Also, Cortana is being baked right into Windows 9, the FCC announces net neutrality round table discussions, Microsoft unveils a $25 Nokia feature phone, and discover what happens when you Like everything on Facebook.
Microsoft Pits Surface Pro Against MacBook
Microsoft sees its Surface Pro tablets as all-in-one devices capable of doing almost anything you care to throw at them. This is somewhat true, with the Surface being a cross between a tablet and a fully-fledged Windows laptop. Unfortunately, this unique positioning hasn’t translated into huge sales.
The company is now employing a new strategy for selling the Surface Pro to consumers. Taking a leaf out of Apple’s playbook with spots mocking the old PC vs. Mac adverts, Microsoft has released a trio of commercials pitting the Surface Pro 3 against a MacBook Pro.
One sees Microsoft comparing the two directly in a head-to-head battle, one talks up how powerful and capable the Surface Pro 3 is, and one suggests an Apple fan would have to carry a MacBook, an iPad, and a paper notebook to enjoy the same freedom as the Surface 3 user.
This is a rather audacious move on Microsoft’s part, going straight for Apple’s jugular in the hopes it will force consumers to sit up and take notice of the Surface. It might work too, as while the Surface Pro isn’t good value compared to an iPad, it is good value when compared to a MacBook Pro. And price is an important factor in all purchasing decisions.
Google Chromebooks Are On The March
Good to know Chromebook coders can spell, eh? Oh. pic.twitter.com/NFi8CIyzQp
— Angela Alcorn (@smange) August 10, 2014
The Google Chromebook is on the march, with sales rising, and Gartner predicting that trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Chromebook sales are expected to rise to 5.2 million units by the end of 2014, and then triple to 14.4 million units per year by 2017.
This is an impressive rise from nowhere, but it’s still a drop in the ocean when measured against total PC sales of 308 million for the year. Interestingly, a large percentage of Chromebook sales came in the education sector, which might help Google in the years to come as kids being exposed to Chrome OS on a daily basis now become the consumers of the future.
Cortana Integral Part Of Windows 9
It’s looking likely that Cortana will be baked into Windows 9, currently codenamed Windows Threshold. Neowin is reporting that Cortana has survived into the earliest stable builds of Microsoft’s next operating system, which suggests it will be included in the final release.
Cortana is Microsoft’s personal assistant which is currently available on Windows Phone 8.1 and which has already managed to capture the heart of our own Christian Cawley. Cortana is expected to be fully integrated into Windows 9, with her familiar circle being retained for desktops. As long as she isn’t given a face as in Halo, as that would just be creepy.
FCC Hosting Net Neutrality Round Tables
Before making a decision on net neutrality, FCC needs to get out of DC and hold public hearings across the country. https://t.co/tQtT1A7G4j
— EFF (@EFF) August 11, 2014
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced plans to hold six round table discussions around net neutrality and the open Internet. The sessions will be held on Sept. 16, Sept. 19, Oct. 2, and Oct. 7. All are free and open to the public, and will be streamed live online at fcc.gov/live.
Considering that over 1 million comments were sent to the FCC about net neutrality, there is not only a great deal to discuss, but the live streams could be insanely popular. Let’s hope the tubes can cope with the traffic.
Microsoft Unveils $25 Nokia Phone
Microsoft has unveiled a $25 feature phone called the Nokia 130. As basic feature phones go, the 1.8-inch Nokia 130 is extremely capable, with an MP3 player, an FM radio, an SD card slot, and an impressive battery life. Still, it’s bizarre to see Microsoft selling such a low-powered device.
Microsoft expects the Nokia 130 to “begin shipping in the third quarter of this year,” and it’ll be available only “in select markets, including China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.” Which is a shame as I wanted one. It is only $25, after all!
How Facebook Turned Likes Into Hate
There is NEVER a valid reason to like your own status on Facebook.
— Barney Stinson (@BarneyStinsonHI) August 12, 2014
And finally, Facebook isn’t the only one capable of carrying out experiments on its platform, as Wired writer Mat Honan recently demonstrated. Honan decided to Like everything he saw on Facebook for 48 hours, the result being Facebook becoming a site he dreaded visiting.
A few Likes can help mold Facebook into a place you’ll love, but too many Likes and that love will turn to hate. There’s surely a lesson to be learned here, but I can’t quite figure out what it is. Answers on a postcard please.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Do you think Microsoft is sensible in pitting the Surface Pro against the Apple MacBook? Will Chromebooks continue growing in popularity? What are your thoughts on Windows 9 at this moment in time?
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: Karlis Dambrans via Flickr