Microsoft, Google, and Amazon! Microsoft has committed itself to generating 50% of the energy used in their data server farms with renewable energies, like solar, wind, and hydropower. We tell you how are actions as consumers have made tech companies consider the renewables approach. Also, Microsoft is using some interested tactics to force users into upgrading to Windows 10. Google introduced a new device, Google Home, to compete directly with Amazon Echo. Home has very similar features as Echo but one major component is missing and we let you know. And finally, we discuss the new Kindle Oasis from Amazon. The latest line of Kindle products boosts over a month battery life and a new ergonomic design.
Every time you use Uber, Netflix, Hulu, and any other cloud-based service, we use energy and lots of it. The amount of energy we use doing the things we love online and on our mobile phones is generating quite the push for giant tech companies to evaluate their data centers. Facebook and Google have multiple server farms and data centers that are lengthier than football fields. Microsoft has committed to generating 50% of the energy it uses for data centers from renewables, such as solar, wind, and hydropower. The company currently sits at 44% and is nearly at their goal.
We are all very familiar with the Amazon Echo, the in-home voice-command device that provides weather updates, plays music, stream podcasts, and more. Google recently announced Google Home at their I/O 2016 conference, a direct competitor to Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. As the product is new, Google is still working with third party applications to integrate into their system but functions and provides services very similar to Echo. Unlike Echo, multiple Home devices can be links via the OnHub router. A distinct feature indeed. The unusual downside, the Home has now name like Siri, Alexa, Viv, or Cortana. You simply say, “OK, Google.” Once Google develops the device more it will prove to be a success, unlike the implementation of Google Glass and previously failed trendy tech devices.
It is unusual that we see a product in the Kindle line that is featured for sale over $120. The average cost ranges from $80-120, with one product (Voyage) at the $200 price point. Amazon has introduced Kindle Oasis, a $289 e-reader that boosts months of battery life thanks to the integrated battery pack and leather case and a newly remodeled e-reader with ergonomics in mind for comfort and pain free reading. To be honest, there is very little difference between Oasis and Voyage other than the battery life. With that said, Amazon knows its reader base and listens to their customers. We expect this to be successful.
Microsoft, a company we just spoke about with their commitment to reducing their overall pull of energy and impact on the environment, is pulling out some dirty tactics to get users to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft changed their nagscreen (pop screen) for a Windows 10 upgrade. Now by clicking the X, you are giving permission to have your system upgraded at a specific time and date in the near future. This is a gross overstep for the company and an abuse to what the customer has grown accustomed to in working with Microsoft products. Also, Steve shares a story of how an upgrade was initiated at a work site and what steps he took to control the problem in the future.