Microsoft

Protect your privacy in Windows 10 – Free

I just received this from O&O Software and it’s just one of the many reasons I feel it necessary to steer clear of Windows and Microsoft.

The all-new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update brings a lot of new features, and aims to make your daily work as easy and hassle-free as possible. This enhanced comfort is to be taken with a grain of salt though: Windows 10 quite freely shares your personal data with Microsoft and certain apps.

An operating system that spies on you and needs 3rd party tools to stop it sending information back home isn’t worth having.

O&O ShutUp 10

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So it’s time for a paradigm shift in the world of computers

So it’s time for a paradigm shift in the world of computers. In the past I’ve worked for companies that were Microsoft partners, that were Microsoft centric and some that were a mix. A previous web company did a lot of their dev work on Unix machines and even hosted sites on Unix servers, but they had a heavy mix of Windows machines and most of the desktops were Windows machines.

Recently, I switched over to a new company and for the first time in my career, I’ll be exclusively using a Mac. They embrace Open Source and over the years have shifted further and further away from MS products. Today I was given a new MacBook Pro and it’s the only machine I’ll get. It’s the same type of machine everyone else in the office has. The only difference is some are MacBook Air while others are iMac computers. Oh my goodness, this is incredibly different for me. I’ve used Macs in the past, but never as the sole workstation. I have to admit, I feel out of my element.

There is no semblance of Windows here. No Windows workstations, no Exchange Server for email and no AD.

The first order of business is to get used to this environment. I’ve wanted to get a Mac for the longest time and now I’m fully committed. The UI is a bit foreign to me and I’m having a bit of trouble getting around. The main thing I struggle with is where programs are installed. Just where do they go? I know there is no drive concept and it’s all part of the root, but it takes some getting used to.

Another issue is program selection. Some of the tools I’ve come to love and rely on aren’t available anymore. OneNote for Mac is vastly different. Why the devil can’t I save files locally?

I already miss DisplayFusion and ClipboardFusion. Oddly, I sort of miss Outlook as well. I’ve moved over to use the built in Mail client for OSX. It seems decent, but oh my goodness, does it look and feel different.

I also have to get used to the different keystrokes. There is a Control key, but it work the same way. That Command key will be my new friend. Where the devil is PgUp and PgDn?

What the hell is up with this Magic Mouse? This thing is weird!

This is going to be an interesting journey, not only because it’s a new company and a new roll, but going All-In on a Mac. No safety net, no way to jump over to Windows if this doesn’t work out. I have the Mac and that’s all there is to it. I have to make this work. I assume since everyone else here works this way I can adjust, might be a few bumps in the road for me as I change my way of thinking and doing.

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Minecraft sold for $2.5 Billion to Microsoft

I have to say I’m terribly disappointed that Mojang sold Minecraft to Microsoft. While I’m happy for Notch and the rest of the gang for their rags to riches story, I truly believe this is the death knell for Minecraft. It may not happen tomorrow, or next week, or even within a couple of month, but I firmly believe that Microsoft is going to strangle the life out of Minecraft. I don’t see them continuing the Java development nor do I see them continuing their cross-platform development. Microsoft isn’t a fan of Java so turning Minecraft into a C# app seems the next step. This of course will kill it off the Mac version and derail any future iOS development. I’m sure Microsoft has no interest in keeping the Android development going. It seems like Minecraft will be developed for the desktop with all the bloat that comes with .NET development. Additionally, Minecraft will be pushed to the Xbox One and Windows Mobile.

I don’t think for a minute that any of the devs are going to stick around. Notch has already switched off the lights and has gone home. With that sort of money they’re just handing over the keys and walking away. I think development as we know it is dead. I just don’t see Microsoft adhering to the spirit of what made Minecraft and Mojang so damn great. They reveled in the low resolutions graphics, the paltry system requirements, the mods, the random servers, the community based support. In fact, this is everything Microsoft stands against. In many ways this acquisition doesn’t make any sense. I hope Minecraft has a long and prosperous life under it’s new overlords, but I have a feeling it won’t make it past it’s first birthday.

