James Rankins

James Rankins

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The Forza Horizon series has proven to be a very popular one for Microsoft, but it seems that the sun is about to set on Forza Horizon 3. Today, Microsoft and Playground Games announced that Forza Horizon 3 is entering its end-of-life phase, which means it won’t be available to purchase for much longer. It’s actually being removed from sale … Continue reading
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The original release's next-gen upgrade will come with a price
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We now have a more specific launch window for Xbox Series X, but it comes with a bit of bad news.
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New 6-Series TVs also have THX game mode; new 5-Series TVs get local dimming.
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As Microsoft attempts to acquire viral video app TikTok's US operations, analysts speculated on a few other names that might be on the tech titan's shopping list. The list of 10 potential Microsoft acquisitions includes Dropbox, Slack, Twilio, Docusign and VMware, which Dell is considering spinning out, plus startups Mmhmm and Superhuman. Keep in mind, Microsoft's largest acquisition to date was its $26.2 billion LinkedIn deal, and while it appears Microsoft might be willing to pay more for TikTok, multibillion-dollar deals still are pretty uncommon for the company. Are you a Microsoft employee? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email ([email protected]). Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. While Microsoft's bid to acquire viral video app TikTok's US operations may have come as a surprise, there are a few other big deals that industry-watchers think are a little more predictable.  Business Insider compiled a list of companies analysts say Microsoft could try to buy, based on which buys could bolster key Microsoft businesses such as its Microsoft 365 suite of business software applications, Azure cloud computing business, or Dynamics customer relationship management software. It's worth noting most of the companies on the list cost significantly more than Microsoft has ever paid to acquire any company. Microsoft's largest acquisition to date was its LinkedIn deal worth $26.2 billion. Morningstar analyst Dan Romanoff named big companies like Twilio and Docusign as potential targets, for example, but said he generally expects Microsoft to stick mostly to smaller deals. "I would really expect [Microsoft] to continue to do deals at $1 [billion] or less that generally won't mean much to casual observers," he said, "but will serve to add important functionality to one of its existing product areas." Here are 10 companies, aside from TikTok, that experts say Microsoft could acquire:Mmhmm Valuation: Unknown Mmhmm is building an app intended to allow people to virtually share their screen in a video call and remain in the picture at the same time, as Business Insider's Katie Canales writes, and was founded by by ex-Evernote CEO Phil Libin. The company is still very young, and just raised $4.5 million from investors including Sequoia Capital and cofounders of Instagram, Twitter, and Eventbrite. Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi thinks Mmhmm could be a good acquisition target for Microsoft to build out its popular Teams workplace chat app and "help with the huge number of kids who like to do videos while playing Minecraft." LoopUp Market cap at the time of this writing: $125.33 million (trades on the London Stock Exchange) LoopUp offers a subscription-based conference and remote meeting service. Raul Castanon-Martinez, a 451 Research analyst, told Business Insider the London-based company could help Microsoft bolster its Teams communications app. "Microsoft has been on the offensive in the past few years looking to counter the challenge from emerging [software as a service] providers such as Slack and Zoom that have disrupted the communications and collaboration space," Castanon-Martinez said. "A key area that could support this strategy is to expand the telephony capabilities in Teams." LoopUp recently launched a Microsoft Teams integration, and Castanon-Martinez said Microsoft could acquire the company to compete against key industry players like Cisco and RingCentral.   Superhuman Valuation: $270 million as of June 2019, per PitchBook Superhuman builds an app intended to help users empty their inboxes in what it bills as "the fastest email experience ever made." Unlike most other email apps, it's not free — rather, it requires a $30/month subscription to use. In return, users get access to all kinds of email decluttering tools, including a conversational view that makes email look like a text message, as well as powerful keyboard shortcuts. Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi said Superhuman could help Microsoft "modernize" its Outlook email app. Dropbox Market cap at the time of this writing: $9.62 billion Dropbox builds a popular cloud-based file storage service. Microsoft already has a similar service with its OneDrive – but it wouldn't necessarily be acquiring Dropbox for its features. "With over 500 million users, Dropbox doesn't necessarily add volumes to its current OneDrive capabilities, but it brings an enormous loyal user base and its revenues with it," Futurum Research analyst Daniel Newman said. Slack Market cap at the time of this writing: $16.96 billion Popular corporate workplace chat app Slack is a big competitor to Microsoft's own chat app Teams. "Teams has exploded and Slack has floundered a bit," Futurum Research Daniel Newman told Business Insider. "[Microsoft] could acquire it to grow its base, enhance Teams and block Zoom from becoming more directly competitive to the full [Microsoft] Teams suite." Still, there's a lot that makes a Slack acquisition appear unlikely. There seems to be bad blood between the two and tensions could be rising after Slack recently filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the European Union. Not to mention that acquiring Slack might attract the wrong kind of attention from lawmakers amid broad antitrust scrutiny of the entire industry. Meanwhile, Amazon's cloud business Amazon Web Services and Slack just inked a big partnership, perhaps indicating that the two are cozying up. Crowdstrike Market cap at the time of this writing: $20.95 billion Microsoft could buy cybersecurity company Crowdstrike, RBC Capital Markets said in its 2020 software outlook report, and combine the company's products with its own to provide security to customers of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises. RBC in the report published in January said Microsoft could sell the combined security product on its own or as a bundle through the company's Office 365 cloud-based suite of productivity tools. Microsoft's security spending, RBC noted back then, has reached $1 billion annually. RBC analyst Alex Zukin confirmed the firm still believes Crowdstrike is a potential Microsoft acquisition target as of August. "Generally we think the company remains a very keen and opportunistic acquirer of very high quality assets at compelling price points," he told Business Insider. Microsoft, for its part, has recently taken big steps to renew its push into the cybersecurity market, positioning itself to take advantage of the boom in remote work by helping to provide tools to help secure and manage a distributed workforce. Twilio Market cap at the time of this writing: $37.29 billion Twilio builds a cloud communications platform intended help developers write apps that can send text messages and make phone calls. "Twilio makes a lot of sense because it is broad based with a seemingly endless array of use cases," Morningstar analyst Dan Romanoff told Business Insider. Microsoft could add "name brand" acquisition targets such as Twilio, Romanoff said, to its Microsoft 365 suite of business software applications, Azure cloud computing business, or Dynamics customer relationship management software. But with Twilio valued so richly at about $37 billion, Microsoft would likely have to pay a hefty price for Twilio. "It's hard to imagine MSFT doing a deal that big," Romanoff said. Twilio has been a favorite among analysts' potential Microsoft picks. RBC Capital Markets in a report earlier this year said that Twilio would be a good buy for Microsoft in order to embed Twilio's voice, messaging and email communication into Microsoft's consumer and business applications — and bring along the more than 7 million developers who use Twilio. Piper Sandler said around the same time Microsoft could acquire Twilio could enhance Microsoft Azure's developer ecosystem. Piper Sandler did not respond to a request about whether their view of a potential Twilio acquisition has changed since January. DocuSign Market cap at the time of this writing: $39.58 billion. DocuSign helps companies sign and manage agreements electronically. It's one of the companies Morningstar analyst Dan Romanoff says Microsoft could acquire and add to existing businesses such as Microsoft 365 suite of business software applications, Azure cloud computing business, or Dynamics customer relationship management software. "DocSsign makes some sense also given the greenfield opportunity and DocuSign's broad appeal," Romanoff told Business Insider. But the price to acquire DocuSign would be steep and likely more than Microsoft wants to spend on acquisition of this kind. Romanoff expects Microsoft will mostly do deals for less than $1 billion. Workday Market cap at the time of this writing: $42.55 billion Workday's human resources and financial management platform is used by 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies, according to RBC Capital Markets 2020 software outlook report. Buying Workday would "provide [Microsoft] entry into what we believe is going to be the most durable cloud growth market outside of the public cloud," which it said is cloud enterprise resource planning.  