The Next Web has a hilarious deconstruction of Microsoft’s Meet Mackenzie “Mac” Book commercial. If you haven’t already seen this ridiculous commercial, watch it. You’ll probably be mad at me for telling you to do that, but your reward will be Callum Booth’s excellent snarkfest at TNW. Here’s a snippet, where he questions the premise of the commercial star’s name, Mac Book.
What are your credentials here, bud?
Just because my last name is ‘Booth’ doesn’t mean I have any understanding how phone booths or toll booths actually operate. You wouldn’t come to me if you were planning on upgrading a selection of traffic kiosks on the strength of my surname. I can categorically say that’d be the worst mistake you’d ever make. My entire selection rationale would revolve around which booth I think looks the most bitching, which, unfortunately, is no way to actually run a business.
I’m sorry, Mac Book, but I do not value your opinion on this matter.
Jason Perlow argues that Apple and Microsoft go together like “a burger and fries” and should enter into a partnership.
Microsoft’s Azure and 365 are the keys to Apple’s future products and services being able to fulfill their highest potential. In particular, Microsoft’s investments around AI and Machine Learning in the cloud would make the difference between Siri remaining the industry’s biggest not-so-intelligent agent joke — and becoming the very smartest in the industry. But only if the companies committed to building a single intelligent agent together.
I don’t necessarily agree, but then again Apple’s partnership with IBM surprised me.
At Roughly Drafted, Daniel Eran Dilger, diagnoses a recent assertion by Bill Gates regarding Microsoft, iOS and Android.
As Apple prepares the release of iOS 13 and splits off the new iPadOS 13 for specialized mobile tablets, Microsoft’s former chief executive Bill Gates mused this week that it would have been the “natural thing” for Microsoft to have been the “standard non-Apple phone platform.” But he’s wrong, here’s why.
Bill Gates said his “greatest mistake” was not challenging iOS by bringing Microsoft into the mobile space, which cost them $400 billion.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, and WhatsApp signed an open letter criticizing proposals to bypass encryption made by GCHQ officials.
Microsoft announced that its feature for Excel called ‘Insert Data From Picture’ is now available for its iOS app. Here’s how to use it.
GitHub Sponsors is a way to support the developers who build open source software. It’s currently in beta.
As a thank you for these valuable contributions, GitHub Sponsors charges zero platform fees when you support the work of other developers. We’ll also cover payment processing fees for the first 12 months of the program to celebrate the launch. 100% percent of your sponsorship goes to the developer.
I love this idea. GitHub is one of the only open source “app stores” we have that isn’t tied to Android or Linux.
Microsoft announced the release of its Microsoft Edge Preview for Mac users. The company wants the Mac app to match the experience of the Windows 10 version.
This summer Microsoft will be launching an augmented reality game called Minecraft Earth. And it wants to be bigger than Pokémon Go.
Microsoft says it will kick off a closed beta of Minecraft Earth this summer on iOS and Android. Naturally, there are going to be limited slots, and you’ll also have to be 18 or older to sign up. And while the plan is to get Minecraft Earth completely global, it’s going to start off with a gradual rollout in select locations. You can also expect it to support all the languages in the original game, at least.
I never got into Minecraft, but I look forward to trying this game out.
A research team has uncovered an exposed database hosted on a Microsoft cloud server containing 24GBs of data on over 80 million U.S. households.
Messages posted by an unknown female Microsoft programmer in internal Yammer boards say that white and Asian men are being discriminated against.
To be clear, I am referring to the fact that senior leadership is awarded more money if they discriminate against Asians and white men. I have an ever-increasing file of white male Microsoft employees who have faced outright and overt discrimination because they had the misfortune of being born both white and male.
Microsoft’s 2018 demographic report shows that 55.1% of employees are Caucasian, 31.9% are Asian, and 73.4% are male. Personally, I think it’s a bit telling if you feel oppressed by more equality and diversity.
Microsoft closed its eBook store several weeks ago. People lost their books, but at least the company refunded them. Because of this, Michael Kozlowski of Good e-Reader says people are experiencing a “crisis of confidence” in eBooks.
I believe that ebooks are suffering from a crisis of confidence. It is beginning to be quite difficult to trust a retailer to not disappear overnight with your ebooks, no matter how big they are…A recent study published in the journal Electronic Markets found that the vast majority of people felt a constricted sense of ownership of ebooks versus physical books, based on the fact that they don’t have full control over the products.
He also mentions how a lot companies use DRM on eBooks, which factors into the “You license, not own, your eBooks” argument. I’d like to point out that Apple Books doesn’t apply DRM to most if not all of its books. I can take books I buy on there and move it to another service if I want, which makes me feel as if I truly own them.
Microsoft announced that Windows Defender ATP—its built-in anti-malware tool—is coming to macOS.
Apple and Microsoft team up to provide a federated authentication solution for Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD).
Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou has hit out at Microsoft, saying that the company is “falling behind in the smartphone era.”
Iranian hackers attacked hundreds of global firms over the last two years. Those targeted included Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft traced the attack against it to a group called Holmium. It had been tracking the group for 4 years. At the time of this writing, it had not been reported that Apple was a target.
The campaign, the scope of which hadn’t previously been reported, stole corporate secrets and wiped data from computers. It caused damages estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity and affected oil-and-gas companies, heavy-machinery manufacturers and international conglomerates in more than a half-dozen countries including Saudi Arabia, Germany, the U.K., India and the U.S., according to researchers at Microsoft, which deployed incident-response teams to some of the affected companies.
At the Mobile World Congress 2019, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella echoed publicly the notions of Apple’s Tim Cook on customer privacy. Computerworld’s Jonny Evans has the story.
Nadella’s Microsoft seems to be moving in a similar direction as the old guard of more responsible technologists join forces to combat the unintended consequences of tech firms who have moved fast and loose in their treatment and support for user privacy.
Evans concludes: “Ultimately, it’s all about trust.”
In a weird new commercial Microsoft pit Office 365 against Office 2019 in an obvious ploy to sell more subscriptions.
Unsurprisingly, in the new ads, which give the
actors twins various challenges to perform in the likes of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Office 365 beats Office 2019 every time. Yawn. The ads aren’t very good and you will cringe a few times…
Hint: You can directly buy Office 365 in the new Mac apps.
Host Kelly Guimont chats with Andrew Orr and Bryan Chaffin about Microsoft Office in the Mac App Store and privacy as a business model.
Tech firms spent a record amount lobbying the U.S. Government in 2018. Re/Code reported that Apple spent $6.6 million, slightly down from $7.2 million the year before. Although significant, Apple’s outlay was lower than that of the other major tech firms. For example, Google spent $21 million, while Amazon spent $14.2 million, and Facebook spent $12.6 million. Microsoft too outspent Apple, spending $9.5 million. In total, the firms invested $48 million in lobbying in 2018, up 13% from the year before.
Lobbying growth among the tech giants — especially companies that leverage user data for advertising revenue — comes as they are falling under increased government scrutiny. Facebook in particular faces a record Federal Trade Commission fine over apparent violations of data privacy practices in the Cambridge Analytica scandal that was revealed last year.