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Today in Tech News Digest, switching from Windows XP to Chrome OS, forcing Facebook Messenger, Project Ara developers, Comcast named “worst company in America,” Apple iWatch rumors, and an Easter PSA from Goldieblox.

Google Urges XP Users To Try Chrome OS

With Microsoft having ended support for Windows XP Windows XP: What's Happening To It Now? Windows XP: What's Happening To It Now? Windows XP may be dead, but it's not yet gone. Over 27% of computers connected to the Internet still run Windows XP. Here's exactly what "end of support" means for Windows XP systems. Read More , those people still using the aged operating system need to jump ship or risk becoming a target for cybercriminals and digital ne’er-do-wells. Google is offering a solution: switch to Chrome OS.

In order to persuade XP orphans that Chrome OS is the way to go, Google is offering sizeable discounts for enterprise customers. Firms buying hardware through Chromebooks for Business can get $100 off each managed device running Chrome OS, and $200 off of a VMware DaaS (Desktop as a Service) subscription is purchased at the same time.

VMWare DaaS VMware Virtualization Brings Windows Apps And Desktops To Chromebooks VMware Virtualization Brings Windows Apps And Desktops To Chromebooks Google comes together with VMware in move to bring you the best of both worlds – the low cost of ownership with a Chromebook, and the use of Windows as a virtual service. Read More enables Chrome OS users to run Windows apps in a virtual environment, so it’s a good option for those wanting to break away from Microsoft without losing access to its software.

Whether enterprise customers will turn away from Windows in droves remains to be seen, but Google is doing all it can to position Chrome OS as a viable alternative How To Try Google Chrome OS On Your PC How To Try Google Chrome OS On Your PC How many times have you been approached by a friend or family member who says that they really have very little use for a big, powerful computer, since all they do with it is check... Read More .

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Facebook Forcing Messenger Use For Chat

In order to chat to people through Facebook on your mobile you will soon be forced to download the standalone Facebook Messenger app Facebook Messenger Upgrades With Group Creation & Message Forwarding Facebook Messenger Upgrades With Group Creation & Message Forwarding Only available for iOS at the moment, the new Facebook Messenger comes with the ability to easily create groups, as well as forwarding IMs to other people. Read More . This is as a result of the social network stripping the messaging tab from Facebook for iOS Facebook For iPhone: The Review We Should Have Written By Now [iOS] Facebook For iPhone: The Review We Should Have Written By Now [iOS] The Facebook app of today isn't the same app it was when it was first released. It's a new kind of monster with extra features and a sexier design. Yes, it has the same basic... Read More and Facebook for Android Faster, Leaner, Better - Alternatives To The Android Facebook App Faster, Leaner, Better - Alternatives To The Android Facebook App Oh, the joys of having social media available to us at any time of day thanks to the advent of the smartphone. Facebook has always been (at least on the surface) about connecting with your... Read More .

According to TechCrunch, some users are already being notified of the change, with the rest set to follow. Eventually, the vast majority of mobile Facebook users will be required to download Facebook Messenger in order to continue chatting to friends.

This has been in the works for some time, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg having explained his reasons for the forthcoming change as long ago as November 2013. He suggested that “having it [Messenger] as a second-class thing inside the Facebook app makes it so there’s more friction to replying to messages, so we would rather have people be using a more focused experience for that.

Still, there is sure to be huge criticism of this move, as there is every time Facebook changes something without consulting its users first Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion] Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion] If you haven't yet switched your Facebook profile over to the new Timeline then the chances are Facebook is getting rather insistent that you do. And it's no wonder. It's been 8 months since Timeline... Read More .

Project Ara Detailed In First MDK

The jury is still out on whether modular smartphones have a future, but Google is forging ahead with its plans for Project Ara. The company has just released the first Project Ara MDK (Module Developers Kit), which defines the base design and details the customization options open to developers.

The first Project Ara Developers Conference is taking place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California on April 15 and 16. The final MDK is due to be released by the end of 2014, at which time Project Ara Project Ara Arrives, Apple Hates Snow Leopard, Nintendo Kills Multiplayer [Tech News Digest] Project Ara Arrives, Apple Hates Snow Leopard, Nintendo Kills Multiplayer [Tech News Digest] Project Ara is happening, Apple ends support for Snow Leopard, Nintendo ends support for online multiplayer on Wii and DS, Sony to close most stores, Facebook retires email service, and retro games invading Adam Sandler. Read More will — if it’s ever going to do so — come of age.

