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Google Chrome won’t be allowed on Windows 10 S

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Microsoft’s newest Windows 10 edition is designed to allow desktop apps that have been converted to packages for the Windows Store. But a provision in the store’s policies blocks desktop browsers like Chrome. Is it about security, or something else?

The desktop version of Google Chrome will not be coming to Windows 10 S.

Windows 10 S, announced last week, allows users to install only apps that are distributed through the Windows Store.

That lineup includes some desktop apps, but only if they’ve been converted to a package that can be delivered through the Windows Store, using a toolset called the Desktop Bridge (previously code-named Project Centennial).

Microsoft knows Windows is obsolete. Here’s a sneak peek at its replacement.

The lineup of converted desktop apps already includes Evernote and Slack, and by the time Windows 10 S begins shipping on new PCs this summer, the store will also offer converted versions of the Office 2016 desktop apps and Spotify.

Microsoft is busy evangelizing other developers of desktop software to bring their apps to the store as well.

In theory, Google could use those tools to turn the desktop version of its Chrome browser into an app package. For that matter, so could Mozilla with Firefox, or Opera, or any of dozens of small, independent browser makers. Several developers tell me they have successfully converted desktop browsers based on the Chromium code base using the Desktop Bridge.

But if Google or Mozilla or any of those smaller developers submitted one of those packages to the Store for distribution, the submission would be rejected.

The restriction is spelled out in the latest revision of the Windows Store Policies. This section is from version 7.3, last revised on March 29, 2017:

10.2 Security

Your app must not jeopardize or compromise user security, or the security or functionality of the device, system or related systems.

10.2.1

Apps that browse the web must use the appropriate HTML and JavaScript engines provided by the Windows Platform.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that policy in a statement on May 9:

Windows Store apps that browse the web must use HTML and JavaScript engines provided by the Windows Platform. All Windows Store content is certified by Microsoft to help ensure a quality experience and keep your devices safer. With this policy, instated early this year, the browser a customer chooses in the Store will ensure the protections and safeguards of our Windows platform. If people would like to access apps from other stores and services, they can switch to Windows 10 Pro at any time.

Last week, I heard from a developer who had converted his Chromium-based desktop browser to an Appx package and submitted it to Microsoft in February. It was rejected.

The polite, personal reply from the Microsoft “ambassador” who handled his submission explained that desktop browsers pose a special security risk:

Desktop Browsers installed from the Store aren’t more secured by default. They are secure only if, like Edge, they’re true UWP apps, so they run in a sandbox environment and they don’t have access to the overall system. Converted apps, instead, have some components which are virtualized (like the registry or file system redirection) but, except for that, they have the “runFullTrust” capability, so [they] can go out from the sandbox and perform operations that can be malicious.

This restriction isn’t unique to Windows 10 S, of course. Other modern operating systems, including iOS and ChromeOS, require browsers to use their built-in rendering engines and JavaScript interpreters instead of allowing the third-party browsers to supply their own.

So, Chrome on iOS is just a wrapper for Apple’s Webkit-based browser components. Google has made the UI look comfortingly Chrome-like, with the ability to sync bookmarks, history, passwords, and other data, but it’s not the same browser as on other platforms.

Likewise, you can’t install a third-party browser on a Chromebook, which is restricted to the Chrome browser.

When Windows 8 launched in 2012, Microsoft included the capability for third-party developers to build weird hybrid browsers that could run in both the Metro interface (as the full-screen touch-based user interface was then known) and in regular desktop mode. Both Google and Firefox experimented with this feature, but it never took off, and Microsoft killed the feature in Windows 10.

Google could, of course, write a UWP browser app from scratch, replicating the desktop Chrome UI while hooking into the Windows rendering and JavaScript engine. Given Google’s history with apps for Windows (there’s only one Google app in the Windows Store, a bare-bones search app first released for Windows 8), I’d give very long odds against this happening.

There is indeed a compelling security case for tightly controlling the core components of a browser. Flaws in those components are popular vectors for malicious code, and installing multiple browsers just increases the attack surface.

There’s also a compelling business case to be made for not allowing an archival’s browsing engine onto the platform lest you lose control of that platform.

In the very early days of the web, Netscape founder Marc Andreesen famously joked that his browser would reduce Windows to “a poorly debugged set of device drivers.” That, in essence, has been Google’s business strategy on Windows for the past few years, and it’s been successful enough that Chrome has a dominant share on Windows. More than half of Windows users browse with Chrome, while fewer than one in four Windows 10 users choose the default browser, Microsoft Edge, for day-to-day browsing.

