Two and a half billion, that’s billion with a “B.” That’s how much Microsoft paid to acquire the Swedish Minecraft game developer Mojang last year. When you consider that as of 2012, the company had revenues of less than 100 million, you get the idea that our pals in Redmond wanted Mojang a lot more for the intellectual property than the actual revenues.
In any case, players of Minecraft know that Redstone is the coveted ore that powers the things that Minecrafters build. And apparently Microsoft is proud enough of their purchase to name the expected updates for Windows 10 to be released in 2016 after it: Two ‘substantial’ updates are reportedly dubbed project ‘Redstone.’
The relationship between the two companies has already proved symbiotic. Close followers of Mojang may have to wonder about the latest security patch addressed in Minecraft version 1.8.4 and whether it’s sudden appearance might have been prodded along by Microsoft’s tech crews. Speedily addressing updates as part service is nothing new to Microsoft, but the Minecraft major security flaw (that could cause servers to crash) had been identified and brought to Mojang’s attention, yet remained unaddressed, for almost two years.
The Redstone updates for Windows 10 may be nothing more than just tweaks for the 2015 release of Windows 10, or for core features that don’t make the cut or aren’t finished for this year’s release. And the big news of course will be the Spartan browser, the (mostly) replacement for Internet Explorer.
There are, however, rumors that Windows 10 and the Redstone patch will bring to Microsoft’s OS new classes of devices that aren’t currently supported. It’s possible, just possible, that Windows establishes Redstone to be the ‘fuel,” much like in Minecraft, that powers new devices that others may build. This is where the question gets interesting for newsreaders, and the truth of the matter is that the compatibility of current Windows-based newsreader with Windows 10 remains to be seen. But if Usenet services like NewsDemon Newsgroups are allowed to build and/or adapt themselves to be driven by Redstone, the world just became a more interesting place.