Comcast Is “Worst Company In America”

Comcast has been named the “worst company in America” by The Consumerist. The website invites its readers to vote for which company deserves the Golden Poo award each year, and Comcast managed to win the 2014 vote by beating out Monsanto, SeaWorld, and Walmart.

This is the second time Comcast has won the negative accolade, matching EA which won it consecutively in 2012 and 2013. This year, however, EA lost out to Time Warner Cable in the first round despite the Dungeon Keeper controversy Flappy Bird Disappears, Snowden Web Crawler, Dungeon Keeper Ratings [Tech News Digest] Flappy Bird Disappears, Snowden Web Crawler, Dungeon Keeper Ratings [Tech News Digest] Flappy Bird is no more, Edward Snowden's methods revealed, the Moon may be mined, EA's dodgy Dungeon Keeper ratings system exposed, Pinterest updates mobile website, and Shingy the Digital Prophet is a hit. Read More and the SimCity debacle SimCity 2013 - The Tale Of a Terrible Launch & a Terrific Game [MUO Gaming] SimCity 2013 - The Tale Of a Terrible Launch & a Terrific Game [MUO Gaming] SimCity was one of the first PC games I ever played when it was first released in 1989 - I was just 7 at the time. You'll understand then why this game holds a particularly... Read More .

iWatch Priced At “Several Thousand Dollars”

Apple is expected to release its first foray into the emerging wearables market 5 Alternatives To The Apple iWatch That Are Already Available 5 Alternatives To The Apple iWatch That Are Already Available Rumors that Apple is developing a smartwatch have caused a wave of new interest in this relatively small and obscure market. What is a smartwatch? Do they already exist? What can they do? These are... Read More later this year, and we’ve already been treated to much speculation about the end product. However, there is always room for more, right?

As reported by MacRumors, KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo has revealed his best guesses on the iWatch. He thinks it will ship in two different sizes, 1.3-inches and 1.5-inches, both of which will feature “flexible AMOLED displays with sapphire covers.” He also suggests biometric sensors as standard, a “fashionable appearance,” integration with other iDevices, and wireless charging functionality.

This all meshes with previous rumors, but where Kuo differs is in his prediction of pricing. He suspects there will be low-end and high-end offerings, meaning “the most expensive model of the iWatch line will carry a price tag of several thousand US dollars.” More than a MacBook Pro with Retina Display So What's The Deal With The New MacBook Pro? So What's The Deal With The New MacBook Pro? Read More ? That seems unlikely, even for Apple.

GoldieBlox Shows “Brain On Engineering”

And finally, GoldieBlox is continuing its effort to dispel the myth that little girls are only interested in playing with dolls and dressing up as princesses. Because, shock horror, some girls prefer more geeky pastimes 8 Of The Biggest Geeks On Twitter (Who Just Happen To Be Girls) 8 Of The Biggest Geeks On Twitter (Who Just Happen To Be Girls) Geekdom has long been perceived as the domain of men, with teenage boys who are fascinated by technology and Star Wars becoming grown adults who are obsessed with technology and Star Wars. While it's true... Read More .

The latest ad from the interactive toy company is an Easter PSA which plays on the “This is your brain on drugs” message from the 1980s. Just with “drugs” having been replaced with “engineering.” Clever.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: Flyshoe via Flickr

  1. Vinayaga M
    April 11, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    The last video featuring GoldieBlox Advertisement is just awsome :)

  2. Tom W
    April 10, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I wonder if the move to require Facebook Messenger will remove the requirement of having Facebook installed in order to use Messenger? The way I understand it, the dedicated Messenger app is little more than a wrapper that relies on functionality in the Facebook app for pretty much everything. Not that it would bother me much. I use the Facebook mobile site rather than the app, and IM+ if I want to chat to Facebook friends. I prefer to use Facebook chat as an IM-type rather than as an Email-type.

    Anytime I see someone reporting on Apple rumours, I take the stance of believing it's linkbait unless there's significant evidence otherwise.

    That GoldieBlox advert is fantastic. It's always refreshing to see original ads, especially ones sending out a positive message.

    • Dave P
      April 13, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      You may have hit the nail on the head re: Facebook Messenger!

      We don't normally cover rumors but the overly pessimistic price point convinced me this one was interesting enough for readers. Not linkbait though, certainly in our case.

      I agree, it's a fantastic ad.

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