Microsoft is now neck and neck with Apple. When Big Tech conversations come up, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook always take centre stage while underestimating Microsoft. These couples of weeks have changed that narrative. It has been a slow and steady ascent for Microsoft and with resilience at its core. Microsoft has shifted to the more profitable and fast-growing business in cloud computing while gradually moving away from being a consumer and business PC company – and it is working in their favour. 

The last time Microsoft was more valuable than Apple was when the current iPhone was the iPhone 3GS, Instagram was non-existence and you had to install Windows 7 using CD.

“Microsoft is the tortoise in a technology world obsessed with hares. We know how that race turned out” – Shira Ovide, Bloomberg.

Hangouts for consumers is closing shop

Google is shutting down Hangouts by 2020. If you haven’t jumped ship yet, you only have next year as Hangouts fro consumers is being killed off. Google stopped development on the app more than a year ago to focus on enterprise Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. All consumer messaging efforts by Google are now focused on Android Messages and RCS Chat. Google’s Scott added that Hangout users will be upgraded to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet and Google will continue supporting Hangout users until everyone is migrated to Chat and Meet.

Instagram launched close friends feature to Stories and people are already putting up paywalls

Instagram will now let you share Stories with just a couple of your closest friends. The limit is to share pictures and video with a few of them who will appreciate it. People have already started to take advantage of this feature with a paywall.

This looks like something Instagram should have thought of before going live

and some of us are not happy about it

Also, how does someone choose their close friends – I’m waiting for this drama to unfold too

Youtube will now make its premium original programming available for free for anyone to watch

Starting next year, the content will transition to be ad-supported and no longer be behind the $11.99-a-month paywall. This makes sense when you consider how users expect YouTube to work. Scripted shows will be scaled back to focus on mainstream celebrity-driven and creator-based shows. Finally, I can finish binging Lifeline – the Dwayne ‘the rock’ Johnson produced sci-fi show.

In other Youtube stories,  its Stories feature is now rolling to more creators even to those with more than 10, 000 subscribers. The Stories appear to both subscribers and non-subscribers and stick around for seven days. Critics have said that the video-sharing platform should stop cloning features and focus on its ongoing issues including advertising concerns and demonetization problems.

Elsewhere, Youtube annotations are shutting down from next year January. Those boxes that told you to subscribe or watch this new video will disappear by January 15th.

A Tribute to YouTube Annotations

Google Maps got hashtags

Looks like Google isn’t done ruining stuff, from its multitude of messaging apps – it now wants to ruins Maps. Maps is going to get so complicated, people are going to opt for the simpler Apple Maps. Getting hashtags won’t be the last feature they add in Google’s bid to turn the app into a social network.

Microsoft teased new icons in the redesigned Office

Apple Music is coming to Amazon Echo devices

This is a surprising move but a delightful to users who use both services and hardware. In my opinion, Spotify is better but,


DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather got charged after promoting cypto without disclosing that they were being paid to do so. So his gif comes to bite him in the ankle.

Interesting Reads

Apple and Fast Food Have the Same Problem
Half of all Phishing Sites Now Have the Padlock — Krebs on Security
Young Artists and Producers Embrace Micro-Monetizing
How to Survive the Next Era of Tech (Slow Down and Be Mindful)
The Latest Crop of Instagram Influencers? Medical Students.
The Infinite Weirdness of Never-Ending Chat Histories
Instagram Quick Reactions Are Trying to Ruin My Life

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George Kamau
I brunch on consumer tech | first.last at techweez dot com


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