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Microsoft in talks to buy Minecraft for estimated $2 billion

So, I’m seeing all these stories pop up with news of Microsoft putting an offer of $2 billion on the table to buy Minecraft creator Mojang. That is a serious amount of money I don’t care who you are, and if this goes through, it would be an amazing rags to riches story for Markus Persson (Notch). Just think of it, he develops this game to make a little money on the side and not only does it catch on, it turns into a phenomenon. It’s not just some little game that kids are playing, adults flock to the banner and start to build some amazing structures that rival the pyramids of Egypt. Not only that, the game gets modded like crazy so that not only do you have infinite blocks, you get infinite variety. And he did it all without the help of any big publishing company. Notch didn’t turn to the likes of EA or anyone else and published the game completely independently. That is something to behold on it’s own in this day and age. Now Microsoft wants to swoop in. While I envy the amount Notch will get and wish him all the best, I really hope Microsoft doesn’t get their hands on this game.

I’m a huge fan of Minecraft. I love the way it works and what it has to offer. I don’t play it nearly enough and I completely suck at building things, but I love the game all the same. My problem is, Microsoft doesn’t have a good track record with games and the game companies they buy. We need to look no for further than Age of Empires, Rise of Nations or any one of the dozens of games that Microsoft kicked to the curb in the recent past. Age of Empires was an insanely successful game which Microsoft shelved and disbanded. Go look up the history of Ensemble Studios and Big Huge Games. Both created blockbuster games for Microsoft and both are completely defunct now. Microsoft developed a big following in the game industry then shut it all down.

To be blunt, they shouldn’t be trusted. I have no doubt Microsoft will kill off development for Minecraft on iOS and PC development will take a back seat to the Xbox One. All the dev time will go into making Miencraft a success on their mobile platform because Microsoft doesn’t have anything else going in that arena. Microsoft has made some strides in embracing iOS, but we know they’re doing it begrudgingly and will drop it like a hot potato as soon as they can. I feel Minecraft will be wrenched out of our hands and all those mods and changes we’ve come to know and love will get shut down. This isn’t Microsoft bashing, this is based on past history. Microsoft has brought in great companies with amazing games and flushed them down the toilet. I would love to see Notch get one truckload of cash after another for all the work he’s done, but I really don’t want the messenger to be MS. They ruin companies and it would be a damn shame to see them get their dirty hands on Minecraft only to kill it off within the next year or so.

Sad to say, but the same would happen if EA got their hands on this game. They ruin games just as badly as Microsoft does and they don’t know how to put out anything except one Madden title after another. Look at how messed up Need for Speed is these days.

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Microsoft Studios Weekend at Steam – All Games on Sale

Well check this out, another sale has just started over at Steam and this time it’s games that Microsoft has published. Now, before you go and scoff, there are some worthwhile titles out there. For example, you can now pick up the brand new Rise of Nations Extended Edition for $9.99. You can also grab Age of Empires HD for $4.99. The new Zombie shooter, State of Decay is also $4.99 with the Expansion Packs coming in at $1.74 for Breakdown and $3.74 for Lifeline.

There is also an interesting game called Toy Soldiers which I’ve never seen before. From the trailer, it looks like an interesting spin on a Tower Defense. For $1.99 I can hardly go wrong in getting a copy. I’ve also been curious about Deadlight, a zombie runner that seems to be getting quite a few good reviews. It’s only $2.99, so for the cost of a couple of Coronas I might that add to my cart as well.

Looks like it could all be pretty interesting. To me the big news is Rise of Nations and Age of Empires, but since I already have those, I might have to go for some of these other titles. Looks like a fun weekend coming up.

 

Microsoft Studios Weekend at Steam

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