Winquire News Around the Web for December 24, 2010

It’s been a busy week so far, what with the Christmas coming up and then choosing this week to redo a couple of my computers and Virtual Machines.

Anyways, there’s still a little bit of news floating around, given that most people have already settled down for the week. Here’s today’s news and tidbits from around the web, literally.

Google has released a couple of new updates to its app store, making apps easier to pay for and find. One of the key features that Google is now implementing is paying via AT&T versus direct. The app store is, in my opinion, the Achilles heal to the Android platform. Namely, Google does everything almost opposite of Apple. They don’t have a very thorough app check for developers, meaning that most apps get approved, regardless of form or function. Further, paying for the apps used to be via credit card only (i.e., not through AT&T). Google is correcting the latter of these issues, and will be implementing a thorough change in how their apps are categorized and organized. Perhaps this is what the Google naysayers have been looking for.

Regarding the Skype outages that happened on Wednesday, 21 millions users are now reported to be back on line (which also meant more than 21 million users also lost service on Wednesday). Skype’s CEO talked capacity levels as well, stating that Skype is currently at 90% capacity. Offline chats and group videos, however, appear non functional at this time. This wouldn’t be too much of a concern if Skype decided to keep status quo, but with their recent discussion of planning to expand their services is a little worrisome with that amount of capacity already met.

On Wednesday, I wrote about Microsoft possibly incorporating ARM support in either a future version of Windows (would be Windows 8) or more realistically, in their Windows Embedded platform. However, reports have also gone around stating that Microsoft may show off an ARM tablet at CES, my guess is it’s based on the Windows Embedded platform, and not necessarily a Windows 7 machine, or really, a Windows machine at all. For instance, AT&T’s popular U-Verse boxes use Windows Embedded. Obviously, there’s not a huge resemblance to Windows on those boxes, it’s just the underlying components that would be relatively similar. Whether or not Microsoft will release a Windows Phone Tablet is still in the shadows.

Google released version 10 of Google Chrome in the dev channels. If you’re a regular tester of Google’s Chrome browser, feel free to check out the latest update. There’s not a whole lot of new features here, but hey, it’s version 10. (Doing the math, Google releases a new update nearly every two months, that’s fairly impressive compared to Firefox’s near 1.5 years and Microsoft’s more than 2.5 year schedule.)

And as a Christmas treat don’t forget to follow the NORAD Santa tracker, which has been a Christmas tradition since December 24, 1955. Google will offer a similar service with Google Maps and if you have an On-Star equipped vehicle, well, they’ll help you find Santa as well.

More news to come throughout the day, check back later!

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