Windows 10 subscriptions are not coming (yet), Google names Android N Nougat, Apple bullies Spotify into submission, Amazon announces Prime Day on July 12, and a bonkers man builds a bonkers bazooka.
Are Windows 10 Subscriptions Coming?
Windows 10 is currently available as a free upgrade to anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Time IS running out though, with the free upgrade offer ending on July 29, 2016, a year after Windows 10 was first released. After that, Windows 10 will cost you at least $119.99. But will it also cost those who upgraded for free?
There has been much speculation about Microsoft charging a subscription fee for Windows 10 down the line. After all, Windows 10 has been designed to be THE final version of Windows, with updates allowing it to stay current for the next decade. So, Microsoft could start charging for updates from some point in the future.
This speculation has come to the fore again recently with the discovery of a file called “UpgradeSubscription.exe” in Build 14376. A right-click on the Properties reveals this is a “Windows Upgrade to Subscription tool.” Right now, nothing happens when the file is executed, but that might not always be the case.
ZDNet, which discovered the file, reached out to Microsoft for clarification on the nature of the file. The company issued a brief statement saying:
“The Windows Upgrade to Subscription tool, found in the latest Windows Insider builds, helps to manage certain volume licensing upgrades from Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update to Windows 10 Enterprise. This binary file is not associated with the free consumer upgrade offering nor is it applicable to consumer Windows editions.”
That seems pretty unequivocal, at least as far as this file goes. However, we still don’t know what Microsoft’s longterm plans are regarding Windows 10. No one does. Which is something to bear in mind if you’re planning to upgrade to Windows 10 for free before the end of this month.
Android N Is Nougat Not Nutella
Google has finally announced the name of Android N, after months of teasing us with the various options, and even letting people suggest their own names. The clear favorite amongst fans was Nutella, but Google has instead opted to call the latest version of Android, Nougat. Which we can only assume was always on the cards.
What’s in a name? Nothing whatsoever, as this is just the name for a particular strain of Android, and it makes no difference whatsoever to the actual product. However, some Android names have stuck in the public consciousness more than others, with KitKat resonating particularly well. Which makes the decision to go with Nougat rather than Nutella a strange one.
Still, it’s the operating system that actually matter, and Android Nougat brings with it a host of new improvements. This includes improved battery life, and a split-screen multitasking mode. Google previewed Android N in March (read our full rundown here), and it’s due for release to compatible devices later this year.
Apple Holds Spotify to Ransom
Spotify has accused Apple of using “the App Store approval process as a weapon” against it. According to Recode, this is due to Apple allegedly blocking Spotify from releasing a new version of its iOS app unless and until the music streaming service agrees to use Apple’s billing system.
The argument centers on Apple’s insistence that subscription-based services charge customers using its own billing system. This would be fine, if it wasn’t for Apple taking a 30 percent cut of all monthly fees paid in this way, which means Spotify would be handing $3-a-month to Apple for doing nothing other than offering Spotify on iOS.
Spotify previously got around this by passing Apple’s fees onto its customers (charging $13-per-month instead of $10-per-month), but after Apple launched a direct competitor in the form of Apple Music, Spotify is justifiably less keen on playing ball. Which has now led to Apple refusing to allow Spotify to update its app, basically harming everyone concerned.
It looks like both companies are digging their heels in, and it’s likely going to be up to lawyers to sort out the mess.
Amazon Prime Day Launches July 12
Amazon has announced the date of its second annual Prime Day, with the huge sales event happening on July 12. There will be countdown deals available in the week running up to event, and on Prime Day itself 100,000 products will have their prices cut temporarily.
As the name suggests, Prime Day is only open to Amazon Prime subscribers, and last year’s inaugural event was responsible for an uptick in people joining the $99-per-year membership scheme. Last year’s event was held to commemorate Amazon’s 20th birthday, but was successful enough to persuade the company to turn it into an annual event.
The good news for those who haven’t yet signed up for Prime is that the 30-day free trials grant you access to Prime Day deals. Which is just one of the many benefits to joining Amazon Prime. For those already in, Prime Day has its own dedicated page on the Amazon homepage.
Man Builds Bonkers Laser Bazooka
And finally, lasers can be both awesome and scary, in pretty equal measure (see lightsabers). And this new laser bazooka proves that assessment by being, yep, you guessed it, both awesome and scary. It’s awesome because, well, look at it! And it’s scary because it could take your eye out with ease.
Made by laser enthusiast Drake Anthony, this thing is a 200W laser cannon infinitely more powerful than any laser you will have been exposed to until now. And that’s the problem. Should this thing be legal to make and own? After all, not everyone is as sane as Drake Anthony. [H/T Engadget]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you think Microsoft will start demanding payments for Windows 10? What do you think of Google naming Android N Nutella? Which company out of Apple and Spotify is in the right? Will you be searching for a bargain on Amazon Prime Day? Would you ever want to own your own laser bazooka?
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: Karlis Dambrans via Flickr