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360° IT Check #1 - What's Astro.js, Microsoft's Major Achievement, And More!

360° IT Check is a weekly publication where we bring you the latest and greatest in the world of tech. We cover topics like emerging technologies & frameworks, news about innovative startups, and other topics which affect the world of tech directly or indirectly.

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Astro.js– Ship Less JavaScript With Your Apps

Disclaimer: Astro doesn’t have a stable version released yet, therefore it is not advisable to use it in production at the moment.

Astro, a project coming from the developers of Snowpack, aims to make your website load no JavaScript, and thus improve your loading times. It makes it really hard for you to create bad apps– it is embracing the “Pit of Success.”

What the framework does behind the scenes, is that it generates a static version of your app, without any JavaScript. Do you have those one or two interactive elements that won’t work without JS? No worries. Astro loads the component and its dependencies. Additionally, you can easily control when the component renders – be it immediately, on page load, when the main thread is free, or when it’s visible. This makes it effortless to provide a better experience for your users.

Whilst it is not the first attempt at making the Web lighter, it might be the first one to truly gain traction. Coming from high-profile developers, and supporting Svelte, Vue and React out of the box is a recipe for success.

 

PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey

According to a survey by PwC, “half of global customers say that they have become more eco-friendly in the past six months.” The company’s “Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey” is a study where more than 8,600 people get surveyed about their habits, purchase decisions, and more.

From October 2020 to March 2021, the company notes that the shift to digital has accelerated dramatically. It might not be much of a surprise, since people prioritise their safety over keeping old habits.

Notably, there is an incredibly positive message coming when it comes to the sentiments regarding our natural environment. PwC found that 50% of all global customers admit to becoming more eco-friendly since their previous “Pulse” survey from March 2021. Interestingly, people surveyed from Southeast Asia and the Middle East are leading the way.

For the full June report, go to https://www.pwc.com/consumerinsights.

 

Windows 11 TPM Requirements

Windows 11 was announced last week. Among numerous new features and a refined UI, Microsoft has hidden a bit of a surprise – Windows 11 will not run if you do not have a Trusted Point Module chip.

Even though the company from Redmond has highlighted the requirement in their documents as early as 5 years ago, itcame as a surprise for a big part of the community. If you have a fairly new laptop, or a pre-built desktop, it’s a safe bet that you will be ready for an update. Peoplewho preferred assembling their desktop themselves might run into trouble, as aTPM is not exactly something that was high on the priority list.

The chip is in fact useful, acting as secure storage for your passwords and encryption keys, and a first line of defence against attacks. If you do not have one – and it is good to have one – there is a way to go around the requirement.

 

Microsoft Joins The Exclusive “2T” Club

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) made history this week, joining the exclusive group of companies valued at $2,000,000,000,000 ($2Trillion) or more. There are only two other companies that ever hit that mark –MSFT’s rival Apple, and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco. Currently, however, Aramco falls just short of the threshold, being valued at $1.9 trillion.

This spectacular achievement could be attributed to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s actions, who has reshaped the giant. If we take a look atthe company’s valuation, it started to steadily rise shortly after since Nadella was named CEO in 2014.

It is also currently doing well in each sector they are engaged in – gaming, cloud, analytics, AI, and others.  Xbox Game Pass was at 18million subscribers in January 2021 with the company also acquiring several high-profile studios – including Bethesda. Microsoft’s Azure revenue was up 50% in the second quarter, outperforming expectations. MSFT’s AI division announced first product features powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 allowing the company to further improve their no-code tools democratising software development. Better yet, the license for OpenAI’s (which was also trained on an Azure AI Supercomputer) GPT-3 is an exclusive one - which the company from Redmond is excited about. Just to quote one sentence: “The scope of commercial and creative potential that can be unlocked through the GPT-3 model is profound, with genuinely novel capabilities – most of which we haven’t even imagined yet.”

 

Cyberpunk 2077 Is Back In The PlayStation Store! 

Cyberpunk 2077, some say the most ambitious RPG game in years, is now back on the PS Store! Additionally, CD Projekt Red has reminded PlayStation gamers that “a free next-gen upgrade will be available for all owners of the PS4 version of Cyberpunk 2077 in the second half of 2021.” The game’s return occurred just after the release of patch 1.23,where numerous issues and bugs were fixed, including, but not limited to “various CPU optimizations”, “[m]emory optimizations”, and “[n]umerous crashfixes”.

The story of CP 2077 is a story of a comeback, with the game receiving negative reviews, from console players especially, at launch – the PC version never caused much of an issue. Nevertheless, the commitment of the game’s developer to fix the game patch after patch is admirable and shows the developer we know and remember from the Witcher era.  

Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter! 360° IT Check is a weekly publication where we bring you the latest and greatest in the world of tech. We cover topics like emerging technologies & frameworks, news about innovative startups, and other topics which affect the world of tech directly or indirectly.

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