Microsoft announced today a new plan to donate $1 billion worth of cloud computing services to nonprofits, charities, and universities over the next three years, alongside a new plan to bring broadband to underserved areas.
The idea, explains Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a blog post, is to give access to the computing power afforded by public cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure even to those nonprofits and charities who otherwise might not be able to afford it.
Read more: Microsoft is donating $1 billion in cloud computing services to charity
Apple just sent out an email alerting customers that iTunes Radio, the company's answer to Pandora, will no longer be free as of January 28th. "All radio stations except for Beats 1 will be available exclusively to Apple Music members," the message reads. So listening to Zane Lowe and Apple's other hired DJs will still cost nothing. But if you want to hear radio stations based on an artist or genre of music you like, doing so will require a $10 / month subscription to Apple Music. Many Apple Music stations are curated by its "expect" music team, though user-generated stations are typically assembled by algorithms, similar to Pandora. The company is still offering a free three-month trial for new Apple Music customer, just as it's done since the premium service first debuted.
Read more: Apple will start charging for iTunes Radio on January 28th
PC shipments crashed in 2015’s holiday quarter, with sales dipping by more than ten percent worldwide compared to the same period in 2014. The year as a whole did not fare much better with overall shipments declining below 300 million units sold, a first since 2008, and figuring as the worst decline to the industry on record.
The launch of Windows 10 did little to stem the recent trend of decline that’s had the PC industry in its grip for the last few years. In fact, many would argue, the launch of Windows 10 was a direct contributor to the smaller volume of sales in 2015, with it being a free upgrade that could prolong a device’s life.
PCs also continued to face stiff competition from smart devices like phones and tablets, albeit this had a smaller effect than in previous years with those markets slowing down as well. However, IDC’s data, on which this report is based, does not count detachable tablets, or 2-in-1 devices, as regular PCs. If those numbers were to be added in the overall decline for 2015 would come in at -7.5%.
Read more: PC market crashes in 2015 with biggest decline on record
Ever watch Iron Man and think to yourself: “Hey, where’s my artificially intelligent digital assistant from the future?” It looks like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had that exact experience recently, as he just announced on Facebook that he’s looking to create his very own J.A.R.V.I.S.
According to a recent post, Mark Zuckerberg is challenging himself to create his very own digital assistant, almost from scratch. The young billionaire said this is part of his personal challenge for 2016, as he codes and teaches the software to recognize his voice, control his devices around the home and help him with his work. Zuckerberg also wants the AI to use face recognition to allow his friends in the house, for example.
Read more: Mark Zuckerberg wants to build his own version of Iron Man's J.A.R.V.I.S.
Microsoft has had a huge year thus far with the release of WIndows 10. While the number of installations has without a doubt grown since we last checked, Microsoft has also announced a new milestone that saw a staggering 2.5 billion visits to its Windows Store.
While the above number certainly does not translate to purchases, it is still a staggering amount of people that have visited the store. In fact, Microsoft states that on Black Friday, 75% of of the customers that visited the store made their first purchase. The number likely coincides with Microsoft's "10 Days of 10 Cent Deals" promotion that offered apps, music, games and movies priced at just 10 cents.
Read more: 2.5 billion visits to the Windows Store since launch of Windows 10