Yesterday, the internet went wild when Dell published specs for its latest laptop that included a reference to a new Windows 10 version: “Windows 10 Home Ultra.” ZDNet, Thurrott (premium content), and Forbes were quick to report, dissect, and offer up possibilities, but it wasn’t long before Microsoft put out an official statement: “There is no new version of Windows called Windows 10 Home Ultra.”
Noticeably, that leaves a lot of wiggle room for a new version of Windows by a different name. Technically if the company released “Windows 10 Ultra”, that statement would still be valid.
That’s what makes Microsoft’s latest blog post all the more interesting. What started as standard affair covering new laptops and devices turned into a description of a new modern OS. Microsoft laid out a vision for the future where new devices would require a modern OS that provided “enablers and delighters.”
Microsoft clarified “enablers and delighters” as an OS that updates in the background, invisibly and without interruption. It went on to describe an OS that is “secure by default” with separation between “state” and “operating system.” Other buzzwords included “always connected,” “cloud-connected,” and “sustained performance” (a reference to battery life).
The word you don’t see in the two paragraphs describing this new modern OS is “Windows.” It’s a curious omission, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft won’t name this OS Windows, we’ve been reporting on Windows Lite and Windows Core for some time now, and they could fit the bill.
We’ll have to wait for Microsoft to move from vague talk of a vision to future to concrete details of a vision for now to learn more. [Microsoft]
In Other News:
- Amazon sold an unannounced phone to a lucky buyer: Motorola has a new phone coming, the Moto Z4. The company hasn’t announced it yet, but we know about it because Amazon briefly listed it for sale and delivered it to somebody quick enough to hit that buy button. The buyer was kind enough to upload an unboxing video so check that out. [CNET]
- The new Echo Show is a cute little thing: Today Amazon announced a new Echo Show coming in late June. It sports a 5-inch screen and a physical shutter for its camera that you can easily see in the closed position. Given its size, Amazon likely intends this for your office or bedroom as opposed to the kitchen. The device is on sale now for $90 undercutting the Google Nest Home Hub. [The Verge]
- Now you can delete Echo recordings with your voice: We think Google leads the pack when it comes to voice assistant privacy, but Amazon is stepping up its game. Rolling out today, you’ll soon be able to delete your recent voice recordings by asking Alexa. You can either say “delete what I just said” or “delete everything I said today.” Just a straight “delete everything I ever said” isn’t in the cards right now, but here’s hoping. Unfortunately, the voice commands are opt-in. Nothing’s perfect. [Engadget]
- Twitter wants a new Tweeter in Chief: Are you good at Twitter? No wait, are you amazing at Twitter? The company is looking for someone to take over the @Twitter handle, and it laid out the requirements on its careers page. Refreshingly there’s no mention of degrees and plenty of requests for passion, writing capability, and social savviness, which is sensible. [Twitter]
- Intel’s laptop prototype is a wild, transforming, dual-screened beast: Asus’s Zenbook Pro Duo is almost old news, Intel has a concept that puts its dual-screen setup to shame. Rather than just sticking a second screen right above the keyboard, this laptop can also stand up. An extra hinge between the keyboard and screen means it can fold upwards, raising the two screens. Asus’s saving grace? This “honeycomb glacier” device is just a proof of concept. [The Verge]
- Google teases upcoming info about Stadia: Stadia, Google’s upcoming game streaming platform, has a lot of unknowns. What games will it support? How much will it cost? When will it launch? What hardware is needed (if any)? The list goes on. The official Stadia Twitter account says information for pricing, games, and launch details are coming soon—not soon enough if you ask us. [Variety]
- Another day, another hack—this time it’s Flipboard’s turn: Flipboard, the news aggregator service, announced that intruders made their way into the company’s servers and stole email addresses, user names, and encrypted passwords. The hackers had access for about nine months, and the company is taking the usual steps of resetting passwords and hiring outside help. [CNET]
- Google rolls out new dining and translation features to Lens: Google’s Lens app is getting a few new tricks up its sleeve. Soon, you’ll be able to point your camera at a menu, and the Lens app will feature favorite dishes that other restaurant goers have enjoyed. You’ll see reviews, photos and more. If you’re travel frequently, you may enjoy the next new feature, point your camera at a sign or menu and the Google Lens translates the text for you. Pretty neat! [Digital Trends]
For years, the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) set the standards for HTML and its future iterations. But Apple, Mozilla, and Opera disagreed with the group’s direction in the past and formed a group called Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG).
That group led to a change in direction: where the WC3 had intended to move HTML to XHTML (a variant of HTML formatted like XML), we ended up with HTML5. The browser vendor group changed over time (it’s now composed of Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft, and Google), but it continued to push for its direction over WC3’s. Often the browser vendors would include new standards before WC3 had officially approved them.
Now WC3 is handing over HTML and DOM standards to that group, giving these large companies control of future web standards. On the one hand, WC3’s approval had almost been a formality for some time now, and this puts an end to a distracting tug of war. On the other, plenty of people will be wary of the big four browser companies having so much power over the future of the web. [ZDNet]