install recommended updates, which are usually important security fixes. Suddenly those machines would automatically install Windows 10 as well.

At one point, some PC owners complained, Microsoft began sending on-screen messages prompting them to download and install Windows 10. The catch: Where most such pop-up windows have buttons marked “OK” and “Cancel,” this message displayed two buttons that both led to an upgrade (“Upgrade Now” and “Upgrade Tonight”). To avoid the upgrade, diehard resisters had to click a red “X” in the upper-right corner that closed the window.Microsoft then revised the notifications, citing customer feedback. A new version tells PC owners they are scheduled for a “recommended” upgrade to Windows 10 at a specific time in the near future, and bears a prominent “OK” button. To reject or reschedule the change, users have to find and click a less conspicuous link in small type. But clicking the “X” no longer blocks the upgrade.

Some PC users reacted as though Microsoft had left a horse’s head in their bed.

“Deceptive” and “a nasty trick” is how Brad Chacos, an editor at PCWorld, put it in a column after his wife unwittingly clicked the “X” and later found her machine was no longer running Windows 7, which she had wanted to keep.

“Deploying these dirty tricks only frustrates long-time Windows users who have very valid reasons to stick with operating systems they already know and love,” wrote Chacos, who added that he uses and likes Windows 10 personally. His wife, though, is now shopping for a Mac.

Microsoft says it isn’t trying to be sneaky. In blog posts and official statements, the company says it shows users at least two notifications before it activates Windows 10. It also allows any PC owner to reverse the installation and go back to their old software if they do so within 31 days.

“We understand you care deeply about what happens with your device. This is why – regardless of your upgrade path – you can choose to upgrade or decline the offer,” Microsoft executive vice president Terry Myerson wrote in a blog post.

Even so, Microsoft clearly wants to get as many PCs and other devices running Windows 10 as it possibly can. The company says it wants users to have the latest security features and other improvements. Microsoft also makes more money from Windows 10 features that increase usage of Bing, the company’s ad-supported search engine. And it wants to convince programmers there’s a big audience for software apps that are compatible with Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets.

Microsoft announced earlier this month that 300 million devices are running Windows 10 – a faster adoption rate than either of the two previous Windows versions.

Most buyers of new PCs will find Windows 10 already installed. But Microsoft says its offer of a free upgrade for old machines is ending July 29 – and that means more notices and prompts are likely.

Tags: Cortana, Laptops, Microsoft, PC, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 10 Update, Windows Update
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Snapchat IPO Filing Comes to Light with Questions Remaining

Snapchat IPO Filing Comes to Light with Questions Remaining

It looks like Snapchat is finally going public.

According to a Reuters, the company has confidentially filed for an initial public offering of its shares. Snapchat filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the U.S. Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.

It’s worth noting that companies with less than $1 billion in revenue can secretly file for an IPO.

The filing was made before the U.S. presidential election, which has increased uncertainty in global markets but only recently came to light.

Questions Remain

Interestingly, this is not the first time reports of Snapchat going public have emerged.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the company was seeking to raise as much as $4 billion in an initial public offering expected to take place at the start of next year. It was further suggested that the IPO could value the hugely popular media messaging service at up to $40 billion.

According to Reuters sources, the California-based company is planning to go public as soon as March and be valued at $20 billion to $25 billion.

Determined to Keep the Momentum

By going public, Snapchat seems determined not to meet the fate of services like Vine. A popular social app at one time, Vine struggled to compete with bigger players. Owner Twitter finally announced in October it would shut down the video looping service.

Snapchat has also resisted Facebook’s whopping $3 billion buyout offer, while facing stiff competition from rivals.

What This Means for Your Business

A financially robust Snapchat means a more stable platform for small business marketing and communications.

Today it’s a popular tool to target a wide range of consumers, especially younger audiences. Once the company raises more revenue, it can be expected that new features and add-ons will be introduced to entice more users.

Snapchat Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Google Pixel Is the First Google-Branded Phone, Comes With Google Assistant

Google Pixel Is the First Google-Branded Phone, Comes With Google Assistant

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google Pixel smartphone has been priced starting Rs. 57,000 in India
  • It is now available for pre-orders in select countries.
  • Pixel will be up for “pre-sales” in India on October 13

At an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google unveiled the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, first Google-branded smartphones. As we’d reported in August, India is one of the launch markets for the phone, with Google Pixel price in India to start at Rs. 57,000, with pre-orders set to begin October 13. The phone will be available from Flipkart, Reliance Digital, and Croma, as well as smaller retailers, with a retail availability at the “end of October” according to Google.

(Also see: Google Pixel Price in India, Release Date, Specifications, and More)

The Google Pixel costs $649 (approximately Rs. 43,000) for 32GB variant in the US, $749 (approximately Rs. 50,000) for 128GB; Pixel XL costs $769 (approximately Rs. 51,000) for 32GB, $869 (approximately Rs. 58,000) for 128GB. Pre-orders in the US are already underway.

(Also see: Google Pixel vs. iPhone 7)

The launch event was however one of the worst kept secrets from Google, and almost everything was leaked in advance of the event. As widely expected, Pixel and Pixel XL are the first phones with Google Assistant built-in. The Google Pixel sports a 5-inch full-HD Amoled display and the Google Pixel XL sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD Amoled display – both with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Both the models will be available with almost identical innards except the screen size and battery size.

