Google on Wednesday announced that Chrome packaged apps are now available in the Chrome Web Store, meaning you don’t need a direct link to get them anymore. That being said, they are still limited to users that have switched to Chrome’s developer channel on Windows and Chrome OS.
If you’re browsing the store, you’ll notice that the App category now contains only the new Chrome packaged apps. Google has also added a separate category called Websites, which features all existing hosted apps and legacy packaged apps.
This on the Chrome Web Store change follows Google’s porting of the app launcher, a little window that features all your apps in one place, from Chrome OS to its Chrome browser back in February. As Google puts it, this is “the same experience as the app launcher on Chromebooks, but for other platforms.”
Here’s how it looks (this will only show up if you install a Chrome packaged app, meaning you can keep using Chrome as just a browser if you want):
At the time, Google said the new feature is only available on the Chrome dev channel for Windows, but that users would be able to try it out “soon” on OS X and Linux. Just over two months later, and it seems the app launcher is still only available on Windows and Chrome OS, and so this new categorization of apps on the Chrome Web Store is limited as well.
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News Corporation is selling its 44 percent share in the Sky TV network in New Zealand in a move that will see it exit the business that it established in the country in 1987, according to a brief announcement made today.
News Limited — the subsidiary through which News Corporation operates in Australia and New Zealand — has tapped Deutsche Bank and Craigs Investment Partners to manage the sale . The company expects its assets will be acquired by “a broad range of institutional and retail investors”, but no price has been disclosed
A statement from Chase Carey, President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation, said that the rest of the News Limited business – which includes more than 140 newspapers in Australia, including news.com.au – will not be affected. No reason was given for the sale:
SKY is a world class subscription television business and has been an outstanding investment for News Corporation. We and SKY have always enjoyed an excellent, arms-length working relationship and we expect this to continue unaffected by the sale. In particular, we do not anticipate any change to current arrangements regarding access to content and collaboration on technology.
The sale will see Regional Director of News Limited Michael Miller leave the Sky board.
News Limited was initially Rupert Murdoch’s principal holding company until the Australia-born entrepreneur set up News Corporation in 1979. Thereafter, it became a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Sky TV New Zealand is installed in approximately half of the households in the country. The company expanded into low-cost television when it launched its Igloo pre-pay service in partnership with Television New Zealand last year. Sky holds a 51 percent share.
Image via Ben Stansall / Getty Images
Go here to see the original: News Corporation is selling its 44% share of Sky TV New Zealand
Google has added Calendar results to its enhanced Gmail and Web search in an ongoing field trial program open to Gmail users in the US. The field trial for an enhanced version of Google’s search began late last year and has been iterated on to include more info in Gmail search, as well as searches performed on Google.com.
The new results in Gmail for the calendar will likely look like these, which are now also presented on Google.com for program participants:
The expanded trail is only available at Google.com in the US in English. You also have to have a Gmail.com address and Apps accounts aren’t in the running. You can visit the experiment page for more info and to opt in. Google says that it will take a bit to receive a confirmation email as there is limited capacity, and not everyone may get in.
Google is playing to its strengths here, surfacing more of the data that it on you and your schedule more quickly and in an interface that is incredibly reminiscent of Google Now. If I had to conjecture, we’ll be seeing all of this coalesce into a Google Now for the Web more quickly than you might think. All of the elements are there, they just need to be codified into one simple voice-or-text-activated interface.
Image Credit: JOHANNES EISELE/Getty Images
Microsoft launched its curious Surface Pro hybrid earlier this week, but it turns out that actually trying to buy one was a bit more problematic than people had hoped. Folks looking to get their hands on one of the 128GB models had it especially rough — the $999 device sold out in Microsoft’s online store and some of the company’s retail outlets, not to mention some Best Buy and Staples locations.
Well, according to a tweet from Surface GM Panos Panay, the process of snagging a 128GB Surface Pro will be much easier in just a few days — he confirmed that units were on their way to Best Buy and Microsoft retail stores and that they would be ready to sell by Saturday.
Naturally, Panay didn’t let that tentative timeframe slip uncajoled — he engaged the masses on Twitter in an hour-long chat earlier today that also saw him tackle questions about the Surface Pro’s stylus and the company’s toe-tapping commercials. It wasn’t until a user named @EvanSturdivant pressed Panay on the generic statement about Surface Pro availability he had previously issued that the truth finally came out.
At first glance, all these reports of Surface Pro sell-outs seem to point to a considerable amount of demand for the product — Paul Thurrott noted the existence of “Apple-like lines” in some Microsoft stores — but we’ve since learned that the scarcity of the Surface Pro may have had more to do with limited supply than overwhelming demand. Both 64 and 128GB Surface Pros were apparently in short supply when some people called around asking for them, and one unlucky ZDNet writer had to schlep to a Microsoft Store 50 miles from where he lived because it was the only place he could find a 128GB model. As is usually the case, some people began to cook up some strange conspiracy theories (like one that claimed Microsoft deliberately limited supplies in order to say that it had sold out of Surface Pros), but I seriously doubt that’s the case. Sure, the whole rigmarole was a headache for people itching for a high-end Surface Pro, but the smart money’s on all this being an issue of mismanagement and not malice.
You likely won’t be able to take one home yet, unless a store makes a serious error, but if you are enterprising enough to do a little searching, the chances are decent that you can get some hands-on time with Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet ahead of its official launch date.
Engadget today reported that the device, which will eventually be on sale at Staples, Best Buy, and Microsoft Stores in Canada and the United States, can be found at certain stores from those chains. Quite obviously, we cannot tell you which stores have received the devices and put them out in what appears to be a somewhat willful early outing, but if you live near a Big Box Electronics Retailer, a short trip could yield you a first look.
The Surface Pro tablet hybrid, bigger brother to the Surface RT device, will go on sale February 9th in the United States and Canada. It starts at $899 for the 64 gigabyte SKU, and $100 more for twice the storage.
TNW was provided with limited hands-on time with the device previously, which led us to report the following:
That said, the strong material and build points that Microsoft earned with the RT spill over to the Pro; it’s built with the same care and appreciation. If you don’t like Windows 8, the Surface Pro will do nothing for you. If you liked the idea of the Surface RT, but wanted a bit more power and flexibility the Pro could be a fit for you.
The Surface Pro is a unique and interesting device. Priced much higher than its Surface RT sibling, it will compete with the Ultrabook market, as Intel works to lower the price points of those devices, and adds touch-screen capabilities to each model in the lineup. Still, the Surface Pro could find adoption among business-oriented customers in the BYOD future of the enterprise space.
At its highest cost, $999, the Surface Pro abuts the cheapest Macbook Air, by way of comparison. The device recently came under fire for providing limited storage space for its end user, a complaint that also applied to the Surface RT. Windows, now touch enabled, remains not small.
It will be a busy week of Surface news, we presume, as Microsoft gears up for its launch, so stay tuned.
Top Image Credit: ImagineCup