Microsoft’s Surface Duo, Samsung Galaxy phones and more are on sale

Amazon's latest deals feature the Microsoft Surface Duo, the Samsung Galaxy S21, Beats headphones, and more on sale

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Apple’s latest iPad Pro, Microsoft laptops and more are on sale today

Today's best deals come from Amazon, where have the latest 11-inch iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface laptops, and more devices on sale

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Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7, Galaxy Tab S7+ and more devices are on sale today

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We keep on getting amazing deals from Amazon, B&H, and Woot, where we find the Surface Pro 7, Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, and more on sale

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Microsoft will let developers keep a larger share of revenue generated by PC games

Microsoft has today announced a new revenue-sharing model for PC games that is sure to send ripples across the gaming industry. The company is moving to  12/88 model, which means developers can now keep 88% share of the revenue generated by their games, while Microsoft gets to keep a 12% starting August this year. So far, the company has been following a 30/70 model for sharing revenue.

“As part of our commitment to empower every PC game creator to achieve more, starting on August 1 the developer share of Microsoft Store PC games sales net revenue will increase to 88%, from 70%. A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so.”
– Matt Booty, Head of Xbox Games Studio

Epic did this a while ago with the launch of Epic Games Store

Microsoft’s latest move also falls in line with the Xbox division’s recent moves, especially the huge Bethesda accusation, which made it clear that the company has some big ambitions for PC gaming as well. However, the new 12/88 revenue sharing model only applies to PC games that are distributed via the Microsoft Store, and not console games for the Xbox family. The latest move by Microsoft will surely re-ignite the debate around the revenue-sharing trend in the gaming industry, and will definitely put Steam at the center of heated debates.

However, Microsoft is not the first one to do so. Epic Games has followed a similar 12/88 revenue sharing model ever since the launch of its own game marketplace – the Epic Games Store. Epic has got no love lost for Steam and parent company Valve, having attacked its 30/70 revenue sharing practice in the past and what it calls a monopoly over the PC game distribution ecosystem.

Steam will feel the pressure, but is unlikely to budge from its 30/70 stance

Steam continues to grow, and it still remains the behemoth in the face of alternatives such as GOG.com, Uplay, Humble, Epic Games Store, and of course, the Microsoft Store. But with Microsoft joining Epic in letting developers keep a bigger share of the revenue, the debate is sure to start anew – whether it coxes Steam into doing the same is an altogether different matter.

But it goes without saying that a majority of game developers, especially smaller studios, still bank on Steam for the success of their games. And abandoning Steam in favor of Microsoft and Epic Games Store to keep a bigger cut of revenue will be a huge risk. Looking from a broader perspective, the 30/70 model is a standard across the gaming industry – console, PC, and even mobile across Android and iOS.

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Windows 10 taskbar is getting a personalized makeover

Microsoft has announced the roll-out of news and interests on the Windows 10 taskbar. It will be rolled out to customers over the next several weeks. It is being made available in a phased manner and a broader availability will occur in the coming months. The Windows 10 taskbar makeover will make it easy for you to catch up on the things you care about. News and interests on the taskbar will provide a convenient and personalized experience centered around you.

After testing the feature with Insiders, Microsoft is rolling out news and interests to Windows 10 taskbar. Essentially, it creates a shortcut on the taskbar that allows you to check the weather, latest news, sports scores as well as stock prices. If you tap on a story, it will open in a browser. Moreover, you can save an article for later reading and share it if you so desire. As of now, there won’t be any ads in the new tool.

You can obviously tweak the selection of topics you see in your feed. Plus, you can select the publications Windows uses to source articles so you can easily have access to Pocketnow stories. You also get flexibility in how the icon appears on your taskbar. Plus, you can turn off the feature if it doesn’t please you and if you don’t want to see it at all. Hence, it is not a forced update.

According to Microsoft, adding news and interests to your Windows 10 taskbar will make finding high-quality and relevant news content easier. Further, the company says that most people already have a routine where they’re constantly checking what’s going in on the world throughout the day. Therefore, it is making the process seamless by including a way to check the weather, news, and other things. The feature will begin rolling out to customers over the next several weeks.

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