Wayne Williams

Just one percent of retail payments is made with a smartphone, and iPhone users buy more and spend more

Smartphone fashion shopping

Do you pay for goods in stores with your smartphone? If so, you’re in the minority. According to Javelin Strategy & Research’s new Mobile Proximity Payments Forecast 2015 report, while 9 percent of online transactions are currently made on a smartphone, mobile proximity payments -- that is using your smartphone to buy something in a brick and mortar store -- account for just 1 percent of all retail transactions.

Apple users lead the way when it comes to mobile proximity payments, with almost 16 percent having made at least one purchase in a month. That’s nearly double the rate of Android smartphone owners.

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Watch Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's Ignite keynote here live


Build is over for another year, but that’s not the only Microsoft conference around. Ignite, the new enterprise focused tech event, starts today in Chicago.

Not familiar with Ignite? It’s essentially a number of Microsoft conferences rolled into one. As the tech giant describes it, Ignite is: "for big thinkers looking for an edge. It’s for anyone who attended the Microsoft Exchange, Lync, Project, SharePoint, MMS, or TechEd conferences -- and then some. It’s for senior decision makers seeking what’s next, and who want insights on key technology trends in the industry. It’s for IT professionals who need hands-on experience to enhance their tech skills. It’s for enterprise developers and architects looking for innovative ways to maximize application development. It’s for those who want to feel inspired and enlightened. It’s for you".

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It really is game over for Windows 8.x

game over

Every month NetMarketShare releases usage share figures for all of the major operating systems. In the past these figures tended to paint an interesting picture of how well -- or rather how badly -- Microsoft’s newest operating system was doing. Occasionally the OS grew share, occasionally it lost share -- sometimes quite dramatically.

Now though, the only picture that’s being painted by these monthly figures is an operating system that has no future and will vanish quietly, and with zero fanfare, once Windows 10 arrives.

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Windows 10 will launch this summer -- but for PCs only


When Microsoft announced it was planning a summer release for Windows 10, there were some raised eyebrows. When AMD suggested the new OS would launch in July, there were a lot more raised eyebrows. Windows 10 is coming on nicely, but there’s still a lot of work to do to get everything done and dusted in time.

It turns out Microsoft agrees. While Windows 10 will be released in the summer (not "July", just "summer"), it will only be available for desktop PCs, at first.

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Ever wondered how old you look? New tool from Microsoft will hurt your feelings

how old

Microsoft has created a new website which makes use of its recently released Face detection APIs to guess a user’s age based purely on a photo they submit.

The creators expected around 50 people to be interested in trying out the project, but the site has gone viral, racking up over 35,000 users as of yesterday, and likely hundreds of thousands more today. People want to know how they are perceived by others and a site that promises to predict their age based on an uploaded photo was bound to be a hit. It’s a shame then, that a random number generator could probably produce more accurate results.

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You can now tweet playable MS-DOS games

street fighter

Using Twitter used to just involve writing something under 140 characters in length, but over time the service has evolved, and you can now include photos, animated Gifs, short videos, files and more with your tweets. And if that’s not enough, how about embedding fully playable DOS games?

The Internet Archive lets visitors play classic console and arcade games directly on its site, and it recently added 2,600 playable DOS games too. It’s those games that can be embedded on Twitter.

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Get Windows 10 for Raspberry Pi 2 now


When the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched its new Raspberry Pi 2, we were impressed to hear it would be able to run Windows 10. Admittedly it isn't the full PC version of the operating system, but rather a special version created especially to run on such devices.

Yesterday, following the keynote at its Build developer conference, Microsoft released a new build of Windows 10 Insider Preview, but that’s not all. It also pushed out a Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview with support for Raspberry Pi 2 and Intel’s Minnowboard Max. So if you have either of those devices, you can download and try out the preview right now.

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Windows 10 will turn your smartphone into a tiny PC

Tiny PC

Smartphones are essentially pocket-sized computers, packed with processing power. However, Microsoft sees its devices as actually functioning as full-blown (if somewhat underpowered) PCs, once Windows 10 for phones arrives.

At the Build developer conference, the company showed how Continuum can transform a Windows Phone into a tiny Windows PC.

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Microsoft aiming for 1 billion Windows 10 devices in 2-3 years

1 billion

Windows 8.x is a massive failure for Microsoft, with a usage share that’s well below that of Windows XP.

With Windows 10, Microsoft is hoping to put the past behind it, and produce an operating system that isn’t overshadowed by older Windows versions.

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Watch Microsoft's Build 2015 keynote live here

Build 2015

Microsoft's Build developer conference kicks off today, and as you’d expect the focus will primarily be on Windows 10, although we’ll likely see new Windows hardware announced as well. Will a new Surface Pro 4 make an appearance? Probably not, but you never know.

The show, which takes place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, runs from today through to Friday, but it’s the opening keynote that promises to be the most interesting.

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Windows 10 Build 10074 available to download -- This is what's new


With Microsoft’s Build developer conference kicking off today, it’s no surprise that a new build of Windows 10 is set to be announced. However, a new version, Build 10074 is already available to download directly from Microsoft in ESD (Electronic Software Download) format.

To make use of this you’ll need an ESD decryption tool to convert it into an ISO file, or you can just grab the new build in ISO format from OSBetaArchive. There are Professional and Enterprise versions available in x86 and x64, for numerous different languages. So what’s new in this latest build? Quite a lot, starting with the operating system's name. No longer is it "Windows 10 Technical Preview", but now "Windows 10 Insider Preview".

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38 percent of Apple Watch buyers have no idea when to expect their orders

apple wait

Apple Watch went on sale last Friday, with the first lucky buyers receiving their pre-ordered devices over the weekend. Apple’s latest product line hasn’t had the smoothest of launches, but at least some purchasers finally got to see what they had ordered online.

However, according to digital commerce analysts Slice Intelligence, only 22 percent (376,000) of the estimated 1.7 million pre-ordered Apple Watches have been delivered to US consumers so far. Other less fortunate (or just slower) buyers can expect a far lengthier wait.

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Android pisses all over Apple -- in Google Maps [Updated]


Google hides lots of Easter eggs in its products and services. Usually fun little extras designed to amuse. However, the latest one discovered in Google Maps is of questionable taste.

Tucked away in Pakistan, close to the New Islamabad International Airport, is a cartoon image of Google’s Android urinating on an Apple logo. Nice.

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Celebrate YouTube's 10th anniversary by going back to where it all began -- the zoo

Me at the zoo

Google’s video service celebrates a very special milestone today -- it’s ten years to the day since the first video was uploaded to the site. "Me at the Zoo", in all its 240p glory, has racked up close to 20 million views, which isn’t bad (especially as it wasn’t made public initially), although it pales into insignificance when compared with the likes of "Charlie Bit My Finger -- Again", with its 817 million views.

A lot has happened to YouTube in that time. It officially launched in May 2005 (so expect another birthday post next month) and was acquired by Google in 2006. It has spread across a wide range of platforms, batted off numerous legal challenges, and become a massive part of our lives.

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How to customize Windows 10 Build 10061's new Start menu

Start menu customization

The new Start menu included in the latest build of Windows 10 -- available to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring -- is a marked improvement over previous versions. It’s resizable, and customizable. It’s also, like the build itself, rather buggy. It’s a bit like a fair-weather friend -- sometimes it’s there for me, other times it’s nowhere to be seen. Hopefully the issues with the menu will be sorted shortly.

If you’re running the new build, or planning to, then it’s worth customizing the Start menu to suit your tastes. There’s quite a lot you can do.

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