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editorial articles

The Cornerplay: Microsoft overpaid for Minecraft by $700 million

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Microsoft is acquiring Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5 billion. I’ve got mixed feelings about the transaction.  The press is speculating that Microsoft is acquiring Minecraft so it can “tap into a cultural phenomenon” and entice players to Microsoft’s platforms. I don’t buy either explanation.

Neowin: Is Windows Phone about to go big?

Neowin: Is Windows Phone about to go big?

If you’ve been reading the news recently you might be forgiven for thinking that Windows Phone is in a very dire situation, and that Microsoft could even abandon it in the near future. IDC, for instance, reported that Microsoft’s mobile OS…
Op-ed: Are we ready for 4K?

Op-ed: Are we ready for 4K?

The rest of the industry is finally catching up to what smartphone and tablet owners already knew: people want high resolution, high pixel density displays. It’s ridiculous that even in 2014, the majority of mainstream laptops being sold feature a display resolution that’s...

Xbox One: Entertainment hub first, gaming console second - but can it disrupt TV?

Xbox One: Entertainment hub first, gaming console second - but can it disrupt TV?

Tech companies have been trying for years to get broadcast behemoths to change their ways and there’s been a good bit of progress. But it’s not enough. Technology is simply outpacing the traditional broadcast model. Something’s gotta give. Could the Xbox One be the catalyst for change that we’ve all been hoping for?

The Xbox One is now poised to become a huge mainstream success if Microsoft plays their cards right and even more so if they can get broadcast executives on board with their vision.

Editorial: My PC is my Next-Gen Console

Editorial: My PC is my Next-Gen Console

There was a moment on Sunday when I thought the PC gamers had been hiding something from me. They'd been telling me that PC gaming wasn't the complicated hobby that it used to be, that it was more streamlined and less of a pain. They'd told me that I didn't need to be an auto mechanic if I didn't want to be, that I could just drive without ever flipping up the hood.

And yet there I was trying to be a PC gamer on Sunday and having a tough time of it. I was feeling stymied yet again. I was having what I now hope are my last doubts, because today I've just about run out of excuses to fear PC gaming.

Editorial: Adobe's Flash Updater is Bloated and Shady

Editorial: Adobe's Flash Updater is Bloated and Shady

Being one of the most prolific sources of security vulnerabilities in Windows and other platforms, Adobe Flash Player needs no introduction. In spite of that reputation, and the fact that the rest of the industry is moving away from Flash, Microsoft surprised many of us by bundling the software with its operating system for the first time with Windows 8. This is after previously announcing that they wouldn't allow Flash in the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 -- a decision the company later reversed.

I was glad when the Adobe Flash Player Updater was released in March. Finally the day had come when our machines would be silently updated with the latest Flash version... or so I thought. It'd just seem Adobe is making all possible efforts to make its software more bloated and less attractive to all consumers, here's why.

AMD: The Rise, Fall and Future of an Industry Giant

AMD: The Rise, Fall and Future of an Industry Giant

There is no single event responsible for ousting AMD from its lofty position in early 2006. The company's decline is inextricably linked to its own mismanagement, some bad predictions, its own success, as well as the fortunes and misdeeds of Intel.

AMD has long been subject of polarizing debate among technology enthusiasts. The chapters of its history provide ample ammunition for countless discussions and no small measure of rancour. Considering that it was once considered an equal to Intel, many wonder why AMD is failing today. However, it's probably fairer to ask how the company has survived so for long -- a question we intend to explore as we revisit the company's past, examine its present and gaze into its future.

Editorial: Has Windows Search Got Any Better Over The Years? Hint: It Hasn't

Editorial: Has Windows Search Got Any Better Over The Years? Hint: It Hasn't

Last weekend I was feeling a bit nostalgic and fired up Windows 2000 on my home computer. Win2k has a special place in my heart. Sadly, due to planned obsolescence it's no longer possible to use this fantastic operating system with the latest software available.

Be that as it may, what annoys me even more are the "improvements" made to Windows search through the years. The search box in Windows 2000 is very powerful, there are no cute animations and there are no exclusions. It's just no-nonsense search, as you would expect it to be. I'm afraid to say, Windows search has got worse, and not better over the years, 8 included.

Touring Microsoft, Sony and Apple Stores on Windows 8s Launch Day

When Microsoft launched Windows 8 last week, it was the culmination of a long wait. For most folks, it was a rather jarring thrust into the future. For better or worse, the operating system that introduces the touch-oriented Metro UI to the Windows environment had arrived.

No one is more excited about the launch than Microsoft. The company has launched pop-up holiday stores at malls across America to promote the new OS and the Surface RT. I had a chance to check in with one at Aventura Mall in Miami, Florida.

Opinion: The subscription MMO is dead - long live free to play?

Opinion: The subscription MMO is dead - long live free to play?

The era of the subscription-based online game has well and truly ended in 2012. It had a good run, really. Fifteen years is quite a long time for anything to stay static in the land of gaming. Ultima Online introduced the idea back in 1997, when those of us who had internet access were mostly still on dial-up and got booted off...

Editorial: Why I Left Facebook After 7 Years, But Was Forced Back In

Editorial: Why I Left Facebook After 7 Years, But Was Forced Back In

The early days of Facebook were much different from now. The site layout and profile pages were very basic, and the young and reckless didn't have to worry about family members or employers stumbling across their questionable photos.

But as Facebook closes in on one billion active users, its overwhelming success is mostly why I've decided to end my long-standing relationship with the social network. Seven years is a long time to maintain any online account, much less one that demands almost daily attention.

Editorial: Why Windows 8 Start Menu's Absence is Irrelevant

Editorial: Why Windows 8 Start Menu's Absence is Irrelevant

Although every product deserves healthy criticism, many opinions of Windows 8 seem to be based on misconceptions, especially when it comes to the viability of Metro as a Start menu replacement. For the record, I don't care if you skip the update -- hell, I might pass on it too -- nor do I care if it's the most failtastic operating system in Windows' 26-year history.

However, I believe your opinion should be formed by facts, not irrational rhetoric parroted online by so-called power users and companies that want to sell you third-party programs. The truth is, functionally speaking, Metro is basically identical to the Start menu.

Opinion: Microsoft Surface - The Good, the Ugly and the Unknown

Opinion: Microsoft Surface - The Good, the Ugly and the Unknown

Out of nowhere, Microsoft had an announcement to make. Nothing concrete leaked ahead of the event except that it would be tablet-related. Everybody was skeptical, myself included.

The presentation began and it seemed like more of the same. Don't call it a tablet -- it's the new "Surface"… boring. It's thin, but not much more than existing tablets. It has a kickstand... umm ok. A magnetic cover -- yeah, we’ve seen that somewhere before. Oh, and it doubles as a super-thin keyboard. Wait, what?

Building the perfect ultrabook and where PC makers are wrong

Editorial It appears as though we're just now arriving to that sweet spot where fewer compromises can be made to build fast and svelte machines that are budget-friendly, all at the same time. However, it's easy to miss what a true next-generation ultraportable notebook should be.

Manufacturers are short-sighted if they only focus on building fast machines that weigh 3 pounds or less, without putting design and user experience at the core of their future developments. Here are some key aspects where I believe PC makers should focus and where some are already failing on their first try to deliver a killer ultrabook.