Looking to warm up your smart nest? Microsoft debuts Cortana-friendly Glas thermostat

Cool tech that’ll warm your heart (and home)

If you’re building a smart home – or upgrading a dumb one – one of the first things most people change out is the thermostat, and the smart home minders by Nest have been a hit so far. Now, though, there’s a new player, called Glas, and it comes from a little company called Microsoft. The device itself is made by Johnson Controls, but the real news here is that, yes, you will be able to control the Glas thermostat with Microsoft’s AI-bot Cortana.

Which means… you’ll essentially be able to talk to it. Smart home devices outside of hubs like the Amazon Echo and others have so far remained mostly silent, working through apps and so on, so the Glas thermostat marks a new chapter in the evolution of the smart home: a device you can literally talk to. Eventually, our homes will likely be filled with things that will literally do our bidding, from thermostats to vacuum bots to chatty fridges.

Sorry, your TRS-80 isn’t on the list

Speaking of Microsoft, here’s a heads up if you’re using an old PC: your days of updating to the latest version of Windows 10 may be numbered. According to a post by PC World, PCs that are no longer supported by their manufacturers will, at some point, also no longer to be able to update Windows. At present, most older PCs will still run Win 10, although performance can be… a bit sluggish.

Indeed, we have the latest version of Windows 10 creator’s edition running on a 10-year-old laptop, just to see how it performs. So far, so good. But, this new mandate from Microsoft could see that trend end. On the reverse, Microsoft is also working to end the practice of running old versions of Windows, like XP and Windows 7, on new hardware. Yes, it’s complicated, so get a more thorough explanation of what will upgrade, and what won’t.

Hidden doors in the walled garden

Over to Apple now, and if you’re an iPhone or iPad user and you just got a notification that a software upgrade is ready for you, we strongly suggest you back your device up to iTunes and pull the trigger. Why? The update patches a serious security hole that can allow hackers to access and control your phone or tablet, and they can do it without you even knowing they’re doing it.

The update patches several holes in Apple’s usually stalwart iOS, and you should update your iPad or phone ASAP, especially if you’re using an iPhone 5 or newer. Hit the link for all the details… right after you run the update.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.