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 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, 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 is starting to play hardball with iOS users not fully embracing the Apple ecosystem. 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.
I guess Siri won't talk to you about music unless you pay her boss? pic.twitter.com/b6Xwcf3EYR
— Tom Conrad (@tconrad) October 26, 2015
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 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 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.
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 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.
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. 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. 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.