Most of the executives who were running Microsoft during the first browser wars in the 1990s are long gone, but the institutional memory lives on. Microsoft might be gambling that the most effective way to blunt Google’s dominance is to boot them from Windows completely. Think of Windows 10 S as a trial for that strategy.

source:http://www.zdnet.com/article/google-chrome-wont-be-allowed-on-windows-10-s/

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Innovations

HERE’S WHAT GOOGLE MAPS LOOKS LIKE RUNNING ON APPLE CARPLAY

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With iOS 12, Apple is giving third-party apps more flexibility and new capabilities within CarPlay. As an example, for the first time, you can use other apps besides Apple Maps as your preferred navigation software for Apple’s in-car platform. With that change now possible, Google Maps and Waze are both planning to support CarPlay and have begun beta testing.

Unfortunately it’s not a beta test most of us can join, so you’ll have to wait for the proper release before you can use either of these in your own vehicle through CarPlay. But some early screenshots posted by 9to5Mac provide a good preview of how Google Maps and Waze will look once that happens.

Both apps are already available on Android Auto, so the developers behind each app are well familiar with the basics of optimizing their navigation for an in-car display: make the icons big, text readable, and directions… well, accurate. Apple Maps continues to get better and better, but G Maps and Waze each have their own strengths.

Google Maps utilizes Google’s own traffic and mapping data, which you might trust a bit more than Apple’s — even now. It also syncs up with your saved places. And Waze is pretty unrivaled when it comes to warning you about accidents or, for those who go heavy on the gas pedal, nearby police. Google Maps still looks like a Google app while following CarPlay’s UI guidelines.

There’s no official word on exactly when the CarPlay versions of Google Maps and Waze will widely roll out to users. But with iOS 12 widely launching on Monday — you can already install it now, remember — hopefully it won’t be long before this beta graduates to a full update.

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MOST OF AI’S BUSINESS USES WILL BE IN TWO AREAS

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While overall adoption of artificial intelligence remains low among businesses (about 20% upon our last study), senior executives know that AI isn’t just hype. Organizations across sectors are looking closely at the technology to see what it can do for their business. As they should—we estimate that 40% of all the potential value that can created by analytics today comes from the AI techniques that fall under the umbrella “deep learning,” (which utilize multiple layers of artificial neural networks, so-called because their structure and function are loosely inspired by that of the human brain). In total, we estimate deep learning could account for between $3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in annual value.

However, many business leaders are still not exactly sure where they should apply AI to reap the biggest rewards. After all, embedding AI across the business requires significant investment in talent and upgrades to the tech stack as well as sweeping change initiatives to ensure AI drives meaningful value, whether it be through powering better decision-making or enhancing consumer-facing applications.

Through an in-depth examination of more than 400 actual AI use cases across 19 industries and nine business functions, we’ve discovered an old adage proves most useful in answering the question of where to put AI to work, and that is: “Follow the money.”

The business areas that traditionally provide the most value to companies tend to be the areas where AI can have the biggest impact. In retail organizations, for example, marketing and sales has often provided significant value. Our research shows that using AI on customer data to personalize promotions can lead to a 1-2% increase in incremental sales for brick-and-mortar retailers alone. In advanced manufacturing, by contrast, operations often drive the most value. Here, AI can enable forecasting based on underlying causal drivers of demand rather than prior outcomes, improving forecasting accuracy by 10-20%. This translates into a potential 5% reduction in inventory costs and revenue increases of 2-3%.

While applications of AI cover a full range of functional areas, it is in fact in these two cross-cutting ones—supply-chain management/manufacturing and marketing and sales—where we believe AI can have the biggest impact, at least for now, in several industries. Combined, we estimate that these use cases make up more than two-thirds of the entire AI opportunity. AI can create $1.4-$2.6 trillion of value in marketing and sales across the world’s businesses and $1.2-$2 trillion in supply chain management and manufacturing (some of the value accrues to companies while some is captured by customers). In manufacturing, the greatest value from AI can be created by using it for predictive maintenance (about $0.5-$0.7 trillion across the world’s businesses). AI’s ability to process massive amounts of data including audio and video means it can quickly identify anomalies to prevent breakdowns, whether that be an odd sound in an aircraft engine or a malfunction on an assembly line detected by a sensor.

Another way business leaders can home in on where to apply AI is to simply look at the functions that are already taking advantage of traditional analytics techniques. We found that the greatest potential for AI to create value is in use cases where neural network techniques could either provide higher performance than established analytical techniques or generate additional insights and applications. This is true for 69% of the AI use cases identified in our study. In only 16% of use cases did we find a “greenfield” AI solution that was applicable where other analytics methods would not be effective. (While the number of use cases for deep learning will likely increase rapidly as algorithms become more versatile and the type and volume of data needed to make them viable become more available, the percentage of greenfield deep learning use cases might not increase significantly because more established machine learning techniques also have room to become better and more ubiquitous.)