(Also see: Google Home, Daydream View, and Everything Else Google Announced Tuesday)

The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL will be available exclusively via Verizon and unlocked version from Google store. The smartphone will be available for pre-orders starting Tuesday in Australia, Canada, Germany, UK, and the US. It will be available in Quite Black, Really Blue (limited edition), and Very Silver colour variants, though it seems the blue colour will not launch in India just yet.

(Also see: Google Pixel XL vs. iPhone 7 Plus)

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones sport an aluminium unibody and also feature polished glass combination at the back. Both phones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with two cores clocked at 1.6GHz, and two cores clocked at 2.15GHz. The Pixel and Pixel XL will pack 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and sport Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor. The smartphones sport 12.3-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor, PDAF, a large f/2.0 aperture and 1.55-micron pixels. Both sport an 8-megapixel front camera with a Sony IMX179 sensor, an f/2.4 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels.

(Also see: Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL: All You Need to Know)

As rumoured ahead of the launch, Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones will only come in 32GB and 128GB storage models. Google has specified however that both smartphones have access to unlimited storage for full-resolution photos and videos via Google Photos. The Android 7.1 Nougat-based Pixel smartphones will come with a USB Type-C port and will include the 3.5mm audio jack. The Google Pixel smartphone will come with 24×7 customer care feature which can help resolve issues on the device real-time. Pixel users will have access to a toll free phone support number along with 54 walk in service centres across over 30 cities in India.

At the event, Google also unveiled the Daydream VR headset, Chromecast Ultra with 4K HDR, Google Wifi, and a price tag for Google Home, its Amazon Echo competitor.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the launch discussed the company’s efforts with artificial intelligence and machine learning to build tools like the Google Assistant. To recall, the Google Assistant was first unveiled at Google I/O, and has already reached the general public with the Google Allo instant messaging app. Rick Osterloh, the new head of Google’s newly formed hardware division, introduced the presence of Assistant in two new surfaces – in the context of the Pixel phone, and the Google Home speaker.

Disclosure: Gadgets 360’s travel and hotel for the event in San Francisco were sponsored by Google.

Google Pixel

Google Pixel

Rs. 57,000

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.6GHz

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

12.3-megapixel

Battery capacity

2770mAh

See full Google Pixel specifications
BUY AT
  • Flipkart
    Google Pixel (Quite Black, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 57,000
  • Flipkart
    Google Pixel (Very Silver, 128GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 66,000
Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL

Rs. 67,000

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

1.6GHz

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1440×2560 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

12.3-megapixel

Battery capacity

3450mAh

See full Google Pixel XL specifications
BUY AT
  • Flipkart
    Google Pixel XL (Very Silver, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 67,000
  • Flipkart
    Google Pixel XL (Very Silver, 128GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 76,000
  • Flipkart
    Google Pixel XL (Quite Black, 128GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 76,000

Subscribe to Orbital: The Gadgets 360 Podcast via iTunes or RSS and just hit the play button below to catch us discuss Pixel phones and all other announcements from Google’s event on Tuesday.

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Google Play Music Service Finally Comes to India

Google Play Music Service Finally Comes to India

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google Play Music is live on Android and the Web
  • Users can purchase songs and albums individually
  • A song costs Rs. 15 while an album will charge you Rs. 100 – Rs. 200

It has been a long time for the users in India waiting for Google to introduce its Play Music service in India. And the wait is finally over. Google has quietly opened its Play Music store in India, with songs and albums now available for purchase. The Play Music was rumoured to launch back in July but it didn’t happen at that time. Notably, the subscription service – known as Google Play Music All Access – is not yet available in the country.

The news comes after the Google for India’s event on Tuesday where the company launched a bunch of apps and new features suited for the Indian users. However, there is no official announcement by Google India to add to the same on its blog. With the new Play Music service, Google will enter the digital music market in India to compete with the likes of Apple’s iTunes and Airtel’s Wynk Music.

Google Play Music doesn’t let you stream music as of now, with no Google Play All Access subscription plan, no radio, and podcasts services in India. You can only buy songs and albums individually on the app. With no support for streaming, Google may fall behind Apple Music, Saavn, and Gaana that currently occupy the streaming market in India.

Detailing on the pricing, Google Play Music hosts individual songs of the genres like Bollywood, regional, Indian Pop, and International starting Rs. 15 per song, while an entire album costs within the Rs. 100 – Rs. 200 range. You can preview the tracks and pay for them as per your suitability using your debit/ credit card, or with Google Play cards.

The Web version of Play Music is also live with a support for Google Chrome extension for desktops in case users want a player app. Interestingly, the Play Music app on iOS didn’t let us successfully sign into the app, suggesting the service might roll out on iOS platform later. Users can also upload music via Google Play Music on the web – users will be required to download the Music Manager app, which then allows you to upload files from your computer, or playlists via iTunes and the Windows Media player. Users will then be able to listen to the uploaded music anywhere once they sign into the Google Play Music service, whether on Android or the Web.

Tags: Google Play Music, Google India, Play Music, Saavn, Apple Music, Play Music India
[“Source-Gadgets”]