Analysts at Piper Sandler agreed earlier this year that Workday could be a potential acquisition market as Microsoft only has less than 5% of the so-called "human capital management" market that Workday is in. RBC analyst Alex Zukin confirmed the firm still believes Workday is a potential Microsoft acquisition target as of August, but Piper Sandler did not respond to a request about whether its analysts still see the potential for a deal happening between the companies. VMware Market cap at the time of this writing: $60.49 billion Dell is considering "a potential spin-off of its 81% ownership" of VMware, the software giant it bought in 2015 through a merger with EMC. Futurum Research analyst Dan Newman said Microsoft could consider swooping in and acquiring VMware. "With hybrid cloud being hot and VMware being one of the most utilized software suites to bridge on-prem and cloud, this could be a game changer for Azure and its hybrid cloud ambitions," Newman told Business Insider. VMware could be valued as much as $100 billion in a potential acquisition, Newman said, so "there won't be a lot of suitors."  The future of VMware is a hot topic, with Business Insider's Ben Pimentel reporting that it could be a good fit for Amazon, IBM, Oracle, or Google, too.
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Teams are still traveling and playing baseball despite COVID-19 outbreaks.
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Grab the latest Amazon Echo Dot for 99 cents when you commit to two months of Amazon Music Unlimited.
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For a moment there, it seemed like Epic Games was going to work with creators to uplift their popular dance moves by letting players officially re-enact them in Fortnite — instead of simply copying them to sell more emotes and skins for your in-game avatar. But actress and dancer Ana Coto says Epic’s upcoming “Freewheelin’” emote doesn’t credit her for its eerily similar dance moves or its mid-riff baring, glasses-wearing, roller-skating skin — and it seems impossible Epic wouldn’t be aware of her contribution. fortnite ripped off ana coto’s skate dance to “jenny from the block,” which went viral in april and inspired the Great Rollerskate Shortage of 2020. the original video has 15.7 million views on tiktok. p... Continue reading…
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We compared three top contenders to find out which affordable smartwatch came out on top.
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The only commercial supersonic jet we've had yet.
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Motorola is gearing up to unveil new smartphones this quarter. The first and most plausible release will be the Motorola Moto G9 Plus which has ... The post Moto E7 Plus passes Geekbench with 4GB of RAM and Android 10 appeared first on Gizchina.com.
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Google says the first COVID-19 contact tracing apps in the US should roll out in the next few weeks, several months after the search giant partnered with Apple on a cross-platform exposure notifications system. The technology, which the two firms offered to public health authorities, allows iOS and Android devices to securely check in with each other when within close … Continue reading
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Production workers reportedly continue to call in sick amid the coronavirus pandemic, and that's left a shortage of workers at Honda's plants in Ohio.
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New research is the latest to suggest that the condition of our mouth and teeth is intimately connected to our brain health.
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Brave Software has partnered with Guardian to provide users with a firewall and VPN that work across iPhone and iPad.
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This week's Get WIRED podcast traces how innovators' biases helped design slave ships, the panopticon, and facial recognition.
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In a few hows time, we will have the official press conference for the release of the Huawei Maimang 9. A recent Weibo post from ... The post Huawei Maimang 9 official poster appears online – reveals its specs appeared first on Gizchina.com.
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Hidden in the code of the new beta's Display Zoom feature is a hint that the iPhone 12 lineup will include a 5.4-inch iPhone.
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Musicians can make and release music pretty quickly in quarantine. Will it be what fans want to hear?
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Safety and immune responses look good, but do these vaccines work?
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Operators were told by French authorities that licenses for Huawei gear would not be renewed after they expire, Reuters reports.
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(Forschungsverbund Berlin) The young company Tubulis announced today the closure of a Series A funding round totaling €10.7 million to advance the development of a novel class of highly stable and efficient antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for treating cancer and other serious diseases, and to promote the further growth of the company. Tubulis was founded as a spin-off of the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München in 2019.
