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Windows 10 universal apps plan gets a lift from Uber

Uber on Wednesday took to Microsoft's Windows blog to announce its universal Windows 10 which can run on phones, tablets and PCs. Uber product team member Yuixin Zhu credited the "power of the Universal Windows Platform" for the company's ability to do what Microsoft hopes what more developers will do: "deploy a single app through a unified store that delivers the right experience to whatever device downloads the app".

Mozilla kills off Suggested Tiles ads

After being birthed in September, Mozilla's Suggested Tiles feature that showed users advertised destinations when opening a new tab has not yet seen its first Christmas, but its usage is already winding down.

Mozilla vice president of Content Services Darren Herman said in a blog post that the browser maker would be ending advertising through its Tiles experiment, and would see out its current commitments as the feature is killed off over the next few months.

Google releases Cloud Vision API

Google on Wednesday announced the launch of the Cloud Vision application programming interface (API). As a tool for developers, the API can be used to add machine learning and image recognition to applications. Ultimately, the API could be applied to a range of devices - from robots to appliances - giving them the ability to see and understand the context of images.

Mozilla Wants To Hive Off Its Thunderbird Email/Chat Client

The Mozilla Foundation looks like it’s about to take another step in its bid to sharpen its focus on its Firefox browser and continue with its fightback to gain more market share against competitors like Google Chrome. According to a company-wide memo penned today by chairperson Mitchell Baker (and confirmed by Mozilla to be from her), Mozilla wants to once and for all hive off support for Thunderbird, the email, chat and news client it first developed in 2004 but effectively stopped directly updating it in 2012.

Microsoft launches early Black Friday

Microsoft has launched its version of Black Friday with a week-long promotion offering content for only 10 cents. The Redmond giant announced the deals late last week. Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft said in a blog post for the next 10 days Windows 10 users can take advantage of the promotion, which will over offer over 1,000 movies, music, applications and games for 10 cents each.

Opera Max Now Also Helps You Save Data While Streaming Music

While Opera is best known for its browsers, the company has recently put quite a bit of effort into its Opera Max data-saving app for Android. The company started with helping users save bandwidth for image-heavy apps like Instagram and Facebook, but earlier this year, it also introduced support for saving data when streaming videos from services like YouTube. It’s expanding the services feature set by introducing support for a limited number of music apps, too.

Google Cloud Platform adds options for custom virtual machines

Google's cloud department has been vocal in the past about its theories and strategies for lowering storage prices in the long run, and the Internet giant continued that rhetoric with a new debut on Wednesday. Google Cloud Platform is introducing the option of Custom Machine Types, which will allow IT professionals to fit virtual machines (VMs) to particular workloads rather than just rounding up to the next tier on the pricing scale.

Windows 10 telemetry: Time for a level playing field

When, why and how much diagnostic data Windows 10 sends back to Microsoft has been a source of considerable debate for the last couple of weeks. By default Windows 10 collects some data about how Windows and Windows apps are performing plus some additional details - such as about crashes, so-called telemetry data. (Calling all this 'telemetry data' makes it sound much more grand than it is, like the sort of information that would be sent back by a probe en route to a distant star, rather than the more humdrum details of why your PC crashed halfway through you writing a Facebook post.)

Apple to pull the plug on Beats Music on Nov. 30

 The tech giant will shut down Beats Music on November 30, according to a document published Thursday. All Beats subscriptions will be canceled on that day, but Apple is encouraging subscribers to migrate their user profiles to Apple Music, the music subscription service it launched in June.

Microsoft to acquire data protection firm Secure Islands

Microsoft announced Monday that it has made a deal to acquire Secure Islands, an Israeli company that focuses on protecting companies' data. Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal. The acquisition will help Microsoft level up its Azure Rights Management Service, which lets companies protect files individually and in bulk with tools that ensure they aren't opened or modified by people who are unauthorized to do so. Secure Islands's services include data classification technology that automatically detects the creation of new files from a variety of sources and then applies a protection policy to it. 

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