The Morning After: Tumblr has a new owner

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Hey, good morning!

Welcome to Tuesday! Sony's newest product is a giant touchscreen for your car, Microsoft wants more people to subscribe to its Office products and Engadget's corporate sibling, Tumblr, is being sold to the owners of WordPress.

No, porn isn't coming back to the service.


Envious of the big display in your friend's Tesla?
Sony has a giant 9-inch display for your car

Just in time to take advantage of significant Android Auto updates and upcoming CarPlay enhancements in iOS 13, Sony has announced an updated version of its in-car receiver, with a floating touchscreen display. The new 8.95-inch WVGA display is both bigger and requires only a single DIN space to install, making it easier to fit to a wider variety of cars. This new assembly allows the display to tilt, as well as adjust its height and depth. In this way, Sony makes it possible to add a big, spacious display to a car that normally wouldn't have one. Compared to the car touchscreen competition, at $600 it's also pretty cheap.


It's not the social network it once was.
Tumblr's new owner is the owner of WordPress

Verizon (Engadget's parent company) is selling the social network to Automattic, the company behind the blogging tool WordPress. It's not disclosing the size of the deal, but Automattic is taking on 200 employees as part of the exchange. Automattic chief Matt Mullenweg told the Wall Street Journal that this is his company's largest acquisition both in terms of cost and sheer staff count. And in case you're wondering: no, Automattic won't reverse the ban on adult content. He saw Tumblr as a companion to WordPress and “just fun.”

It's a low-key end to a long, rough chapter in Tumblr's history. Yahoo bought the site in 2013 for a hefty $1.1 billion, but rumors suggest the selling prices is just a fraction of that.


The company really, really wants you to buy Office as a subscription.
Microsoft drops one-off Office licenses from its Home Use Program

Microsoft is joining the charge to sell its Office products as a subscription service. While users have traditionally purchased the Office suite as a one-off perpetual license, the company is pushing customers toward an annual subscription instead.

Microsoft will no longer sell one-off licenses for Office 2019 as part of its Home Use Program (HUP). The company updated its FAQ page to confirm: “Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 are no longer available as Home Use Program offers.”

The HUP is a program aimed at employees in eligible companies, allowing them to buy the same Microsoft products they use at work to use at home. Previously, employees had been offered discounted rates for perpetual licenses. Now, they will have to purchase a subscription with a 30-percent discount, costing $48.99 a year for Office 365 Personal or $69.99 a year for Office 365 Home.


‘Minecraft' graphics overhaul is cancelled
It just didn't perform well on multiple platforms.

Two years in the making, and it's canceled. The Minecraft team has decided to can its super-duper graphics pack after being unable to maintain a decent level of performance in-game. The pack was going to enable 4K on the Xbox One X and introduce much more sophisticated visual effects, which included atmospheric effects, highlights and more realistic water.

There is hope for a graphics tune-up in the future. Mojang said it was “looking into other ways” to give Minecraft a new look.

But wait, there's more…


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