The Wrap - Elop out, AT&T fined, FitBit listed
IDG News Service | Jun 17, 2015
Microsoft shuffled its ranks, the FCC plans to fine AT&T and FitBit has an IPO. Follow host Nick Barber on Twitter @nickjb
Unlimited data isn't quite unlimited and the wearables market heats up with a big IPO.
Here's your tech top three and what you need to know this week.
Microsoft reshuffled its ranks and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is out. Terry Myerson who directed the Operating System group will take on Elop's devices division. The new Windows and Devices group was called by one analyst almost too big to manage. CEO Satya Nadella said the restructuring aimed to provided better products and services at a more rapid pace.
The FCC plans to fine AT&T 100 million dollars for misleading customers. The FCC alleges that AT&T did not tell customers on unlimited 4G data plans that their speeds would slow drastically after they used 5 gigs of data. It's the largest proposed fine in the history of the FCC and AT&T said it plans to dispute the claim.
Fitbit sprinted off the starting line in its IPO today. Once dismissed as a fad, it's clear with this IPO that the wearable market has a strong pulse. At 19 dollars a share, the company is valued at nearly 4 billion dollars and could raise 655 million with this IPO. In 2015, IDC estimates 173 percent year on year growth for the wearbles market and this IPO demonstrates that devices like Fitbits have staying power.
Gamers gathered in Los Angeles this week for the annual E3 game expo. Unlike two years ago there wasn't big hardware news like new consoles. Most of the focus was on game titles and accessories.
If you have a huge library of Xbox 360 games, you'll now be able to play them on Xbox One, with a big catch. If the old games use Microsoft's motion tracking Kinect sensor, then the games won't be backwards compatible. Microsoft simulated an entire Xbox 360 in software with the exception of the USB ports, which Kinect needs to operate. So while this backwards compatibility feature drew a lot of cheers at the Xbox press briefing, that was before everyone knew about this caveat.
The company's augmented reality device HoloLens was also part of the E3 show and tell. During a stage demonstration, a Minecraft world moved from a wall to a tabletop using Hololens. What Microsoft is doing with Hololens is a lot different from something like Oculus Rift or other virtual reality headsets. Hololens combines the real and virtual worlds as augmented reality. And unlike Oculus, HoloLens is a standalone device and doesn't need to be tethered to a computer. So far, pricing and availability hasn't been announced for it, but if it works as advertised it will be very impressive.
With some of the announcements, Microsoft has changed it tactics from year's past. At one point it positioned its new Xbox One as the living room computer that never was. Two years ago when it did that it caught backlash from hardcore gamers who felt neglected. This time around the company concentrated much more on gaming. It will allow gamers to stream games from the Xbox One to PCs running Windows 10. In a preview program now, it will become more widely available later this year. It's one way that the company is working to entice consumers to upgrade their desktops, laptops and Surface tablets to the new OS, which will be out later this year.
I'm Nick Barber and that's a wrap.
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