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A couple of days ago, a report emerged stating that the Galaxy Z Fold 2, previously known as Galaxy Fold 2, would not be released ... The post Galaxy Z Fold 2 teased in a new Galaxy Unpacked video appeared first on Gizchina.com.
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According to reports, Oppo is gearing up to launch its brand new Reno 4 Pro in India this month. A listing on Flipkart has just ... The post Oppo Reno 4 Pro and Oppo Watch to land in India on July 31 appeared first on Gizchina.com.
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(DOE/Sandia National Laboratories) Two Sandia National Laboratories computer scientists will be pitching cybersecurity platforms they conceived to investors, entrepreneurs and prospective customers at a special virtual event sponsored by the Department of Energy to accelerate the commercialization of federally developed technologies.
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Here's everything we know so far about the MacBook 2020, which may end up as Apple’s best laptop, if it ever sees the light of day.
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This September, xCloud — Microsoft's Xbox-based game streaming service — is scheduled to launch, long after it was first announced. The service enables users to play dozens of Xbox games via the cloud, on smartphones and tablets. Any progress made on those games will be reflected on the Xbox when you pick it up there. The service, named "Project xCloud," will arrive as part of Xbox Game Pass — the wildly popular gaming subscription program. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In the summer of 2017, Microsoft made an ambitious bet on a new Xbox service: Game Pass. The service offered a curated library of over 100 games, and it cost just $10 per month. Moreover, every major Xbox game published by Microsoft, from "Halo" to "Gears of War" to "Forza Motorsport," was published to the service at launch as part of the library, along with a smattering of third-party games like "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt." It went on to great success, with over 10 million subscribers as of this past April. If you're thinking, "That sounds sort of like Netflix," you'd be right, although with Game Pass you download titles instead of streaming them. But now, starting in September, Game Pass is transforming into a true Netflix-like service as every game becomes outright streamable — thanks to the technology from Project xCloud, Microsoft's long-in-the-works plan to stream Xbox games to phones, tablets, and consoles from the cloud. "This September, in supported countries, we're bringing Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud together at no additional cost for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members," Xbox leader Phil Spencer said in a blog post on Thursday morning.  Notably, this specifically applies to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate — the $15/month version of Game Pass that comes with access to Xbox games, PC games, and Xbox Live Gold (a separate subscription service for Xbox consoles that enables online multiplayer and comes with free games each month). When Project xCloud is combined with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the 100-plus games in the Game Pass library will become streamable on smartphones and tablets, in addition to being downloadable on Xbox consoles and PC. Moreover, Spencer said you can start a game on one platform and pick up where you left off on another.  "Just like you do with your movie and music streaming services, when cloud gaming launches into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can continue your game wherever you left off on any of your devices," he said. It's the culmination of a long-term plan spearheaded by Spencer, to transform Xbox from a hardware platform to a digital platform, and to reach people on whatever device they've got. "That remains core to what we're trying to do," Spencer told Business Insider in an interview last June. "To allow creators to reach the customers that they want, allow players to play the games that they want with the people they want to play with, anywhere they want. And it fits right into the opportunity ahead."  Notably, Microsoft isn't the only one making a big bet on video game streaming: Google's Stadia, which officially launched late last year, has a similar vision — though it has yet to show that it's made a significant dent in the market. Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email ([email protected]), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.SEE ALSO: With the next Xbox, Microsoft has a 4-part strategy to end the console wars once and for all. Here's how it plans to do it. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence
