Shawn and Ross drill down into the House of Representatives report on the market positions of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook

Episode 71. Big Tech gets targeted as Big Blue plans a breakup

In this episode, Shawn and Ross drill down into the House of Representatives report on the market positions of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook. We discuss the potential effectiveness of proposed remedies as well as the challenges in applying today’s antitrust laws to the foursome’s diverse offerings. We also look at Microsoft’s foray into setting app store fairness rules even as it concedes that it operates an app store that doesn’t abide by them. Finally, not all breakups as forced as IBM proposes the next step in divesting one of its businesses, leaving the remaining Big Blue more agile to focus on AI and the cloud.

Google Nest

Episode 70. Google’s low-key device launch, Surface Laptop’s low-priced Go. and Amazon’s high-tech palm reader

In this episode, Shawn and Ross break down the announcements from Google’s scaled-down device event as major lawsuit and regulatory clouds loom, and talk about why the search giant continues to invest in devices despite low market share. Next, it’s on to Microsoft’s new laptops, which both push the envelope on ARM-based device performance while hitting the heart of the back-to-school notebook segment with the Surface Book Go. Finally, we look at two divergent efforts to track physiology: Amazon’s palm-reading technology coming to its Go stores and HP’s addition of heart rate, facial and eye tracking to its Reverb 2 headset intended for corporate training exercises.

Amazon

Episode 69. Amazon’s home drone. Microsoft’s Bethesda purchase, and Epic’s multiplayer app store crusade

In this episode, Shawn and Ross look at Amazon’s big device launch, including a home surveillance drone and the Luna cloud gaming service. In other gaming news, we discuss how Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda fortifies XBox Game Pass even though Microsoft will have to furnish a few PlayStation exclusives. Finally, we look at Epic’s latest move in its battle against Apple as the Fortnite company enlists developers such as Spotify and Match.com to form an app store reform coalition.

Xbox One S

Episode 67. Microsoft Aims High and Low with Surface Duo, Xbox One S, and a midrange laptop

In this episode, Shawn and Ross discuss how Microsoft is attacking the market based on our hands-on time with the Surface Duo, reactions to the surprise announcement of the value-priced XBox One S challenging Sony, and rumors that the company will hit the PC price mainstream with a new Surface Laptop. Plus, how Google and Amazon are rediscovering the humble phone conversation and Facebook goes back to college.

Surface Duo

Episode 64. Apple One, Surface Duo, and Epic Triangles

In this episode, Shawn and Ross look at how the simmering conflict over app stores has boiled over in a melee between Epic and platform providers Apple and Google as we pose the question of whether any companies can muster enough pressure to influence rule changes. Next, we take on the potential of an Apple content bundle and what could be a slam dunk next step as a services play. Finally, Microsoft’s new Surface Duo may be a tough sell in a locked-up economy, but we discuss why it’s a bold move and the implications it could have on the Windows and Android ecosystems.

Episode 63. When Samsung’s Galaxy Meets Microsoft’s World

In this episode, Shawn and Ross look at Samsung’s latest announcements, including its latest smartphone tour de force, the Galaxy Note 20, its attempt at Android tablet relevance with the Tab S7, and its promising preview of the next Galaxy Fold Z. Meanwhile, as the electronics giant steps up its relationship with Microsoft, we take on why its corporate-focused partner would have interest in TikTok, as well as the challenges that it and other Big Tech rivals face as they navigate the rules of Apple’s app store with streaming game services.

Episode 57. Twitter’s Face-off with Trump

In this episode, Shawn and Ross break down the feud between President Trump and Twitter, looking at my of the elements of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Plus, we look at Microsoft’s Fluid Framework for modular documents, evaluate a VR comeback attempt for HTC’s co-founder, and discuss whether the messy launch of HBOMax will do much to hurt the service in the long term.

Episode 56. Microsoft’s Big Plans and Content’s Next Celebrity

In this week’s episode, Shawn and Ross talk about Microsoft’s announcements from this week’s Build conference. We also discuss what’s happening in the world of podcasts. Joe Rogan is going exclusive on Spotify while Bloomberg reports Audible is in talks to acquire celebrity podcasts and Amazon Music is preparing to add podcasts.

Episode 55. Big Tech swoops in for acquisitions

n this episode, Shawn and Ross look at how Big Tech is taking advantage of market volatility to swoop in and acquire companies that fill out their offerings. These include direct competitive response in the case of Facebook buying Giphy and Uber eyeing GrubHub, market expansion in the case of Microsoft buying Metaswitch, and farther-flung VR dreams in the case of Apple buying NextVR. Plus, we look at the competitive dynamics of the video meeting market among Zoom, Microsoft and Google in the context of office population. Finally, we end with a note about Huaweii's clever circumvention of the U.S. tech ban as it puts a sheen of new tech on last year's P30 smartphone.

Episode 39. Does Facebook Get the Message?

In this episode, Shawn and Ross discuss changes Facebook is making to its messaging portfolio, trying another another app called Threads for Instagram users while giving businesses more play in Messenger. Plus, a look at Microsoft’s continued retreat from tablets as its next Surface draws near and how Disney is courting Disney+ subscribers with aggressive, long-term deals.