We don’t want to come across as naïve cheerleaders. Even as we see economic potential in the use of AI techniques, we recognize the tangible obstacles and limitations to implementing AI.  Obtaining data sets that are sufficiently large and comprehensive enough to feed the voracious appetite that deep learning has for training data is a major challenge. So, too, is addressing the mounting concerns around the use of such data, including security, privacy, and the potential for passing human biases onto AI algorithms. In some sectors, such as health care and insurance, companies must also find ways to make the results explainable to regulators in human terms: why did the machine come up with this answer? The good news is that the technologies themselves are advancing and starting to address some of these limitations.

Beyond these limitations, there are the arguably more difficult organizational challenges companies face as they adopt AI. Mastering the technology requires new levels of expertise, and process can become a major impediment to successful adoption. Companies will have to develop robust data maintenance and governance processes, and focus on both the “first mile”—how to acquire data and organize data efforts—and the far more difficult “last mile,” how to integrate the output of AI models into work flows, ranging from those of clinical trial managers and sales force managers to procurement officers.

While businesses must remain vigilant and responsible as they deploy AI, the scale and beneficial impact of the technology on businesses, consumers, and society make pursuing AI opportunities worth a thorough investigation. The pursuit isn’t a simple prospect but it can be initiated by evoking a simple concept: follow the money.

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FONTS TO FIT YOUR AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY DESIGNS

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Setting text in augmented and virtual reality presents new design challenges that are dramatically different from practically any other existing medium. Steve Matteson, Creative Type Director at Monotype, has selected fonts that are both highly legible and represent multiple genres, offering reliable choices for AR/VR games, apps or user interfaces.

Avenir

The word Avenir means ‘future’ in French and hints that the typeface owes some of its interpretation to Futura. But unlike Futura, Avenir is not purely geometric; it has vertical strokes that are thicker than the horizontals, an “o” that is not a perfect circle, and shortened ascenders. Avenir represents the most legible of designs within the geometric sans serif genre. The challenges posed by fully geometric typefaces are reduced in Avenir, putting the emphasis on legible shapes, open forms and ample letter spacing. Avenir would work well for extended text in AR/VR or lend modern flair to interfaces for home appliances or IoT.

Daytona™

The Daytona typeface family grew out of Jim Wasco’s desire to design a readable typeface for video and on-screen use. Because of its exceptional legibility, it’s also an ideal choice for digital user interfaces and a wide range of print applications. Daytona softens an otherwise modern engineered style, with rounded forms lending an air of informality. This makes it the perfect font for a children’s AR/VR game or app. Originally designed for navigation and wayfinding, the font would also work well for heads-up displays. Daytona can offer the user a friendlier appearance – even in a potentially intimidating futuristic VR experience.

Slate™

The Slate typeface melds superb functionality and aesthetic elegance into a remarkable communications tool. Slate is the work of Rod McDonald, an award-winning typeface designer and lettering artist. At one point in his forty-year career, McDonald participated in a typeface legibility and readability research project conducted by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind during which he learned the design traits that maximize character legibility and text readability. Slate offers a comfortable reading experience even in challenging technical environments like AR or VR. Slate’s contemporary flair would work well in an app interface, experiential walkthroughs or AR app filters.

Halesworth™

Designing a virtual experience that needs to evoke a historical or academic theme? Halesworth is a Venetian Old Style book typeface designed by Carl Crossgrove, crafted specifically for comfortable reading on screen. Halesworth preserves the beautiful, generous proportions of the Venetian genre and optimizes the details for best performance, making it an excellent choice for long-form text in a VR environment. The typeface has reduced contrast in hairline strokes, generously open counters, ample curves and sturdy serifs. Halesworth has an elegant, antique flavor but can be read comfortably on screen at any angle making it ideal for AR/VR.

Akko™

Need to design a UI for the future? Look no further than the Akko typeface. Akko’s contemporary and open design aids in reading from severe angles that can be found in VR situations. Akko was designed with very open counters and a tall x-height following market research indicating the need for a new sans serif with a “tech” look. The resulting letters are characterized by their simplicity and compactness and can be employed to save space within a layout. Akko’s tech-forward appearance combined with its space-saving qualities also make it a reliable choice for futuristic AR/VR games or experiences.

Helvetica eText™

Helvetica™ is the ubiquitous flagship of the Swiss Grotesque genre. The ‘e-text’ adaptation reduces hindrances to legibility commonly found in the style by offering advanced font hinting, expanded characters and modified line thickness and x-height to optimize legibility across smartphones, tablets or e-readers. Helvetica eText aids the reader while delivering style, and is particularly well suited to anything on a grid, for example to display scores or health metrics in games or for virtual eCommerce experiences.

Get the fonts

Get Avenir, Daytona, and thousands of other fonts in Mosaic, Monotype’s Enterprise font solution.

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