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Listen to our weekly podcast Am I Making You Uncomfortable? about women’s health, bodies and private lives. Available on Spotify, Apple, Audioboom and wherever you listen to your podcasts.“So, what’s everyone drinking then?”If your friends are anything like mine, this became the go-to opener of every Zoom call during those early weeks of lockdown. We’d gleefully show our glasses of wine, beer or G&T to the camera. After all, we “deserved it”.But as lockdown restrictions ease and pubs reopen, is it time to reassess our relationship with booze? In a survey of more than 2,000 people conducted by Drinkaware, a quarter (24%) of adults said they were drinking more during lockdown. A lack of usual work structure and job insecurity could be a factor, as this increased to one in three (36%) among furloughed workers.We all know alcohol can have negative impacts on our physical and mental health if consumed to excess, but a tipple or two is so normalised in British culture, it’s easy to get swept up in quarantini culture.It can be uncomfortable to step back and really look at your own alcohol intake – particularly because nobody really counts units, despite the NHS constantly talking about them. It can also feel a little awkward to be the mate who suggests things have gotten out of hand.This is why we wanted to chat about our relationship with alcohol in the latest episode of Am I Making You Uncomfortable?, HuffPost’s weekly podcast on women’s health, bodies and private lives.  Check out the episode on all podcasting platforms now or if you’re ready to cut down today, Laura Willoughby, our podcast guest and the co-founder of the mindful drinking movement Club Soda, previously gave us these tips: 1. Play it forward. Drinking at home may have become the norm in the early weeks of lockdown, but do you want the hangovers, sluggishness or clinking recycling bin to continue longterm? “Look ahead to who you want to be when this is all over, and focus on the bigger picture,” suggests Willoughby. Where do you want your life to be in 12 months? What role does alcohol play in this vision of the future you?”2. Add some alcohol-free drinks to your shop. You don’t have to ditch booze altogether, but save it for occasions such as the weekend to help maintain a routine and keep your consumption in check, says Willoughby. Getting some alcohol-free drinks in to kick back in the evenings will help.“The range of craft beers, spirits and wines are amazing and you can pick them up directly from the producers or from online stores like Wisebartender, as well as the supermarkets,” she says. “Now is a great time to try out what’s on offer and find a new favourite tipple to help you moderate for the long-term.”Plenty of pubs and bars now stock low alcohol or alcohol-free options too, so don’t be afraid to ask what’s available. 3. Set some boundaries. If you’ve got alcohol in the house, find a new home for it, such as the garage or on top of the wardrobe, so it’s less visible and accessible in your daily routine.“Have some clear rules about when you’re allowed to drink – like no drinking when stressed or sad, or only drink with evening meals – and lengthen your drinks, keeping to single serves with lots of tonic or spritzers to dial down the strength,” adds Willoughby.“It’s easy to slip into new bad habits so having firm boundaries will keep alcohol in its place.”4. Talk about it. If you feel like you’ve slipped into bad habits, speak to your partner, friend or family member about it. They might be able to offer advice, or share how they’ve cut down on drinking now lockdown is easing. Similarly, if you’ve got a partner or other family member who is drinking a lot, talk to them about what you’re doing to keep your consumption in check, says Willoughby.You could offer to help a partner or housemate with their health goals, she adds. Make a project of finding new things to do together that don’t involve drinking.5. Get a helping hand. It’s important to recognise when our booze habits are teetering on dependancy. Signs it’s getting out of hand include finding it hard to stop at two drinks, wanting to drink early in the morning, and physical symptoms of withdrawal such as sweating, shaking and nausea. There are resources to help you do this.“Maybe a course like Club Soda’s Mindful Drinking programmes could help,” she says. Alternatively, Drinkaware has an online self-assessment that can help you identify if your relationship with alcohol is about right, or if the amount you drink is risky to your health.“We would urge anyone who is worried about someone else’s drinking to contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or talk to a trained advisor anonymously online via Drinkchat,” says Hindal.“The AA are holding online meetings and the Alcohol Health Alliance has a great roundup of online resources for people in recovery. We Are With You also has advice on accessing services.”READ MORE: 'Just Sit On A Towel’: What Living With Heavy Periods Is Really Like Why We Envy People We Haven't Seen Since School Will Coronavirus Put An End To Boozy 'Brits Abroad' Culture?
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