Fully Charged: Three wants to eat O2, Office 2016 desktop out this year, and Ubisoft's Grow Home sounds crazy

Cap off a busy week for tech with our latest morning news roundup


O2 reportedly will be acquired

O2, the #2 wireless carrier in Britain, is about to be acquired by Hong Kong company Hutchinson Whampoa, with the news being announced as early as later today. That’s the report coming out of the Wall Street Journal, which says the acquisition is nearly complete.

Why is a changing-of-the-hands important? Because Hutchinson Whampoa also owns Three, the #4 carrier in the land, and the combination of the two companies would make for the top wireless provider in the UK by subscriber count. It’s unknown whether the companies would be properly merged or if they might aim to serve different customer bases, but consolidation of some sort seems likely.

On that note: also reportedly near is a deal for BT to purchase EE, the current top wireless carrier, which means the mobile market is about to see one serious shake-up. Hopefully all for the better - as far as consumers are concerned, at least.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

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Office 2016 hits PC late this year

Microsoft Word universal app for Windows 10

Microsoft Word universal app for Windows 10

At Wednesday’s big Windows 10 blowout, Microsoft spent a lot of time going over the new Office universal apps optimized for touch and mobile devices (above). But if you were wondering if the company would have a big update in store for mouse-and-keyboard users, take heart.

In an update on the Office Blog yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that a brand new Office 2016 desktop suite is in the works, and it’ll launch in the second half of this year. No other details are available at this point, other than that it will “remain the comprehensive Office experience.” Stay tuned, then.

[Source: Office Blog]

READ MORE: Windows 10: the 8 biggest new features coming to PCs and tablets

Ubisoft reveals Grow Home for PC

When you think of Ubisoft, you think of massive blockbusters built by a thousand people and destinated to be played by millions more, right? Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, etc. That’s certainly true, but the publisher has made an effort over the last couple of years to allow its developers to pursue smaller, more experimental titles, like the great Valiant Hearts and Child of Light.

Grow Home looks to be the next of those, but it’s not done in a 2D, hand-drawn style like those games. It’s a 3D affair with a chunky aesthetic, and it stars a robot seeking to retrieve new plantlife to oxygenate his planet - yes, the Wall-E comparison has already been noted by developer Ubisoft Reflections (Driver: San Francisco). You’ll control his individual limbs as you climb your way up the growing plant.

Sounds a little atypical for Ubisoft, right? Exactly. But it won’t be long before we’ll all get to try it: this PC exclusive is launching on Steam in just a couple short weeks, on 4 February.

[Source: Ubisoft]

READ MORE: Child of Light review

Game of Thrones game ep. 2 out in February

Speaking of games on the immediate horizon: Telltale Games just confirmed that the second entry in its episodic Game of Thrones adaptation will release the same week as Grow Home. Episode two, titled “The Lost Lords,” will hit PlayStation 4, PS3, PC, and Mac on 3 February, Xbox One and 360 on 4 February, and iOS and Android on 5 February. Check out the fresh trailer above.

[Source: Telltale Games]

READ MORE: Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game review