Tech News

Microsoft Targets Apple Fanboys, Siri Hates Cheapskates… [Digest]

Dave Parrack 27-10-2015

Microsoft helps you switch to Surface, Siri discriminates against Spotify users, your Internet connection could become a casualty of war, Apple beats Microsoft in the Battle of the Brands, and finding love online is a tricky business.


Switching From Mac to Surface

When Microsoft launched its new Surface Book Microsoft Unveils Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, New Lumia Phones... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft unveils Windows 10 devices, Twitter has its Moments, Facebook does a Doodle, Bob Dylan meets IBM's Watson, and Universal posts a trailer for Jaws 19. Read More earlier this month, the comparisons to Apple’s MacBook flooded in. Even Microsoft itself seemed happy to put the two machines side-by-side, suggesting that the Surface Book was superior, obviously.

Now, Microsoft has created a page on its website dedicated to helping former Mac users switch to Surface. After suggesting that they “want to make the transition as easy as possible,” Microsoft offers a dizzying array of help pages designed to aid the transition between platforms.

These include the basics of using Windows 10 7 Quick Tips & Hacks to Optimize Your Windows 10 Experience Windows 10 is more than an upgrade to Windows 8, it's an evolution. We've covered many of the big changes, but lots of minor things changed, too. Maybe we can teach you a new trick. Read More , simple tips for former MacBook users, assistance in moving files across from one to the other, and a help-sheet for pairing a Surface Book to an iPhone, iTunes, and iCloud. All of which is invaluable advice when switching platforms.

Will this be enough to tempt MacBook owners to switch? We doubt it very much, because (as stated below) Apple fans are generally happy with their lot. Still, Microsoft deserves credit for at least trying to compete with Cupertino.

Siri Hates Apple Music Holdouts

Siri 8 Things You Probably Didn’t Realize Siri Could Do Siri has become one of the iPhone’s defining features, but for many people, it’s not always the most useful. While some of this is due to the limitations of voice recognition, the oddity of using... Read More is starting to play hardball with iOS users not fully embracing the Apple ecosystem Escaping the iCloud: Leaving Apple's Ecosystem Behind You have invested in iOS. Your data is tied up in iCloud, your email in your Apple email account. How are you going to escape the iCloud and make your data ecosystem-independent? Read More . Certainly, if you don’t subscribe to Apple Music then she doesn’t think much of you. We know because people who have asked her to name the number one song in the charts are getting short shrift if they’re not an Apple Music subscriber.


Angel investor Tom Conrad first noticed the problem, and others have since replicated the experiment. When asked a question about the charts, Siri will now say, “I can’t look up the music charts for you. You don’t seem to be subscribed to Apple Music.” Unless you do subscribe to Apple Music, in which case Siri will bend over backwards to help.

This is the first time Apple has used such underhanded tactics when programming Siri. As an example, If you ask Siri to name the top movie rental at the moment she’ll not only tell you but urge you to rent it on iTunes. But with Apple Music Getting Started With Apple Music — What You Need to Know After the purchase of Beats last year, Apple has finally unleashed its streaming music service upon the world. Read More it seems you’re either in or you’re out, and Siri doesn’t want to hear your lame excuses.

Russia Threatens Internet Cables

If Russia and the United States engage in a war anytime soon, Russia could kill the Internet. This is at least according to a report by The New York Times, which suggests there’s a threat posed by Russian submarines allegedly patrolling a little too close to undersea cables.


High-ranking naval officers are said to be concerned by the proximity of Russian subs to the undersea cables CableMap: Interactive Underwater Internet Cable Map Read More allowing the Internet to flourish around the world. At the very least they could tap into the cables, and at worst they could sabotage them completely.

One suggested the Russians are “a highly assertive and aggressive regime seemingly reaching backwards for the tools of the Cold War, albeit with a high degree of technical improvement.” Which sounds scary but carries with it just a hint of hyperbole. Especially as sharks are already damaging these cables When Sharks Attack The Internet, Most People Want Net Neutrality, And More... [Tech News Digest] The great and good from the tech world douse themselves, YouTube looks better on your TV, IFTTT adds Giphy GIFs, Tom Hanks releases free typewriter app, and judging people by what they watch on Netflix. Read More .

Apple Wins 2015 Battle of the Brands

As reported by CNET, Apple has won the 2015 Battle of the Brands, a study conducted by Argus Insights. There’s no surprise there, as Apple fanboys and fangirls iRead: 7 Books About Steve Jobs All Apple Fans Should Own We have selected the best books written about Steve Jobs and Apple. These seven tomes provide all the information on Jobs you'll need to know, and a lot more besides. Read More revere their favorite brand more than anyone else. However, what is surprising is seeing Microsoft in second place, and closing the gap fast.

In terms of Cross Market Delight, which tracks consumer reviews of each company’s products, Apple remains on top, Microsoft comes in close second, Samsung and Amazon are a little way behind, and Google is struggling in fifth place. Could Microsoft usurp Apple this time next year? It’s certainly on the comeback trail Windows on Every Device - This Is How Microsoft Is Realizing Its New Ecosystem Windows was never gone, but it's about to make a comeback nevertheless. You can currently observe how Microsoft is getting its flagship up to speed. Last week on Microsoft... Read More .


Finding Love Online [Short Film]

And finally, 97% is a short film by Ben Brand all about the difficulties associated with finding love in the digital age Online Dating: Men Don't Get It And Women Don't Understand Do online dating websites work? It's time for a frank discussion! What I learned from interviews was that online dating is equally painful for men and for women, but for very different reasons. Read More . It shows a lonely man who gets a whiff of hope when an app finds him a love match, and follows his efforts to track down the woman of his dreams.

Without spoiling anything, 97% acts as a reminder than we shouldn’t default to using technology when real life is happening all around us. In other words, you should remember to look up once in a while How Smartphones Are Ruining Your Life Your smartphone could be ruining your life, or at least have the capacity to do so in the future. Read More . If you don’t do so you risk life passing you by as you stare at a little screen. [H/T Digg]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Would you ever consider switching from Mac to Surface? Is Siri wrong to discriminate against those not subscribing to Apple Music? Is the threat to undersea Internet cables being blown out of proportion? Which brand do you like most? Does that short film resonate with you?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.


Related topics: Apple Music, MacBook, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Online Dating, Short Films, Siri.

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  1. Anonymous
    November 3, 2015 at 7:30 am

    As an Apple user the biggest issue for me is the operating system not the hardware. Switvhing to Windows is what brakes the deal. It's difficult to explain this :)

  2. Anonymous
    October 27, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    The Surface 4 and Surface Book are both lighter than a Macbook Air and internal hardware comparable or superior to a Macbook Pro. They're price-competitive relative to their specifications and they have relatively similar overall drawbacks (crummy keyboards and trackpads, no support for upgrades). Getting a single device that can be used as a functional tablet or a proper personal computer certainly should be enough to at least give someone with enough cash and need for a slim-form PC pause to consider their options.

    The biggest problem for people who have purchased in to Apple's ecosystem is that they've probably purchased into most or all of it, with iThings and watches and hundreds of dollars in itunes purchases. Sunk costs will probably continue to trap people in Apple's world even if its hardware isn't terribly unique or compelling.