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Farewell to Microsoft’s Fedora Guy, Hello to Android apps for Chromebooks

We’re covering a grab-bag of topics on this week’s Close to the Metal, starting with layoffs at Microsoft. It’s not strange for a large company to slash jobs, but this round has a high-visibility casualty: Bryan Roper, who’s well known for his boisterous demos at Microsoft press conferences.

Despite job cuts, the company continues to move forward with updates to Windows 10. The latest Insider update added an unexpected feature — and ebook reader for the Edge web browser. Did anyone ask for this? And is it necessary?

Meanwhile, at Google, the company’s developers are hard at working making 2017 the year Android and Chrome OS complete their Dragonball Z-style fusion. A recent update to the Chromium project website says that every new Chromebook released in 2017 will have support for Android apps. Google has also expanded support for past Chromebooks to a number of new systems, bringing the total number of Android-compatible devices well above 50. That’s impressive progress.

Finally, we wrap up on a more futuristic note — Razer’s patent for OLED displays in keyboard and mice. The company has a long history of trying to put customization displays in weird places, often with success. This new patent suggests the company could take that a step further with OLED panels custom-fit for hardware, which are embedded within mice or keyboards and protected by “optically transmissive” material.

Oh, and no. Razer never did get back the laptops stolen from it at CES. Hopefully thieves don’t get their hands on this new technology, too!

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that focuses on the geekier side of life. It tackles the topics PC enthusiasts argue over in language everyone can understand. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Tuesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.