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January 18, 2021

⚡ Good morning! It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day and it’s an important holiday at this time. A shorter update follows.

Windows 10X leaks
Microsoft Surface Neo Windows 10X

Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS and Chromebooks has leaked: A Windows 10X build has leaked and sites all over are sharing galleries of what it looks like, and trying to figure out what it means. Here are dozens of shots of what the new Settings screens will look like, if you really want (Thurrott).

  • Windows 10X was announced first for dual-screen devices, but with the installation of Panos Panay to oversee Surface products and Windows development, 10X was being reworked for classic devices like laptops.
  • That also saw the Surface Neo delayed: the folding tablet-like device that seems like it was destined to be a Surface Duo but running Windows at a bigger form-factor.
  • 10X looks closer to Chrome OS than what we’d already seen from some renders and details that were available with developer emulations. The simplifications to Windows makes it lightweight and more of a background to getting you to the web rather than a host of apps and tools.
  • Tom Warren at The Verge:Microsoft has simplified almost every area of Windows inside Windows 10X, to the point where it feels like a portal to the web rather than a portal to Windows apps.”
  • 10X isn’t necessarily an immediate future for you: it’s only shipping on new hardware, it’s built more for cloud storage than local files, and it’s lightweight to the point of exclusion for more regular desktop users.
  • That said, it may be a preview of what’s coming to Windows (Core) later in 2021, with the most recent hint an awkward sort of leak via a Microsoft job listing, which mentioned a “sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences,” via its Fluent Design system.
  • By the way, the Surface Neo, you ask? Delayed indefinitely in May 2020, what of it more recently? Months ago, ZDNet reported it may now be a 2022 release, partially COVID-19 related, and presumably also related to problematic Surface Duo prototype-ish issues.
  • (Question: How long has it taken Microsoft to respond to Chrome OS? Or to ask another way, when was Chrome OS released? I’ve put the answer right down below!)

🏃‍♂️ Leak: Asus ROG Phone 4 could up the charging ante over ROG 3, plus a 6,000mAh battery (Android Authority).

💸 Analysis: Qualcomm just spent $1.4 billion to compete with Apple’s Arm laptops(Android Authority).

👉 OnePlus Nord 2: What we want to see (Android Authority).

⛔ The Trump Administration delivered one more blow to Huawei before wrapping up: revoking licenses for the likes of Intel to supply chips to the company (Reuters).

💰 Facebook will pay about $340 each to 1.6M Illinois users in settlement over case focused on allegations it broke state law when it collected facial recognition data on users without their consent (Ars Technica).

📚 New lawsuit accuses Amazon of e-book price-fixing(The Verge).

🚀 Virgin Orbit successfully launched a rocket from a 747: it reached orbit, and carried a payload of 10 NASA CubeSats to their target (

🚀 Ouch: After a decade, NASA’s big four-engine SLS rocket failed its first real test on Saturday, with a major malfunction 50 seconds into a schedule eight-minute test. “We don’t know what we don’t know. It’s not everything we hoped it would be,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Super run-down here (Ars Technica).

📸 Canon made a site that lets you ‘take photos’ from a real satellite (Engadget).

😬 GitHub admits ‘significant mistakes were made’ in firing of Jewish employee, head of HR has quit, employee offered job back (The Verge).

💓 Need a new heart and have $180,000? An artificial heart out of France, some 30 years in the making, is approved and now on sale in Europe. Needs an external battery, and it’s expected to last three years (France24).

🛴 Bird is using skid detection to rat out scooter riders applying a little too much brake and drift, and may ban users (Engadget).

💲 “What item under $50 drastically improved your life?” A bunch of stuff in here you don’t always see in these kinds of threads, like  (r/askreddit).

Monday Meme

Remember when Facebook was more this and less the fall of democracy?

facebook birthdays
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

And just in case you wanted a workaround, here’s a Chrome plugin that might help:


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

*Quiz answer: Chrome OS and the first Chromebooks were released in 2011.

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