Hashtag Trending, June 25, 2021 – Windows 11 officially announced; Big Tech’s renewables push; Peloton drops free features

With Files From Jori Negin-Shecter

Microsoft has officially unveiled its Windows 11 Operating System, Big Tech is going hard for renewable energy, and Peloton makes a baffling change to their treadmills.

It’s all the biz/tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, June 25 and I’m your host Alex Coop

In a public webcast on Thursday morning, Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 11, the next evolution of its venerable operating system. Its biggest revamps include a new user interface, an all new Windows store, and support for Android apps through the Amazon app store. Windows 11 also aims to improve workflow by introducing custom snap layouts and sorting open apps into groups. Additionally, Microsoft has promised that updates for Windows 11 will be up to 40% smaller. Windows 11 is set to arrive in holiday 2021 as a free update for Windows 10 users, but its elevated system requirements, specifically the need for a trusted platform module (TPM), may mean that many of today’s consumer devices won’t make the cut. [Twitter] [The Verge]

Big Tech is making a big push to secure clean energy for power-hungry data centres. An article from the Wall Street Journal earlier this week detailed that the “big four” – Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft – have accounted for 30% of all publicly disclosed renewable energy purchase agreements by corporations. These efforts, which are seeing companies such as Amazon purchase renewable energy from across the globe, come during a period of particularly high data demand. This of course requires rapidly higher computer processing power. According to a 2020 study in the Journal of Science, data centres are estimated to account for approximately 1% of all global energy consumption. [LinkedIn]

And finally, the tech-focused fitness company Peloton has removed its free ‘Just Run’ feature, disabling the system for non-paying users and putting access to their treadmills behind a $40 per month paywall. The move, which comes after a voluntary recall last month due to safety concerns, is somewhat bizarrely being presented by Peloton as a locking feature to protect children from injuring themselves. The company introduced a new “Tread Lock” feature to prevent their Tread+ machines from being started without a passcode. However, as the company expressed in a statement, “Tread Lock is not yet available without a Peloton Membership, which means Tread+ owners without a subscription cannot access Just Run at this time.” The move sparked significant backlash from regular Peloton users, and Peloton says that they are “working on updates to Tread Lock that will allow [them] to make Tread Lock and Just Run available without a Peloton Membership.” [Reddit] [PC Mag]

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. Thanks for listening.

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