Monday, July 6, 2015

Windows XP Is Almost Dead

Greece Cut Off From Online Economy & More… 

XP expires, Greece struggles to pay, Microsoft announces Minecraft for Windows 10, Amazon promises Prime Day, Lifetime launches online video, and a floppy version of The Star-Spangled Banner.

XP Users Jump Ship to Windows 7

Windows XP is almost dead, as, according to Net Applications, just 12 percent of computers are now powered by the aged operating system. Windows 8.1 is now installed on more than 13 percent of computers, which means, for the first time ever, Windows 8.1 is more commonplace than XP. 
However, Windows 8.1 isn’t the major beneficiary of the XP exodus, as most former XP users have switched to using Windows 7 instead. In April 2014, when Microsoft ended support for its beloved OS, XP had a market share of 26%, Windows 8.1 had 6%, and Windows 7 had 49 percent. In June 2015, XP had 12%, Windows 8.1 had 13%, and Windows 7 had 61%.
This may seem odd given that Windows 8.1 is the latest version of Windows, but switching from XP to 7 makes more sense for most users. It also helps that Windows 10 is a free upgrade for anyone with a genuine copy of Windows 7, making a temporary jump to Windows 8.1 absolutely unnecessary.
Now we just need to persuade that 12 percent of hangers-on to jump ship from XP and the world will be a much better place.

Beware Greeks Bearing Credit Cards

At the time of writing, Greece is suffering a rather complicated financial crisis which threatens to plunge Europe into crisis. Other Europeans are trying to help by funding a bailout through an Indiegogo campaign, but the country needs billions of dollars rather than mere millions. Suffice to say, things aren’t looking good.
One of the unforeseen consequences of Greece’s financial crisis is Greeks being barred from involvement with the online economy. This is due to the capital control laws recently enacted, which are designed to prevent people moving all of their money from Greek banks to overseas accounts.
The capital control laws also prevent Greeks from making credit card payments to other countries. Unfortunately, this means that Greeks who pay for services from Apple and other foreign companies have encountered problems, with monthly subscription fees blocked from going through.
Losing access to PayPal and the ability to buy music on iTunes obviously isn’t the biggest problem being faced by the average Greek citizen right now. However, it is annoying, both for the affected users and the companies involved. And the whole thing is further damaging Greece’s international reputation.

Windows 10 Gets New Version of Minecraft

Windows 10 is getting its own version of Minecraft, with Mojang announcing Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition. Minecraft for Windows 10 will be launched alongside the new operating system, becoming available as a beta from July 29th.
This version of the insanely popular game is based on Minecraft: Pocket Edition, with gamers able to play offline on their own or online against others. Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition will be free to existing owners of the PC game, and $10 for everybody else.

Amazon Prime Day Launches July 15th

Amazon is celebrating 20 years in business, with the online retailer launching on the World Wide Web in July 1995. To commemorate the occasion, Amazon is launching Prime Day, its own unique version of Black Friday. After all, what the world really needs is another day designed to make people buy stuff they don’t need with money they don’t have.
Prime Day will be held on July 15th, and, as the name suggests, it’s only open to Amazon Prime customers. If you’re a Prime subscriber in the US, the UK, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, or Austria, Amazon loves you. If you’re not a Prime subscriber, or live anywhere else in the world, Amazon really doesn’t care for your kind.
The event will mirror the company’s Black Friday efforts, with new deals being added every 10 minutes. This means you could grab a product you’ve been eyeing up at a bargain price, but it could also make you buy something you neither need or want just because it’s cheap. Which is good for Amazon and good for your credit card company, but bad for you and everybody else.

The Lifetime Movie Club Offers Nostalgia

Lifetime, an American TV network known for airing schmaltzy, made-for-television dramas, has launched The Lifetime Movie Club. This is a subscription-based video-on-demand service offering around 30 original flicks for a monthly fee of $3.99.
The Lifetime Movie Club is currently available on iOS devices, with an Android version being launched in the fall. Which gives me just enough time to give up all my other hobbies in preparation for watching endless melodramas every single day. /sarcasm.

The United States of Floppy Drives

And finally, this past weekend was very much the dream weekend for any proud American. On Saturday, it was Independence Day, and on Sunday, the U.S. team won the Women’s World Cup. The land of the brave and the home of the brave, and all that jingoistic jazz.
As many of our readers (and a fair proportion of our writers) are American, this video seems rather fitting for a Monday morning. Yes, it’s The Star-Spangled Banner being played on eight old floppy disc drives, and it’s magnificent. [H/T Gizmodo]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you still using Windows XP? Are you excited about Minecraft for Windows 10? Will you be buying stuff you don’t need on Amazon Prime Day? Would you ever subscribe to The Lifetime Movie Club?
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 Credits: Hydropeek via Flickr   Source:

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