Also, Microsoft teases Windows 9, 4 million iPhone 6 preorders, Kickstarter expands, Surge is back, and you can text Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Microsoft Buys Minecraft Maker Mojang
Microsoft has bought Mojang for $2.5 billion. Mojang is famous for creating Minecraft, the insanely popular gaming phenomenon which has captured the hearts and minds of adults and children alike. Mojang was founded in 2009 and employs around 40 people. While the acquisition will undoubtedly bring changes, Microsoft has promised to “continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.”
As part of the deal, all three Mojang founders will leave the company, including Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson. He explained his reasons for selling up in a letter to fans, concluding, “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.” Microsoft taking over control of the franchise has upset many in the Minecraft community, so the company will have to tread carefully if it wants to retain the huge fanbase that prompted it to spend that amount of money in the first place.
The worst thing Microsoft could possibly do is rename Minecraft. Neither Bing Block Building Game or Windows 8-Bit Graphics Simulator 2.3 have got quite the same ring to them.
Apple Releases U2 Album Removal Tool
After receiving a barrage of complaints for daring to give Songs of Innocence away for free, Apple has released a removal tool that lets you delete the U2 album from your iTunes account. SOI Removal lets you click a button to remove Songs Of Innocence, essentially letting you opt out of this offer.
Apple makes it clear the album is “free to everyone until October 13, 2014 and will be available for purchase after that date.” So, only remove it if you definitely won’t want to own it in the future, or it will end up costing you money. Which is most disagreeable when most reviews have suggested it’s really not worth paying for.
Microsoft Announces Windows 9 Press Event
Imagine if Minecraft came free with Windows 9, like Solitaire…
— Duncan Geere (@duncangeere) September 15, 2014
Microsoft has announced a press event for Sept. 30, with all signs pointing towards this being a true unveiling of Windows 9 AKA Windows Threshold. Microsoft is inviting journalists to, “Join us to hear about what’s next for Windows and the enterprise,” with the Windows Technical Preview likely to be on display. Yes, the same Windows Technical Preview that has already leaked online, but it’ll be nice to see something more official.
Apple Sells 4 Million iPhones In 24 Hours
The iPhone 6 may not have piqued everyone’s interest, but 4 million people were engaged to such a degree they pre-ordered the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the first 24 hours. This is a new record for the iPhone, beating the 2 million who pre-ordered the iPhone 5 as soon as it became available two years ago. It’ll be interesting to see how many went for the larger iPhone phablet, especially as the regular iPhone 6 isn’t exactly small.
Kickstarter Comes To Four More Countries
Kickstarter: When your parents are sick and tired of giving you money for your stupid ideas.
— Sara Wright (@SaraWright89) September 16, 2014
Kickstarter is now available in four more countries, with budding entrepreneurs in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Ireland invited to join the community. They can start creating their projects today, but they won’t be launched until Oct. 21 at the earliest. Just remember to think of something more useful than a potato salad. Please.
Surge Is Back, Thanks To Facebook Campaign
Coca-Cola has re-released Surge after a Facebook campaign urged the company to bring the syrupy soda back from the dead. Surge was discontinued in 2002, but a Facebook fan page called Surge Movement has led Coca-Cola to start selling it again via Amazon. Each 16-ounce can serves up 230 calories, 62 grams of carbs, and 56 grams of sugars, suggesting this isn’t the healthiest of drinks, but we’re not your mother, so sup away!
Text Groot From Guardians Of The Galaxy
WE are Groot.
— Ricky Robinett (@rickyrobinett) September 15, 2014
And finally, Groot is by far the best thing about the Guardians Of The Galaxy movie. This despite him having similar depth to that of Hodor from Game Of Thrones. And now, thanks to Twilio employee Ricky Robinett, you can text Groot and enjoy a one-sided conversation with the tree-man-thing. The number to text is (866) 740-4531, but it remains to be seen how long it remains active due to the sheer number of people who will try it. [H/T TechCrunch]
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
What is your immediate reaction to Microsoft buying Minecraft maker Mojang? Will you be deleting the U2 album from your iTunes? What do you hope to see Microsoft include/exclude in Windows 9?
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.
Image Credit: Andrew Beeston via Flickr