Windows XP Refuses To Die, Android Apps Are Everywhere, & More… [Tech News Digest]
Windows XP clings on, Arc Welder apps incoming, OnLive is now OnDead, killing Kinect for Windows, streaming music through Rithm, and watching how elders react to an emotional video game.
Windows XP Still Massively Popular
Windows XP is still refusing to die, despite continued attempts to get people to move on from the ancient operating system. According to the latest statistics from Net Applications, 16.94 percent of people accessing the Internet via desktop operating systems during March used Windows XP.
While this is a drop from the 19.1 percent recorded in February, it still means XP is more popular than Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 combined, which together account for just 14.07 percent of users. XP is second only to Windows 7, which dominates proceedings with a market share of 58.04 percent.
We have continually urged people to upgrade from Windows XP , which is now 13 years old and counting . The need to upgrade (or switch to Linux ) became critical when Microsoft ended support for XP in April 2014, meaning the operating system no longer receives security updates.
If you’re still using Windows XP please do yourself a favor and move on to something newer, more modern, and (crucially) more secure. Between us we can kill XP off once and for all, hopefully by the time Windows 10 arrives later this year .
Arc Welder Adds Android Apps to Chrome
Writing this from Android Tweetings on my Chromebook C720P courtesy of Arc Welder. Pretty freaking cool. Biggest problem? Updates…
— Paul O’Brien (@PaulOBrien) April 2, 2015
Android apps will soon be compatible with any desktop operating system capable of running Chrome. This means that anyone using Chrome OS, Windows, Mac, or Linux will gain access to the thousands of Android apps currently available on Google Play.
This is thanks to ARC Welder, a new Chrome app Google has initially released as a developer preview. ARC Welder converts any Android app into a Chrome app, meaning they can be used on a host of other operating systems. Only a handful of apps have so far been ported to ARC, but the release of ARC Welder means that number is sure to increase exponentially.
ARC Welder is at a very early beta stage, so it’s far from perfect. Some of the Google Play Services are still missing, meaning apps which use them will simply crash. However, it’s clear that Google is working towards making Android and Chrome act as one, which should be a boon for users of the tech giant’s products and services.
OnLive Shuts Down, Sells to Sony
OnLive, which was one of the first attempts to make streaming gaming a reality, is shutting down, with the service going dark on April 30. This comes five years after OnLive launched with ambitions to change the way we game . OnLive may have failed, but streaming gaming is far from dead.
Sony is buying OnLive’s impressive portfolio of patents, having already purchases rival service Gaikai in 2012. Sony used the Gaikai infrastructure to build its own PlayStation Now service , and the OnLive patent portfolio should ensure the Japanese company stays one step ahead of the competition.
A Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesperson said of the deal, “These strategic purchases open up great opportunities for our gamers, and gives Sony a formidable patent portfolio in cloud gaming. It is yet another proof point that demonstrates our commitment to changing the way gamers experience the world of PlayStation.”
Microsoft Kills Kinect for Windows
Every time I hear a Kinect mic I feel like I’m talking to R2D2.
— Glitter (@AeonGlitter) April 3, 2015
Microsoft is no longer selling Kinect for Windows, pointing developers to the Xbox One version instead. No more Kinect for Windows v2 sensors are being produced, with Microsoft consolidating the technology by only selling Kinect for Xbox . This should help the company keep up with demand for the sensors.
The two sensors are “functionally identical,” with the Kinect Adapter for Windows all that’s required to use the Xbox One version on a PC or tablet running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. Microsoft cites “unprecedented demand from the developer community for Kinect sensors” as the reason for focusing on producing just one unit.
Rithm Is a Music Streaming Messaging App
Music messaging app Rithm has struck deals with several major record labels to allow it to transition into a lightweight music streaming service. Rithm formerly only allowed you to send short clips of songs to other users, but those willing to pay for the privilege can now send full songs.
At a cost of $3.99, Rithm users will be able to listen to all of the songs in their chat history. They will also be able to listen to 40 additional songs stored in a playlist, with 60 swaps allowed every month. This is, therefore, no Spotify replacement, but it’s a cheaper option for those who have narrow musical tastes.
The new version of Rithm is [No Longer Available].
Watch Elders Play The Last Of Us
And finally, video games tend to be a pastime for the young and middle-aged, but not elders. This video proves as much, as these older men and women struggle to get to grips with one of the best games of the last generation, The Last Of Us on PlayStation 3.
The Last Of Us is a highly emotional, story-driven game which sees someone die during the prologue. It’s also very cinematic, with gameplay switching seamlessly from an acted scene to a playable scene. All of which makes this particular game a revelation to elders.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you still using Windows XP? If so, why? Are you planning on upgrading anytime soon? Are you pleased to see Android apps coming to Chrome? Are emotional, story-driven titles such as The Last Of Us the future of gaming?
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: Georgia Reading via Flickr