Big Tech versus US Congress

USA vs Big Tech

The day on The Hill occurred on Wednesday, and legislators, as expected, held no punches while interviewing the CEOs of Big Tech — Google’s Pichai, Facebook’s Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Bezos and Apple’s Cook. A few key moments included: “Our founders would not bow before a king, nor should we bow before the emperors of an online economy,” stated David Cicilline, chairman of the subcommittee. Rare bipartisanship was in the house as Jim Sensenbrenner, R, Illinois, made it clear that company size and success are not the concern, but blocking competition is. The congresspeople have done their homework and it appears clear that some action will be taken, but not for many months.   CNET

dis-rup-shun: The congresspeople sound focused, measured and determined, not something that can be said, of late. It appears that mounds of anti-competitive evidence have been collected and the action of the committee going forward will not be about if Big Tech is anti-competitive, but what to do about it. The congress must find a balance between the pressure for the USA to lead in the race with China on 5G and AI, keep the job creation engines cranking, and restrict these same companies from anti-competitive practices. Finding that balance will be a challenge and will take some bright minds.

Perseverance Mars rover launched on Thursday morning

One of NASA’s most ambitious projects launched for Mars in the early hours of Thursday — putting the rover on the surface of Mars this coming February to explore a crater that once held water — 3.5 billion years ago. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The craft, with its self-driving rover and helicopter will explore like no other explorer before, drilling into the service of the planet in search of subterranean water molecules. If water is identified, what will the next move be?

Best smart home products: Google and Amazon removed

CNET constantly provides “best of” lists. It’s latest Best of Smart Home products list removes products directly branded by the two giants, and excludes companies owned or funded by Google and Amazon. The remaining top players are:

Best smart speaker… Apple HomePod

Best smart display … Apple iPad

Best mesh WiFi system… Netgear Orbi

Best smart plug … TP-Link Kasa Smart

Best smart light bulbs … Wyze bulb

Best smart thermostat … Honeywell T9

Best home security camera … Arlo Pro3

Best home security system … Simplisafe

Best video doorbell … Arlo video doorbell

Best smart lock … August Smart Lock Pro

dis-rup-shun: These companies provide solid products that work with the Amazon and Google products not listed. Given the antitrust winds blowing in Washington, it is unlikely that these companies listed will be acquired by the two giants, perhaps helping them shape their courses to live in a market being expanded rapidly by the giants.

Ready for your smartphone to help brush your teeth?

Wired reviews the OralB iO Series 8 connected toothbrush. Aside from being expensive ($250), the device does not always accurately reflect what parts of your mouth have been thoroughly brushed. But for someone who is plagued with problems, having a visual guide via a smartphone app may be worth the investment.

dis-rup-shun: The market is full of newly launched connected appliances that fail to fully reach the potential of connectivity, or have failed to offer any real benefits of connectivity. It may be a while before tooth brushing apps reach a mass market, but the benefits are not hard to imagine especially when costs are inline with everyday products.

Alexagate jams Alexa’s microphones

Alexagate device jams Echo’s microphones

For a mere $99, one can purchase an add-on device designed to sit atop one’s Amazon Echo in order to render the microphones ineffective by bombarding them with sound waves. To stop the blocking, one simply needs to clap (remind you of something else?) and then speak the watch word “Alexa…” TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: The mere existence of this device raises some curious questions. Do owners of Amazon Echos not believe that the on-board mute button works? Do owners of Echos really fear that their privacy is being invaded? If yes to the above, do these owners get sufficient benefit from these devices that they don’t just turn them off to relieve their privacy concerns? As more and more devices come with voice control built-in, the question becomes more relevant: is the convenience greater than the perceived risk? Apparently the 30% of households that own one or more of these devices answered yes.

CES goes online

The Consumer Technology Association announced what we have all been expecting, CES 2021 must not be a live event, but a virtual gathering. Las Vegas will miss out on the 171,000 tech tourists that descend upon the city each year from around the globe. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: This is the right move — anything less would have put CTA in a bad light and would have led to many disappointed (and possibly infected) exhibitors. The blow to Las Vegas, the travel industry at large, and exhibit companies, still reeling from the cancellations of last spring, cannot be overstated. The economic superpower that is CES will be but a shadow of its normal self when presented online. Like many things impacted by Covid-19, CES is one that may have needed a reset. The event has become so enormous that it is difficult to manage from a visitor’s perspective. Perhaps the post-Covid-19 event will be more user friendly.

