Microsoft Brings Bloatware to Android, Time Inc. Buys MySpace… [Tech News Digest]

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Microsoft persuades smartphone manufacturers to install apps, Time buys MySpace, online dating is a growing trend, find out what dog breed you most resemble, and Hardcore Henry, the movie that looks like a video game.

Microsoft Bloatware Lands on Android

We have all come to expect bloatware on PCs, unless you can build one from scratch to avoid all of that junk. However, smartphones are increasingly being sold overladen with bloatware that most people neither need or want. And even if they did, they could just, I don’t know, install it themselves without feeling forced to do so.

The latest company to reap the benefits from bloatware is Microsoft, which has announced it now has deals in place with 74 companies. These manufacturers, which includes Sony, Samsung, LG, and ASUS, have all agreed to pre-install Microsoft apps on their Android smartphones. The apps in question include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype.

Microsoft is talking this up as a good thing for you and I, saying the pre-installation of these apps “increase the value of those devices by delivering the rich productivity experiences customers want.” However, we suspect most people will disagree with that assessment, and would prefer instead to choose which apps they install by themselves.

There are two options for those who want to avoid this. 1. Buy a Google Nexus device, which comes free of bloatware. 2. Switch from Android to iOS, which is filled with unwanted Apple apps rather than unwanted Microsoft apps.

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Time Gets MySpace In Viant Deal

Time Inc. has bought MySpace, kind of by accident. The is-that-really-still-a-thing social network came as part of Time’s acquisition of Viant Technology, a data marketing company based in California. Details of the deal have not been revealed, but Time expects Viant to contribute $100 million in digital ad sales over the course of 2016.

MySpace is the part of this deal which interests and intrigues us. MySpace started out as a huge deal, being bigger than Facebook for a long time. News Corp then bought MySpace in 2005, paying $580 million for the social network. Users abandoned the site in droves, and News Corp eventually offloaded it to Viant for just $35 million in 2011.

So, what would Time want with the failed platform? Well, it gains access to the entire email database of users past and present, which is a goldmine for a data marketing company. And there are still tens of millions of people visiting MySpace each month, giving Time a new outlet to promote content from its properties, which include Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, and People.

Online Dating Is Massively Popular

Online dating is becoming an increasingly popular pastime, with 15 percent of all American adults having used an online dating website or mobile dating app. This is according to a Pew Internet survey of 2,001 people conducted in June and July of 2015.

The survey found that 12 percent of adults have used a dating website, while 9 percent have used a dating app. In 2013 these figures were just 9 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Notably, the growth has been most pronounced in 18- to 24-year-olds (from 10% to 27%) and 55- to 64-year-olds (from 6% to 12%).

The majority of those surveyed agreed that online dating is “a good way to meet people,” is more likely to “find a better match,” and is “easier and more efficient than other ways”.

What Dog Breed Do You Look Like?

what-dog-net-screenshot

Have you ever wondered what breed of dog you most closely resemble? No, neither have I. However, that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from creating a website enabling you to do just that. What-Dog.net invites you to upload a photo of yourself, and then matches you with a particular dog breed. Thus, your canine twin is revealed.

This is just the latest in a line of similar websites created by Microsoft. The first, How-Old.net guessed your age based solely on your picture. Then there was TwinsOrNot.net, which found your celebrity doppelganger. But no one cares about age and celebrities when dogs are are around. I just hope cats are next on the agenda.

Hardcore Henry Feels Like a Video Game

And finally, video games and movies are very different beasts. While both forms of art and entertainment in their own right, video games are designed to be interactive, while movies are things to be admired from afar. However, Hardcore Henry combines the two to create a new genre of film.

Hardcore Henry tells the story of Henry, who is resurrected from the brink of death. The story is so-so, but it’s the first-person perspective employed throughout that makes this something special. Hardcore Henry, which is due to be released in theaters on April 8, 2016, should appeal to gamers of all persuasions.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Do you use any Microsoft apps on your smartphone? Do you still use MySpace? Have you ever used online dating? What dog breed do YOU look like? Will Hardcore Henry kickstart a new genre of movies?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Gareth Rushgrove via Flickr

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