Microsoft: beware the ‘friendly’ tech giant

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Once the prime target of big-tech cartel cases, Microsoft narrowly avoided splitting into two companies in the late 1990s when it went to court for making it difficult for customers to uninstall Internet Explorer in favor of other browsers.

The company eventually settled with the US Department of Justice. Since then, it has largely stayed away from criticism from other tech giants like Google. But that is changing.

Critics claim that with his cloud computing business, Microsoft is back to repeating previous tactics like “locking” customers to its products. Such allegations have been at the center of the latest round of regulatory action against the company.

Some customers have accused Microsoft of charging huge fees for using its software on competing clouds, such as B. using Office on Amazon Web Services, while getting reduced fees if they use Microsoft’s own Azure cloud offering instead.

Microsoft was already the topic a formal antitrust complaint that Slack has filed with the EU in 2020, which accused the tech giant of unfairly bundling its competing app teams with its Office 365 tools. More recently, it has emerged that Microsoft 365 customers only get access to the highest level of security by paying for the premium E5 version, essentially enticing them to buy another feature pack.

There are other areas of Microsoft’s business that are also on regulators’ radars. The company’s proposed $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is likely to face this Competitive Ratings in the EU and US and has left some concerns that Microsoft will capitalize on the purchase monopolize an increasingly consolidated gambling market.

Unlike in the 1990s, this time Microsoft has made gestures to indicate that it wants to listen to customer feedback and be kind to startups that come to market. Two weeks after complaints that users of the latest edition of Windows were having trouble using a browser other than Microsoft’s, users have found it easier to switch their default browser.

The company’s president, Brad Smith, responded to allegations that it was using anti-competitive tactics to lure customers to its cloud computing service Azure and away from competitors conceded that Microsoft was partly to blame, albeit without giving specifics. How it responds to potential regulatory scrutiny may reveal whether Microsoft has really changed or just become more strategic by taking a more aggressive stance.

The Internet of (four) things

1. Self-diagnostic ads on TikTok blur mental health fears with reality
Medical brands that encourage users to self-diagnose mental illnesses so they can then offer them expensive treatments as a solution have been called “predatory” by watchdog groups, who argue these brands “oversimplify” health conditions and encourage misdiagnosis. But it’s not just advertisers that platforms need to monitor Posting dubious mental health content — The users can be just as bad.

2. Why TikTok’s journey to the top of the social media pyramid is almost complete
The company may need to be more conscientious about the ads it allows, but it certainly has no trouble attracting advertisers. A forecast by Insider Intelligence puts TikTok’s ad revenue at $11.6 billion this year — tripling from last year’s $3.9 billion — and ad revenue growth will outpace the competition this year. Our Lex team is investigating how TikTok can benefit from this of flow in the advertising market.

3. Google bets on offices with investments of 9.5 billion US dollars
The move is notable considering many tech companies, including Google, have done so struggling to get employees back into the office.

4. Russia’s tech industry faces ‘brain drain’ as workers flee
A Russian tech industry trade group has estimated that by the end of March between 50,000 and 70,000 tech workers had left the country, many of whom left for Armenia and up to 100,000 more are likely to follow. The Exodus reverses 10-15 years of momentum for the Russian tech industry. Russians working in the tech industry are part of a global market that has both the means to exit and incentives.

Tech Tools – Analogue Pocket

Analog bag

Analog Bag, $219

Not many of us feel nostalgic for ’90s tech, but if there’s one item you’d love to bring back, it would be the Game Boy, right? The folks behind Analogue Pocket clearly thought the same way – Meet the glowing Game Boy. Manufactured by a start-up not affiliated with Nintendo, it runs the 2,780+ original Nintendo games but also has a gorgeous matte black (or white) finish and a backlit LCD screen with a resolution 10 times sharper than the original Game Boy. Unfortunately, the price point hasn’t stayed in the ’90s, but at $219, it’s not incomparable to a Nintendo Switch.

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Microsoft: beware the ‘friendly’ tech giant Source link Microsoft: beware the ‘friendly’ tech giant

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