The Windows 10 countdown has begun, KickassTorrents is still kicking ass after all, Spotify cozies up to advertisers, smartwatch sales are in decline, and the NES Classic Edition gets the ad it deserves.
Windows 10 Gets a Countdown Timer
The final countdown to you missing the Windows 10 boat has officially begun, with Microsoft literally counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until it pulls the free rug out from under your computer desk. Yes, Project Fear has entered its final stage.
Microsoft has spent the past year trying to tempt Windows loyalists to upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to the all-new, shiny, sparkling Windows 10. And it has enjoyed some success, racking up a userbase of 350 million people. However, that’s a long way from its goal of 1 billion devices running Windows 10 by 2018, a target the company admits it can no longer hit.
— Jesse Garcia (@IntuneWithIT) July 20, 2016
So, now, just one week away from the end of the offer to upgrade for free, Microsoft is ratcheting up the pressure. The result? A countdown timer popping up on the computers of all those who haven’t yet upgraded, as first spotted by InfoWorld. It’s scaremongering of the highest order, and it will probably work too.
However, it’s important to remember that nothing bad will happen if you don’t take Microsoft up on the offer to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. You can still buy Windows 10 down the line if you change your mind. And, contrary to what visions the countdown timer is likely to embed in your head, your PC won’t explode at midnight on July 29. At least we don’t think it will…
IsoHunt Fights For KickassTorrents
Yesterday we detailed how the U.S. authorities had taken KickassTorrents offline, arresting the man alleged to be running the site, and seizing the domains. However, 24 hours later, and KickassTorrents is back kicking ass, with some help from isoHunt.
IsoHunt, another big player in the world of torrents, has launched an unofficial mirror of KickassTorrents. It looks like KickassTorrents, it feels like KickassTorrents, it even has a dedicated domain which we won’t be linking to. So, KickassTorrents is alive, yes? No.
KickAssTorrents, Pirate Bay, Isohunt.
Thank you for helping me procrastinate throughout my vacation.
— ? (@YousifCyanide) June 29, 2016
This is just a simple mirror, and while it does contain everything hosted on KickassTorrents over the past 18 months, there are no forums and, subsequently, no community. There is, however, a “Manifesto” detailing the arrest of Artem Vaulin, and requesting people sign petitions and spread the word.
It remains to be seen how long isoHunt’s KickassTorrents mirror remains online, but it’s certainly an interesting twist in the tale so far. If you want to check the site out for yourself then follow the link from VentureBeat. However, we do not, and cannot, condone piracy.
Spotify Starts Targeting Ads At You
The ads you hear on Spotify are about to get a little more personal, with the company now selling targeted advertising. Spotify calls this “programmatic buying,” and it has already launched on a global scale. This only affects Spotify Free, so maybe now is the time to consider upgrading to Spotify Premium.
What it essentially means is buyers of the 15- and 30-second spots can “target audiences by age, gender, genres and playlists – all in real time”. Which sounds more dramatic than it actually is. In reality, it just means Spotify Free users are more likely to hear ads that actually interest them.
No One Buys Smartwatches Anymore
Were you one of those people arguing that smartwatches would be a brief craze that died out within months? If so then consider yourself at least partly on the road to redemption, as the latest sales figures from IDC suggest that smartwatches are already on their way out.
Shipments are down 32 percent year on year, with vendors only shifting 3.5 million smartwatches worldwide in Q2 2016 compared to the 5.1 million shipped in Q2 2015. Apple is still the market leader, but it also suffered the biggest drop, selling just 1.6 million units this quarter compared to the 3.6 million is sold this time last year.
Apple will bounce back, of course, enjoying another lift upon the release of the Apple Watch 2. However, such a sharp decline in interest in a market this young suggests smartwatches just aren’t going to take off in any big way while their form factor remains the same. Shame.
The NES Classic Edition Ad Is 80s Cheese
And finally, the world went a little crazy last week when Nintendo unveiled the NES Classic Edition. After all, here is a tiny replica of the Nintendo Entertainment System, pre-loaded with 30 classic games, and all for $60! What more could any self-respecting gamer want in life?
And now we have the first ad for the NES Classic Edition, which is suitably cheesy to reflect its 1980s origins. It looks and feels like an ad from the 80s, with a garish color palette competing with naff special effects. And yet it somehow makes me want one of these even more.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will you be upgrading to Windows 10 within the next week? How much longer will the KickassTorrents mirror remain online? Are you upset that Spotify is selling your listening habits to advertisers? What are the chances of you buying a smartwatch in the next 12 months? Have you pre-ordered an NES Classic Edition already?
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.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: Christian Schnettelker via Flickr