Google Bashes Windows 10, Amazon Opens a Bookshop… [Digest]
Google compares Windows 10 to XP, Amazon trolls physical bookshops, Twitter chooses Hearts over Stars, Gmail can now reply to your emails automatically, and the World of Warcraft teaser trailer.
Google Mocks Windows 10 Design
Google has mocked Windows 10, with one of its executives tweeting a couple of lighthearted but trollish barbs aimed squarely at Microsoft. Windows 10 has been out for several months now, but it appears to have taken Google a while to actually catch up…
Matias Duarte, Google’s Vice President of Design, compared Windows 10 unfavorably with Windows XP . He launched his attack on Windows 10 with the following tweet, which suggests he has been using out a Surface Pro 4 to test out the competition.
I just setup a Surface 4 & Windows 10 – not sure why I was excited to try a new thing, it's basically XP with a flat design skin. #FutureNot
— Matías Duarte (@MatiasDuarte) November 2, 2015
Duarte followed this up with another zinger, this time suggesting Windows 10 was a throwback to the past. This despite Windows 10 not looking anything like XP, and clearly taking cues from Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
#Windows10 ? More like Windows 10 years ago!
— Matías Duarte (@MatiasDuarte) November 2, 2015
This is all rather ironic seeing as Google has been accused of copying Microsoft. Chrome OS feels a little like Windows XP, just with a much simpler interface. As for the Pixel C … what’s that if it’s not a Surface Pro with Google’s logo stamped on it?!
Amazon Opens a Physical Bookshop
In an odd turn up for the books (no pun intended), Amazon is opening a physical bookshop in Seattle. The bookshop will act as a “physical extension” of the online retailer’s business, stocking the most popular books at the same price as the Amazon.com website.
The Amazon bookshop will also sell Amazon hardware, including the Kindle and the Fire TV . A total of 5,000 books will be stocked at any one time, with titles chosen on the strength of customer ratings, Goodreads reviews, high sales, and the opinions of those running the shop.
Traditional booksellers are none too happy with this move, and, on the surface at least, it does seem a rather odd one. However, with this shop, Amazon can increase sales of popular books, and ensnare people into its ecosystem . And that’s just for starters. So perhaps it’s not that dumb of an idea after all.
Twitter Likes Being Mainstream
— Twitter (@Twitter) November 3, 2015
In an effort to appeal more to mainstream users, Twitter has killed Favorites and replaced them with Likes. The icon has changed too, with the Star that used to accompany a Favorite being replaced by a Heart to signify a Like. Despite a Heart signifying Love more than Like to anyone with even half a brain.
This change has gone down about as well as a fart in an elevator with existing Twitter users. The reason being that Favorites were being used in all manner of different ways, but mainly as a means of bookmarking a tweet for later. Changing Favorites to Likes has narrowed their use to just one thing.
However, there is method in Twitter’s madness. Twitter’s Favorites were an ambiguous part of the user experience, which creates a stumbling block for new users when they first encounter them. Therefore, at a time when Twitter is struggling to find new users, removing a feature whose purpose is open to interpretation makes perfect sense.
Gmail Replies to Your Emails
Anyone using Inbox by Gmail can now use Smart Reply to take some of the work out of managing their emails. Smart Reply offers up to three responses to any email, with you just needing to select one and send it with a single tap.
Smart Reply uses machine learning to identify patterns in incoming emails, and offer set responses to those emails. Options include, “I’m working on them,” and “I’ll send it to you,” both of which could be all that’s needed in a work environment.
Smart Reply will be added to Inbox by Gmail on Google Play [No Longer Available] and on iTunes [No Longer Available] later this week.
Watch the Warcraft Movie Teaser
And finally, we have the teaser trailer for Warcraft, Duncan Jones’ new movie based on the World of Warcraft games. It’s only 15 seconds long, and is there merely to direct people towards watching the full trailer when it drops this Friday (6th November). But still.
In the short teaser we get to see some of the epic CG scenes, with different races going to war. It conjures up memories of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, both of which are beloved by fans of the fantasy genre. Warcraft is set to be released in theaters on June 10th, 2016.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Does Google have a point about the design of Windows 10? What is Amazon playing at by opening a physical bookshop? Are you at all bothered by Twitter changing Favorites to Likes? Will you be using Smart Reply within Inbox by Gmail? Are you excited by the World of Warcraft teaser trailer?
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.