SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft said Friday it will close all of its stores and move its retail operations online, keeping just four locations and transforming them into “experience centers.”
The move means the more than 80 Microsoft stores closed due to the coronavirus pandemic will not reopen as the tech giant enters “a new approach to retail,” according to a statement.
“Microsoft will continue to invest in its digital storefronts on Microsoft.com, and stores in Xbox and Windows,” the statement said.
The four locations that will become Microsoft Experience Centers are in London, New York, Sydney and at the company’s Redmond, Washington headquarters.
Retail team members will “serve customers from Microsoft corporate facilities and remotely providing sales, training, and support,” the company said.
Microsoft said it will set aside $450 million to cover the costs of closing the locations. The number of employees who would be affected was not immediately available.
“Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location,” said Microsoft corporate vice president David Porter.
Microsoft in recent years has been relying more on its services such as cloud computing, with the retail locations focusing on its Surface tablets and laptops as well as Xbox gaming gear. But the physical stores failed to gain the momentum of rival Apple.
Independent technology analyst Neil Cybart said the closures were because “the Surface business increasingly looks to be losing momentum in the consumer space.”
The impact of the pandemic has not yet been reflected in Microsoft’s financial results. It posted a net profit of $10.8 billion from January to March, up 22 percent year-on-year, on a turnover of $35 billion.
Despite production delays for its Surface range, the group believes it is well positioned to weather the crisis, thanks in particular to the explosion of cloud computing.
In an era of social distancing, Microsoft can also count on its teleworking, distance and education software and services.
However, it has just closed down video game streaming platform Mixer, leaving the field open to the industry giant Twitch, owned by Amazon, and its two rivals, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming.
Number of people ‘under investigation’ for possible COVID-19 on Siksika Nation has tripled – Globalnews.ca
Almost 80 nation members are currently in isolation, as health officials on the reserve work to contain the spread.
Community member Alayna Doore said her teenage son and mother tested positive weeks ago and both have since made a full recovery.
“It was terrifying,” Doore said.
“The first thing, you think the worst… We are blessed, they have recovered fully and tested negative a few times already, and are continuing to be safe and protecting the community,” Doore said.
The fear is an unfamiliar feeling for such a close and social community, located east of Calgary. Doore said Nation members aren’t used to being afraid to gather. But it’s something they know is too risky right now given the latest numbers.
Siksika health officials have revealed 191 people are under active investigation for COVID-19, a number which has tripled over the past several days.
“In the beginning, chief and council implemented the local state of emergency that shut down business and community events, and that helped a lot,” Doore said. “People were starting to feel comfortable going out and going to the store. We still need to be careful, be kind and be supportive and take precautions.”
With 600 vulnerable nation members, Siksika health officials are pleading for people to follow health guidelines. There are currently 8 active cases.
“There is a high risk of community transmission on the Nation,” said a tweet on the Siksika Nation’s Twitter. “Please remember that COVID-19 can spread rapidly and gatherings are a significant cause of spread during this pandemic. A case of COVID-19 can spread like wildfire in groups of people who are in contact.”
“It’s creating anxiety and fear and blaming,” Doore said. “We have to remember to support each other and nobody did this voluntarily — it’s something that happened and we need to support each other.”
Additional health measures are in place on the nation in hopes of getting the virus under control and stabilizing the case numbers. Recommendations include limiting non-essential travel for nation members and restricting the numbers of gatherings both indoor and outdoor to 10.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Display expert again claims 'iPhone 12 Pro' will lack 120Hz ProMotion – AppleInsider
Apple’s rumored “iPhone 12” models won’t feature a 120Hz ProMotion display, a self-described display analyst claims.
Multiple reports, including those by accurate leaker Jon Prosser, have suggested that 2020’s “iPhone 12” models will support the upgraded display type. The 120Hz displays are expected to be restricted to so-called “iPhone 12 Pro” models.
Ross Young, a self-proclaimed display expert and founder of Display Supply Chain Consultants, is bucking rumors with claims that none of the 2020 models will feature the upgraded technology.
None of Young’s “contacts” could corroborate the inclusion of ProMotion displays on the “iPhone 12.” Instead, he says that the panels will arrive with 2021’s “iPhone 13” lineup.
Young previously said that the “iPhone 12” models would lack low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) backplanes — a technology he claims would be essential to ProMotion displays.
There are currently smartphones with 120Hz refresh rates on the market, and Apple’s own iPad Pro sports a ProMotion display but not LTPO.
A higher screen refresh rate through Apple’s ProMotion display would result in smoother animations and scrolling. According to Prosser, the refresh rate will be variable between 60Hz and 120Hz.
OnePlus Nord confirmed to come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset – 9to5Google
In yet another majorly shocking revelation, the OnePlus Nord is set to come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody whatsoever, the upcoming affordable phone is coming with the also affordable 5G-enabled chipset. Firstly, Qualcomm EU made the mistake of essentially confirming the inclusion with a badly timed congratulatory tweet — which has since been deleted.
Then less than 24 hours later, in a interview with TechRadar UK, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the OnePlus Nord will indeed come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip embedded within. At least we won’t have to tussle with those still adamant that we might see the MediaTek Dimensity 1000L inside the mid-ranger now.
“We’ve been looking at the mid-range smartphone market for a while. It’s just that we felt like the technology wasn’t really there to be able to create a mid-range product that also lives up to our ‘Never Settle’ philosophy. But we’re pretty confident that this time around the OnePlus Nord will do just that.”
Considering OnePlus has focused heavily on ensuring that all 2020 releases — and likely thereafter — will be 5G capable, this is likely the only chipset that leverages both performance and affordability. With pricing set to come in at under $500, it’s a tricky balancing act when it comes to the internals.
Pei went on to directly confirm that we will indeed see the Snapdragon 765G with the OnePlus Nord but that was the only detail confirmed. However, rumors also suggest we’ll see a 90Hz FHD+ display, at least 8GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage and, as confirmed last week, a dual punch-hole notch at the front.
While we are not likely to see a wide release in the US for this first generation Nord device, at least those that are chosen as part as a “beta test” will have no issues with carrier network bands in North America.
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