Tech & Gaming
PC Pro

PC Pro No.291 - January 2019

The UK’s biggest selling PC monthly magazine, and your source of professional IT news, reviews and tests. Combining in–depth industry comment and analysis with rigorous product testing.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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£4(Incl. tax)
£31.99(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
alaptop is a fashion statement, but it’s also a tool of work

WHAT DOES YOUR laptop say about you? If it’s battered at the edges and finished in old-school grey, you may consider every scratch a badge of honour. Perhaps you’re a MacBook advocate, where industrial design and that mirrored Apple logo send a message of success. Or you might have smothered it in stickers, turning it into a no-logo John Doe. Whether we like it or not, our laptops say something about us. I think Microsoft understands this. After all, the only visible difference between the Surface Pro 6 (see p44) and Surface Pro 5 is colouring: dressed in svelte black, the Pro 6 is a fine-looking beast. It’s bizarre, though, that we’ve got to the tail end of 2018 and the company remains incapable of looking outside its own bubbled existence. With…

4 min.
android ‘punishment’ a win-win for google

Background and analysis on all the important news stories PROPOSED CHANGES TO the way Google licenses Android in Europe could actually end up doing the company more good than harm. Following its £3.8 billion EU fine for insisting phone manufacturers included all of its apps, Google has proposed a remedy that would make it possible for handset manufacturers to exclude some apps and even work on forks of the Android OS. However, faced with the potential of losing both the advertising and data revenue from its search and Chrome features, the company plans to start charging a licence fee for several products. A source close to the Google competition case told PC Pro that the proposed settlement was nothing more than Google “thumbing its nose at the EU”. In the long run, our informant suggested,…

4 min.

▶ Huawei Mate 20 X Huawei is attacking the high-end phone market with a new phablet-cum-games console. Huawei is pitching the handset as a rival to Nintendo’s Switch, with its own gamepad and controllers. The 7.2in 1080p screen offers plenty of space for gaming, movie watching or ebook reading. There’s also the same three-camera system as found in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro (see p68) and a sizeable 5,000mAh battery to keep all of this powered. Huawei claims it’s the first smartphone to use graphene as a cooling material, which should allow the handset to run at full-throttle for longer periods with fewer overheating or performance issues. The only problem? Initially, the president of Huawei Europe told us in a private briefing, it will only be released in China. KEY DIGITS AND DETAILS Availability China only Price…

2 min.
obituary paul allen (1953-2018)

PAUL ALLEN MAY be forever remembered as Bill Gates’ sidekick, having partnered Gates in forming Microsoft at the birth of personal computing, but he was so much more than that. As Gates himself acknowledged in a blog post published shortly after Allen’s death from cancer at the age of 65: “Microsoft would never have happened without Paul”. Allen was arguable the driving force in the early days of Microsoft, coming up with the company name and selling IBM on an operating system (MS-DOS) that at the time was still a glint in his eye. It was Allen who persuaded a young Bill Gates to leave Harvard and join him in creating what would become the world’s dominant software company. Indeed, the world’s largest company, full stop. Allen was first diagnosed with cancer in 1983,…

1 min.
microsoft opens its doors to linux

MICROSOFT SURPRISED ITS longstanding critics by open-sourcing some 60,000 patents when it joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), a consortium of tech companies that allows all members to use each other’s code without fear of legal ramifications. Microsoft has been criticised for a long time within the industry for restricting innovation by maintaining a wide portfolio of patents that it only licensed to selected partners. Although the firm has increasingly embraced the open source movement, this mass outpouring of patents has still raised some eyebrows. “We believe Microsoft will be able to do more than ever to help protect Linux and other important open source workloads from patent assertions,” explained Erich Andersen, the company’s deputy general counsel in a company blog. The move means OIN developers – including Red Hat, Google and Suse…

5 min.
whywindows keeps breaking

It’s starting to become a habit. After blue-screen bugs halted the release of the Spring Update to Windows 10 earlier this year, the Fall Update quickly became the Fail Update. Reports of widespread user file deletion forced Microsoft to yank the update and send it back for repairs. But with “tens of millions” of Insiders testing Windows releases and one of the biggest QA departments in the software industry, why does Windows keep breaking? Broken or unstable updates aren’t confined to Windows, of course, with experts warning the latest case highlights a weakness that spans the entire industry. “Nowadays, software development teams typically follow an agile development model in which new software versions are released on a frequent basis,” said Cristian Cadar, who leads the Software Reliability Group at Imperial College London. “This…