Microsoft's Newest Gambit
Microsoft has begun throwing it's weight around in a way that might be a little terrifying for some windows users. As of now they are actively blocking windows updates on systems with newer processors that also have older versions of windows. If you're on windows 7 or 8.1 and have a Kirby Lake or Ryzen processor, you now have to make the choice between upgrading to windows 10 or forgoing the system updates that help keep your machine secure. If you don't upgrade, you also won't have access to Microsoft's automatic driver updates and system optimizations. While the motivation for this move by Microsoft can be guessed at, here's the official line:
"As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,” a Microsoft spokeswoman told PCWorld last September. "This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon."
Microsoft has a history of forcing users to take certain actions on their PCs. It's an attitude that makes sense from a business perspective - users who don't update or do other things makes the Windows products look bad and costs support dollars - but in a technological world with big data, bad federal legislation, and the general snooping of police type agencies, being railroaded into making a purchase for your PC feels like more of the same. If an OS works on my machine and is still being updated (some OS's no longer receive updates) then I should be able to use it and receive those updates, compatibility not withstanding.
*The opinions in this article are solely those of the author and not those of TAW or any other body.
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Nintendo kicked us all in the childhood this week when they announced that they will no longer be producing the NES Classic Edition.
"We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability," Nintendo said in a statement. "We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product."
The console costs $60 from retailers but is hard to find. The prices on ebay and other third party sites will make you cry some more. Get 'em while you can folks, if you can.
This March, the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo's newest console, sold 906,000 units. In the same period, Nintendo's new Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, sold 925,000 copies. The ratio of games sold to systems sold for a particular game and system combination is known as the "attach rate." Not only is an attach rate of 100% incredibly rare, but one higher than 100% points to...what exactly? 19,000 gifts? Do people buy backup copies of their video games? Is there a new line of drink coasters featuring Link and friends? Maybe, but according to a Nintendo representative, the company believes that this unusual attach rate is due to people buying two copies; one collector's edition to hold on to, and one copy to play. The way sales numbers are tracked makes it impossible for anyone to know precisely what's going on, but it's pretty cool to see Nintendo breaking records 34 years after its first console release.
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