Apple vs. Google and the world in mobile app philosophy

It is important to understand the architectural tension between Apple and Google at this point in the evolution of mobile technology. Put simply, Apple wants to drive all users through its App Store, where it can not only maintain quality of experience, but control all app-based commerce. Google and a large number of large companies including Uber and Microsoft, are proponents of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) — apps that are in large part powered by the web, but continue to function even if not connected. PWAs drive commerce to the web, Apple apps keep commerce in the app store. CNET

dis-rup-shun: This mobile app philosophical difference is yet another example of closed versus open approaches, and Apple is one of the few companies that has thrived, over a long period of time, within a closed architecture. Android is the dominant global operating system because it enlisted the help of the non-IOS world and created strength in numbers. Just like mobile operating systems, one mobile app architecture will not win, but the ways of building and doing business on the two platforms will grow increasingly different.

Perseverance rover set to explore Mars in 2021

The Perseverance rover is NASA’s new self-driving Mars car, that includes its own helicopter, 24-camera array, and water well drilling apparatus. The device has unprecedented intelligence, battery power, and on-board capabilities, including instruments that will attempt to find oxygen in the Martian atmosphere. CNET

dis-rup-shun: Given the increased attention on the new space race, with countries and companies competing to get back to the Moon and to Mars, NASA has really upped its game and packed this mission with significant scientific capabilities. This mission will aggressively check Mars for water and for atmosphere — clearly seeking to discern how challenging it will be to, one day soon, colonize the planet.


Google extends work at home for one year

Google delays office reopening until July 2021

The Mountain View company announced that the work from home option, for employees who are not required in the office, will remain available for another 12 months. The move is attributed to the uncertainty of schools reopening for the Fall 2020 to Spring 2021 school year. CNET

dis-rup-shun:  Google is confirming that which was expected — uncertainty over the Covid-19 pandemic will last well into 2021. The move will likely be followed by many companies, and will further the diaspora of urban workers to mountain, beach and lake houses, keeping restaurants, transit systems and shopping malls mostly empty for the coming year.

Atlas of Surveillance shows where surveillance is occurring

Between Ring doorbell cameras, license plate readers, traffic cameras and individual building security cameras, a fabric of surveillance points cover urban areas.  The mapping project is a collaboration between  the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the University of Nevada, Reno, Reynolds School of Journalism. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Just like in the action series 24, it appears that cameras are almost everywhere in urban areas, but unlike 24, accessing all the feeds quickly and easily is a bureaucratic impossibility. Perhaps the constitutional separation of states and Federal governments and their agencies will keep this an impossibility, or perhaps Google will do it first! 

Chernobyl fungus could prolong space visits

The sun’s harmful radiation is filtered by Earth’s atmosphere, minimizing damage to humans. In space, however, without the filtration of the atmosphere, humans receive 20 times the radiation as on Earth, making outer space uninhabitable, long-term, for humans. A fungus that is thriving on the radioactive Chernobyl site has been sent to the International Space Station for observation and results show that it may become an important companion to space explorations, as the bacteria consumes harmful radiation and converts it to energy — enabling fast growth of the organism. CNET

dis-rup-shun:  Further wonders of science — a “clean up” fungus is available to do what mankind has not figured out how to — clean up harmful radiation. Just when you thought Earth could never undo the damage inflicted by man, we see an auto-correction mechanism. Does such an organism exist for the damages caused by global warming?

Apple begins manufacturing iPhone 11 in India

Apple holds 1% of the share of the Indian smartphone market, but it is a dominant player in that country’s luxury phone market. After striving to find a contract manufacturer in India, its partner Foxconn has started building iPhones in Chennai. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun:  The move enables Apple to reduce its reliance on China-based factories while increasing its presence in the world’s second largest smartphone market, from which it could launch a lower end iPhone built especially to take advantage of the enormous market.

