Sonatype: COVID-19 causes 28% drop in UK software development

New research from Sonatype suggests COVID-19 has caused a 28 percent drop in UK software development.

COVID-19 has gripped countries around the world and grinded their economies to a halt. Britain’s furlough scheme – seeing the state pay 80% of people’s wages – has prevented the level of job losses seen in many countries, but that’s still over 7.5 million people currently sitting idle.

Sonatype measured open-source software download requests from The Central...

Windows 10 will soon support Linux GUI apps along with GPU acceleration

Microsoft has announced that full Linux GUI apps will soon be supported in Windows 10 along with GPU acceleration.

During this year’s BUILD, the first to be entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft pledged to improve its Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) with full GUI app support and GPU hardware acceleration.

Microsoft had already announced that it would be adding a full Linux kernel to Windows 10 with version two of WSL later this month, but the GUI...

Brad Smith: Microsoft was ‘on the wrong side of history’ with open-source

Microsoft president Brad Smith has admitted the company was "on the wrong side of history" when it comes to open-source software.

Redmond has had a rocky relationship with open-source software, especially Linux. Back in 2001, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously called Linux “a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Microsoft has a very different attitude to open-source today. In fact, the company is now the...

Microsoft guides Flutter developers on building Surface Duo apps

Microsoft has released a guide on how to build apps for the dual-screen Surface Duo using the Flutter SDK.

The company's flagship developer event, BUILD, begins tomorrow. Like many events this year, it will be entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's event is likely to be a big one, and it seems Redmond is preparing developers early.

Flutter will require little introduction for many of you; but, for the rest, it's Google's UI toolkit for building native...

Unreal Engine 4.25 adds support for Xbox Series X and PS5

The latest version of Unreal Engine has been released, adding support for the Xbox Series X and PS5 next-gen consoles.

Despite potential shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both of the new consoles are still due to release later this year.

We've already seen the specs revealed for each console and the features they'll support. The new Xbox has the overall power advantage, but the PS5 is still no slouch and has some unique tricks up its sleeve like ultra-fast loading...

Google and Apple will block location access while using contact-tracing API

A contact-tracing API being developed by Google and Apple will block location access to prevent misuse.

The API, called ExposureNotification, is being provided to national health agencies to build contact-tracing functionality into their apps. It's hoped that contact-tracing apps will help societies to safely return to some degree of normality.

An initial version of the API was released last week. This week, new resources – including demo code and example UI assets –...

Study: Half of Americans don’t trust contact-tracing apps

A new study has found that half of Americans wouldn't trust a COVID-19 contact-tracing app.

Contact-tracing apps are being hailed as key to returning to some degree of normality. The apps use Bluetooth to keep track of everyone an individual passes in order to notify that circle if a COVID-19 diagnosis is made so they can isolate and get tested before spreading the virus further.

Naturally, there are concerns about the amount of data such apps could take about their...

Research: Interest in COBOL surges like it’s the 60s

Research from job site Indeed has shown a surge in interest for the COBOL programming language.

COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) was first created in 1959 and usage of the language has dwindled over years. Today, you'll only really find the language used by businesses for sexy things like processing forms and payments systems.

Indeed's research shows a large uptick in the number of people seeking COBOL jobs on its website. The careers site noted this increase...

Xbox chief Phil Spencer expects next-gen games to be like ‘2D to 3D’

Xbox chief Phil Spencer is expecting a truly generational leap in games will occur later this year, likened to the jump from 2D to 3D.

We know from the specs that both the Xbox Series X and the PS5 are monsters that finally compete with even high-end PCs. However, there were some pretty photorealistic games available on the One X and PS4 Pro – so can we really expect that much of a jump? Spencer believes so.

Anyone who's been around games for multiple generations knows...

Apple and Google improve contact-tracing solution following criticisms

Apple and Google have sought to improve their COVID-19 contact-tracing plans following criticisms from governments.

Contact-tracing apps are being hailed as key to returning to some degree of normality. The apps use Bluetooth to keep track of everyone an individual passes in order to notify that circle if a COVID-19 diagnosis is made so they can isolate and get tested before spreading the virus further.

Naturally, however, many governments are wary about putting the data...