Making Windows 10 Mandatory, Apple Kills iTunes Radio… [Tech News Digest]

New computers won’t support old versions of Windows, Apple hides iTunes Radio behind a paywall, Penthouse Magazine cannot compete with Internet porn, EA gives something away for free, and Kylo Ren is the latest Undercover Boss.

Microsoft Pushes Windows 10 Hard

Microsoft has changed its support policy in order to get even more of us using Windows 10. In layman’s terms, new processors will only work with Windows 10, meaning anyone buying a new PC will be forced to use Microsoft’s latest operating system, whether they like it or not.

Essentially, if you buy a new PC powered by Intel’s Kaby Lake processor, Qualcomm’s 8996 processor, or AMD’s Bristol Ridge processor, you’re stuck with Windows 10. If you tried to install Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on that computer it would either not work properly or be woefully outdated.

Microsoft explained the change in a Windows Blog post, saying:

“Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming ‘Kaby Lake’ silicon, Qualcomm’s upcoming ‘8996’ silicon, and AMD’s upcoming ‘Bristol Ridge’ silicon.”

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean Microsoft is pulling support for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 earlier than previously stated. Instead, the company is only going to support these previous versions of its operating system as they exist on contemporaneous computers.

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So, if you’re already using Windows 7 you’re fine until 2020, and if you’re using Windows 8.1 you’re fine until 2023. Cue a collective sigh of relief from Windows 10 haters everywhere.

Apple Kills Free iTunes Radio

Apple is killing its ad-supported iTunes Radio, with Beats 1 now being its only free music product. Anyone who wants to carry on creating iTunes Radio-style stations will need to subscribe to Apple Music in order to do so. Unfortunately, Apple Music costs $9.99-per-month.

For the uninitiated, iTunes Music was a Pandora-like service supported by ads. Songs would be played pretty much at random, with users limited to just six skips every hour. If you wanted to hear a song again you would have to purchase it from the iTunes Store.

Existing iTunes Radio users have until January 28th to enjoy the service, at which point it will shut down. The feature will then live on behind the Apple Music paywall. It’s surely no coincidence that this coincides with the shutting down of Apple’s iAds division.

The Internet Killed Penthouse Magazine

The Internet has killed yet another print publication, and this time it’s Penthouse Magazine feeling the squeeze. Penthouse isn’t disappearing completely, but it will disappear from stores as it goes fully digital. Publisher FriendFinder Network told The Wall Street Journal:

“This will be a new way for its readers to experience the world’s best adult magazine. Re-imagined for the preferred consumption of content today by consumers, the digital version of Penthouse Magazine will combine and convert everything readers know and love about the print magazine experience to the power of a digital experience.”

Print publications have been hit hard by the ongoing shift to the Web, and soft-porn magazines have felt it even more than most thanks to the sheer amount of pornography available online. Playboy previously transitioned into a lifestyle magazine with no nudes for the same reason.

EA’s Access Vault Is Free on Xbox One

If you own an Xbox One and an Xbox Live Gold membership, then EA is offering you access to its Vault from tomorrow (Jan 19th) to Sunday (Jan 24th). The Vault, usually only open to EA Access members, currently holds 14 games, all of which can be played in full for the duration.

EA Access normally costs $4.99-per-month or $29.99 for a full year. Games in the Vault include Battlefield Hardline, FIFA 15, Madden NFL 25, Dragon Age: Inquisition, NHL 15, Titanfall, Need for Speed Rivals, NBA LIVE 15, and Peggle 2. EA Access recently launched on PC as Origin Access.

Kylo Ren Goes Undercover

And finally, Kylo Ren, the main villain in the new Star Wars trilogy, may be a psychotic badass, but even he sees the value in connecting with his underlings. So, as all the cool chief executives do these days, he agreed to appear on Undercover Boss.

Things don’t go quite according to plan, as Kylo Ren struggles to hide his true identity. And people inevitably end up dead, just as they do in The Force Awakens. Still, at least it’s only a Saturday Night Live clip, eh, and not real life. Unlike Star Wars, obviously.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you disheartened by Microsoft’s decision to go all-in on Windows 10? Will you miss listening to iTunes Radio? Are you surprised Penthouse Magazine lasted this long? If you have an Xbox One, will you be visiting the EA Access Vault? Did you enjoy the new Star Wars movie?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.