The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week March 23 -- 29
Microsoft has flirted with Apple's iPad on a couple of occasions this week. Early on in the week there was the case of a 12-year-old girl who wanted nothing more than an iPad Mini. Microsoft stepped in and managed to convince her that the Surface 2 was the way ahead. Way to spin! But this was not the big Microsoft-iPad news. In a move that many saw as almost sacrilegious -- but one that was welcomed by just about the same number -- Microsoft Office, finally, made its way onto iPad. This wasn't the only release from Microsoft this week -- the source code for early versions of MS-DOS and Word for Windows was made publicly available. Having faced criticism for the way it approached a recent investigation, Microsoft pledged that it would no longer read customer emails during the course of an investigation without getting law enforcement involved.
Windows XP may be in its death throes, but this isn't going to stop people from using it. To help keep these hardy fellows safe, Malwarebytes announced that it would keep its users protected for life. It's not just XP that Microsoft is lowering into the grave, Office 2003 also finds itself six feet under. As the door on XP closes, another one opens -- or closes, depending on how you look at it. The purchase of Nokia's Devices and Services division is due to close in April after initially facing some delays.
While Joe bemoaned the DRM crippling of his music collection, fears were mounting that changes to tax laws in the UK and Europe could lead to an increase in the cost of digital downloads. But while the cost of apps and MP3s might be on the up, the cost of life in the cloud is dropping -- hooray!
This weekend sees the first gay marriages taking place in the UK, but in the world of software developers boycotted Firefox after it was suggested that the new CEO is opposed to same-sex nuptials. Security was breached at Basecamp when a huge DDoS blocked access to the site which found itself held to ransom by the attackers.
HTC took the wraps off the latest additions to the One range -- the HTC One (M8), and Mihaita felt the accompanying ad was a little cocky. Odd happenings in South Korea saw the Galaxy S5 being sold by mobile operators two weeks ahead of the official launch. To help young people save up the money needed to invest in a new handset, Spotify introduced a new lower pricing structure for students. Facebook, on the other hand was throwing cash around like it was going out of fashion, chucking $2 billion on virtual reality startup Oculus VR.
This was an interesting week for wearable tech. I previously talked about (ok, moaned about) the pointlessness of most wearable tech, inadvertently pre-empting Google's defense of Google Glass. In sticking up for a product that hasn’t even launched yet, it did feel as though Google was suffering from a case of "the lady doth protest too much", but a few days later it all became clear as the company announced it was joining forces with the firm behind Ray-Ban. It's almost as though Google has been laying the groundwork... but then I am a big cynic! But as if to prove it's not just me who likes to view things slightly skeptically, Alan suggested that Apple has already lost the wearable race to Android.
Mice reviews don’t come around all that frequently these days, but then you turn your back for a little while and two come along at once. Alan took a look at the Rapoo T120P Touch Mouse complete with its wheel-less scrolling zone featuring haptic feedback. At the rather less fancy end of the spectrum, I looked at the Microsoft Wireless Mobile 1850 Mouse, coming to the conclusion that it was very much what you would expect from a low-cost Microsoft mouse -- cheap, cheerful, effective.
One of the odder stories of the week was that Kim Dotcom -- yes, him -- is embarking on a political career, with a manifesto that focuses mainly on freedom online. There is no hope for humanity. The policies may be of interest to those in Turkey who have found that both Twitter and YouTube have been blocked. Some interesting changes to the law in the UK mean that CD and DVD ripping will soon be legal.
Slipping into sarcasm mode, I revelled in the fact that a new viewing option in Gmail makes "promotional emails" more prominent. Rejoice, one and all!
Gazing into my crystal ball I can foresee another hectic week ahead. I'm off to have a lie down in preparation.