This Week's Recap: the Surface Book, a Made in China OS, Choosing a T-shirt Japanese-Geek Style, Facebook Reactions, and Microsoft Finally Hearts Linux

Microsoft unveils the Surface Book


During its Windows 10 Devices event, Microsoft presented a truly intriguing product: the Surface Book. Is it a tablet? Is it a laptop? Well, it's both! A Surface table that can be used as a stand-alone or with the detachable bottom part. 13.5 inch screen, 6th generation Intel processor, up to 166Gb of RAM, and up to 12 hours of battery life. Microsoft even claims (without backing it up though) that it is twice as fast as a MacBookPro. Noteworthy: the peculiar, flexible design of the hinge, on which the tablet is inserted. The first (and "ultimate", they say) in-house MS laptop. Between $1,499 and $2,699 US, from October 26 (presale is ongoing).

NeoKylin, the Chinese government-backed OS

These days, Windows is the most popular OS in China, the largest market on the planet. But this is seen as a bad thing by the Chinese government, which would prefer a national product for security reasons (and perhaps a dash of paranoia?) among other things. This it why officials strongly encourage the use of NeoKylin, an OS developed in Shanghai by China Standard Software. The OS is quickly gaining traction in the country; for instance, about 40% of PC sold by Dell in China run it. Is it just us or the GUI is STRIKINGLY similar to Windows? It even comes with a "NeoShine Office Suite", with applications that look JUST like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Great innovation skills guys.

Only in Japan: Uniqlo and neuroscience

The very Japanese cool clothing chain Uniqlo thought of a little something to help its customers who don't know what to choose in-store. Called UMood, the technology was launched this week and is now being tested in a first outlet. Interested customers put on a headset, with a sensor on the forehead, and then watch short videos corresponding to different moods. Algorythms then measure their interest, like, concentration, stress and drowsiness, then attempt to pick THE perfect t-shirt for them, from the 600 or so sold by the brand. The technology was developed by Dentsu ScienceJam, and the sensor by NeuroSky. It this pilot is successful, Uniqlo could deploy UMood in many more stores around the world.

The Facebook "Dislike" button was never meant to be

Some users in Ireland and Spain started seeing the new Facebook Reactions section this week, which pops up when clicking or hovering around the "Like" button. This new section presents emojis-based icons that enable users to express different emotions as as response to their friends' statuses. A couple of weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg opened the door to a "Dislike button," which was very much discussed on the Interwebs. It finally looks like this button, which could have led to very weird situations on the most popular social network, will not be. But instead of "liking" a sad or race-inducing status, it will now be possible to select the appropriate emotion instead.

Microsoft (again!) launches its first Linux-based service

A mouse may be of service to a lion: Microsoft caused quite a shock this week by launching a new major data service: Azure HDInsight. Its main feature (on top of being on the cloud) : to be based on an open-source technology, and to be offered with Linux! According to analysts however, this sudden support for Linux should not be seen as a philantropic move from Microsoft, but rather as a money-minded one. Most companies today have mixed technology infrastructures, and environments that include Linux are becoming more more and widespread. Microsoft does not want to lose this market share, and is willing to make many compromises, even ones that could not even have been dreamed of a few years ago.