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Thurrott Daily: April 25

Tron: Deadly Discs for Intellivision. A happy childhood memory.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

4/25/2016 3:34:22 PM

Bill Gates’ two worst business decisions

If you’re familiar with the history of Microsoft, you may know that former executive Brad Silverberg lost a crucial internal battle that resulted in a decade of antitrust issues and missed opportunities. Well, this week Business Insider reports on a Silverberg Q&A on Quora where he explains the two biggest mistakes Microsoft made while Bill Gates was CEO. And he’s right about both of them.

“Top of the list for me is that Bill did not engage – either himself or the company – in the political process early enough. When Microsoft’s competitors were effectively lobbying the government, Bill’s attitude was the government should just go away and leave Microsoft alone,” Silverberg wrote in a Quora Q&A session held Friday.

Gates didn’t engage the government and politicians early on because he believed the company was competing fairly and creating enough value for the customers. But that approach was a “disaster,” he writes, as it essentially made the US government and the EU to “declare war on Microsoft.”

Silverberg also believes Gates dismissed the threat posed by the internet because he wanted to protect Microsoft’s Windows empire at the time. He writes:

“Bill also had a difficult time figuring out how to respond to the opportunity / threat of the Internet. It’s understandable. When you own Windows in the late 90’s, life is good and why would you want things to change? Bill’s view was to protect Windows, and didn’t come up with an approach that kept Windows and Microsoft’s systems strategy at the forefront. The result is that Microsoft’s strategic position declined in the 2000’s. It’s now coming to grips with the new reality and making necessary, if belated, changes.”


John Romero’s new game is revealed, is on Kickstarter

Last week, DOOM co-creators John Romero and Adrian Carmack teased that they would soon reveal their new first person shooter (FPS). Today, we found out what it is.

John Romero and Adrian Carmack reunite to make BLACKROOM, a visceral, action-packed FPS set in a holographic simulation gone rogue.

About this project

John Romero and fellow id Software co-founder Adrian Carmack proudly announce BLACKROOM™, a visceral, varied and violent shooter that harkens back to classic FPS play with a mixture of exploration, speed, and intense, weaponized combat. Use fast, skillful movement to dodge enemy attacks, circle-strafe your foes, and rule the air as you rocket jump in the single- and multiplayer modes. BLACKROOM launches with unique multiplayer maps and robust modding support for the community to make diabolical creations of their own design – Coming Winter 2018 to PC!

I had to support this one, of course. I am perhaps overly-fond of Kickstarter, and I also supported Battalion 1944 (PC/XB1/PS4), another FPS that won’t ship anytime soon. Fingers crossed on both.

Windows phone fans, avert your eyes

If, like me, you were an over-the-top fan of the Lumia 1020, you may want to avoid this one: Windows Latest has published hands-on photos of the Lumia “McLaren,” which, yes, would have been the Lumia 1020’s sequel, complete with gigantic camera bump.

Some years ago, Nokia was working on a powerful smartphone, the Lumia McLaren with 3D Touch support and a whopping 50-megapixel rear camera. However, the Lumia McLaren or the Nokia Lumia 1030 was cancelled by Microsoft due to the failure of 3D Touch.

Today, real life images of Lumia McLaren surfaced online and it reveals the beautiful design of the Lumia McLaren, and it looks really awesome. The images also shows the 3D Touch settings, back camera, sides of the device, and it again confirms that the device runs on Windows Phone 8.1, rather than Windows 10 Mobile.

A moment of pained silence, please.

eBay is selling the Surface Pro 3 for $220 off

Just a quick note that you can pick up a new Surface Pro 3 (Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD) for just $780, or $220 off the normal price, on eBay while supplies last.

Facebook is working on a camera app

Following in the footsteps of Instagram—which, by the way, is owned by Facebook—Facebook is developing a standalone camera app for its service. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Facebook is developing a stand-alone camera app to encourage its 1.6 billion users to create, and share, more photos and videos, people familiar with the matter said.

A prototype of the app developed by Facebook’s “friend-sharing” team in London opens to a camera, similar to disappearing photo app Snapchat, the people said. Another planned feature allows a user recording video through the app to begin live streaming, they added.

The project is in its early stages and may never come to fruition, the people said.

Still, it reflects `anxiety within Facebook over users’ increasingly passive behavior on the social network. Many users check Facebook daily or even multiple times a day, but fewer are sharing photos, videos and status updates about their own lives. Reversing the trend is a growing priority within the company.

Since I basically only use Facebook to post photos, this sounds like a great idea to me.

Gears of War 4 Open Beta is now available

So I hope you have 7 GB of free space on your Xbox One. Start downloading!


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