Multiple Versions of Windows 10, People Still Pay for AOL Internet, & More… [Tech News Digest]
Windows 10 versions, AOL Internet subscribers, Wal-Mart copies Amazon, Wolfram identifies images, Type Drummer makes music, and if social networks started dating.
Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Versions
Microsoft has officially revealed all of the various versions of Windows 10 that will be available to purchase. And while there aren’t quite 10 SKUs, as would befit the name, there are at least seven different versions (or editions), which is six more than absolutely necessary.
Desktop users can choose between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, with Windows 10 Mobile (Goodbye, Windows Phone! ) aimed at phones, tablets, and other touchscreen devices. Then there is Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for larger businesses and organizations. Finishing up with Windows Education for schools, and Windows 10 IoT Core for low-cost devices.
Microsoft reiterated, “For the first time ever, we are offering the full versions of Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Pro as a free and easy upgrade for qualifying Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year after launch. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.”
Windows 10 is meant to be the one operating system to rule them all , working across a full range of devices . However, while all of these versions will share the same core and access to universal apps, there are still distinct differences depending on individuals’ requirements. Having said that, seven versions (plus a few more minor variants) seems a little OTT.
People Still Pay for AOL Internet Access
In the week that Verizon has announced it’s buying AOL , it has been revealed that over 2 million people still pay AOL for old-school Internet access. As revealed by the most recent quarterly earnings call, 2.15 million people still pay AOL an average of $20.83 every month for dial-up.
This is less than it used to be, with 233,000 people having come to their senses over the past year, but it’s still a shockingly sizable number of people. Even worse, The Consumerist suggests that 75 percent of these people don’t even use it for Internet access, instead paying the fee to keep an old email address alive. Or, more likely, they’ve simply forgotten to ever cancel.
For those in rural parts of the United States who are still reliant on dial-up for Internet access, you have our sympathy. Not that you’ll be reading this anytime soon because of loading times. But the rest of you really need to move on, and please upgrade from Windows XP while you’re at it.
Wal-Mart Copies Amazon Prime
Me: I'm sick of Facebook. It's like the Walmart of social media.
My Mom: I like Walmart.
My Dad: They got good fishin stuff.
— Justin Kintzel (@justinkintzel) May 10, 2015
Wal-Mart is planning to challenge Amazon with its own version of Prime. According to Reuters, the American big-box retailer will charge regular customer $50-per-year for unlimited online shipping. Selected products will reach customers within three days.
The retailer will be testing its version of Amazon Prime with selected invitees this summer, evolving the service “depending on customer feedback.” While Wal-Mart is undercutting Amazon by a significant margin, Amazon Prime customers get a lot more than free shipping .
Wolfram Website Identifies Images
— Michael J. Metts ? (@mjmetts) May 13, 2015
Stephen Wolfram, the genius behind Wolfram Alpha and other amazing technologies, has launched ImageIdentify, a new website which can automagically identify objects from images. You simply add an image of something you need to identify, and the Wolfram Language does the hard work.
Millions of images were used to train ImageIdentify, and while it still doesn’t get it right 100 percent of the time, it learns every time you use it. So, right now it’s more fun that useful, but in time it could become an essential tool for anyone seeking to identify anything or anyone in an image .
Type Drummer Turns Words Into Music
This should keep you guys entertained for about three minutes. http://t.co/HSQ4xaribj
— MaryCatherine Finney (@mickfinney) May 8, 2015
Type Drummer turns your words into music, quite literally. In this simple writing tool, each letter of the alphabet has been assigned a percussion sound. So, whatever you write creates a unique drum beat that repeats once you reach the end of your sentence.
It’s definitely fun for five minutes , but it could also be used to beat writer’s block by giving you a reason to write. You can also share beats with friends, so if you stumble across a particularly funky groove, you can save it for posterity.
If Social Networks Started Dating
(Video is NSFW)
And finally, YouTube star Emma Blackery, most famous for her very sweary Thoughts on Google+ video (NSFW), has imagined what kind of dates various social media sites would make. And, whether or not you agree with her conclusions, she has clearly picked up on the vibe at each of these sites.
Instagram is obsessed with food, Facebook is obsessed with babies, Snapchat is in a hurry, Tumblr is full of people getting offended by everything, Twitter wants you to follow it around everywhere, and Google+ is just a pitiful wreck . See? Scarily accurate. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What version of Windows 10 will you be buying? Do you know anyone who still pays for AOL dial-up? Would you use Wal-Mart’s Prime-style shipping service? Which social networking site would you most like to date?
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.