Google Opens Retail Store; Facebook Tests Ads on Oculus; Spotify Launches Clubhouse Clone; Windows 11 Leak

Google is opening its first physical store, after a slew of pop-up experiments over the years. Theverge.com reports that it will be beneath Google’s New York City offices in the Chelsea neighborhood. The store will mainly feature Google’s own products like Pixel phones, Nest smart home devices, Fitbits, and more. There will also be third party accessories and Google branded swag…hats, tee shirts, and the like. The store opens tomorrow morning, June 17th, at 10AM…Eastern, of course.

Facebook will start testing ads in its Oculus VR headsets. According to CNBC, ads will first appear in the shooter game Blaston. Facebook claims it won’t be saving data (ha, ha, ha.) Ads should be no surprise, coming from a company that gets 97% of its total revenue from ads. Facebook is touting the ads as a way developers can get more revenue, in addition to Facebook getting more cash in the door, of course.

Spotify has dropped its live audio app and what the are calling Greenroom…their Clubhouse clone. Techcrunch.com says Greenroom will allow Spotify users to either host or join live audio rooms, which can optionally be made into podcasts. Greenroom is based on Locker Room’s existing code. Spotify picked up Locker Room in March. To join the new app, Spotify users will sign in with their existing Spotify credentials, and then will be walked through the onboarding process to get connected with their interests. If you have used Clubhouse, Twitter’s Spaces, or Facebook Live Audio Rooms, the format looks very similar. Note that re the podcast option that Spotify is recording all of the live audio sessions. Those can also be used by Spotify in the event of abuse by users. 

Windows 11 details are leaking out as if through a sieve. Engadget.com reports that there is a centralized Start menu with round corners. Many Microsoft watchers see a lot of resemblance to the now dead Windows 10X. Officially, Microsoft has a launch event set for June 24th. Most of the visual cues seem to be more tweaks to Windows 10 than revolutionary changes. New snap controls have been spotted, that let you more easily move a window into a particular place on your screen. What we don’t know yet is how well the new OS will work on tablets, ARM powered computers, and dual-screen PCs. Those details will hopefully become clear on the 24th.



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