Alexa is now asking you the questions

Alexa is now asking questions to consumers

Hunches are the Amazon name for machine learning triggers that anticipate, most frequently correctly, what you want Alexa to do. Alexa may ask you, upon hearing you walk into the kitchen, if you want to turn on the coffee maker, as you do daily. Alexa usage has quadrupled over the past two years, and the devices are getting better and better at understanding our patterns and habits. CNET

dis-rup-shun: Creepy or cool? On the one hand, one must remember that Alexa’s “mind” is only a series of algorithms that become more accurate the more data they have to factor into their calculations. On the other hand, if a third-party has the ability to analyze this data for unauthorized or un-known purposes, conflict is coming. What is a fact, is that voice has already become an important part of our interaction with machines and will likely be used to start the car engine or select the floor for the elevator to stop. Touchless controls will be more important to a pandemic-aware society, and those that resist will find it increasingly difficult to function in many settings.

Big Tech goes to Washington

Big Tech companies have been summoned to testify before Congress on Monday and discuss anti-competitive practices. Wired’s scathing account of how competition is dead, and has been for a couple of decades among the tech giants, spares Apple from bad boy status. Amazon has altered commerce, Google has created a curated Internet, and Facebook has fueled extremism in America, according to Wired.

dis-rup-shun: If competition is good for both business and consumers, and if the U.S. and Western nations are experiencing unprecedented income inequalities, then it will important to see if the visit with Congress next week leads to any real action by regulators, or more “window dressing.”

Intel announces chip delay 

Intel’s stock price was hammered in the markets yesterday after the company announced an expected six month delay on its next generation product – 7 nanometer processors. The delay will cause Intel’s largest PC customers, including Dell and HP, to delay new product offerings. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Will Intel’s dominance over intelligent devices ever return? Not likely, as the chip making business, as the delay announcement reminds us, is a very difficult and precise business. Intel owned personal computing, but recently lost Apple, as the company has moved to making its own semiconductors. Intel mostly missed the mobile market, and the Internet of Things business consists of hundreds of device types, so being really good at more than a few will be exceedingly difficult. Note that Intel’s execs were not invited to the antitrust conversation in Washington this Monday, as the chip company is no longer a candidate for limiting competition.

Microsoft shows off Halo Infinite

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X preview session live streamed yesterday, teasing the public with views of new games. Front and center was Halo’s new release, Halo Infinite, which boasts bolder and bigger graphics at 10x the frame rates of prior versions. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: The Halo franchise has been the biggest driver for Xbox, and Microsoft is counting on the sequel reviving the core market’s appetites for another helping to the tune of  probably close to $400 or more for the Series X console, plus the game. Our society has greatly changed in the last few years, and have the tastes of core gamers changed as well, such that they are less interested in Halo and other first-person shooters? Microsoft conducts a great deal of research, and has apparently concluded that the core buyer is still a shooter.

Cybertruck plant lands in Austin

Austin scores $1.1 billion Tesla plant

The much hyped Tesla Cybertruck will be built, only appropriately, in Texas. Tesla confirmed that Austin will be the location of the $1.1 billion factory, nestled along the Colorado River between downtown Austin and Austin’s Bergstrom airport. The factory is expected to employ 5000 people on 2,100 acres, with an average starting wage of $35,000, including benefits. Austin American Statesman

dis-rup-shun: Austin has long been a winner of innovative projects, continuing to host significant outposts for tech companies including Apple, Google, Dell’s headquarters and IBM — the company that arguably started tech in Austin. Other than several semiconductor fabs, Austin is not a manufacturing center, so the Tesla plant diversifies the type of tech in the Lone Star capital, and will also serve as a strong market for the new electric pickup truck.

Xbox debut event starts now

Microsoft will follow Sony’s big online event that occurred last month with a big reveal today at 9 am PT. The event will offer a sneak peak at new games to be offered on the Xbox Series X, in hopes that Playstation’s slick reveal won’t sway any of the console faithful to the dark side. CNET

dis-rup-shun: Now, more than ever, Sony and Microsoft have to make the console experience really special as cloud gaming services enable the convenience of all-you-can-eat plans, as well as cross-platform gaming. “Premium experience” is the driver for console gamers and both of these platforms look like they will deliver.

Facebook enables Zoom-like features

Facebook has announced a feature for its Messenger Rooms app that enables users to stream video calls to up to 50 people. The move is to counter the ability of paid Zoom users to livestream to Twitch, YouTube and Facebook.  CNBC

dis-rup-shun: The race to own the video conference is becoming fierce, and the big winner is the corporation and organization, as conducting virtual business could not be much easier. The big losers, of course, may be real estate owners, airlines and hotels, as virtual meetings seem to work really well.

Slack sues Microsoft for bundling Teams

Slack has filed suit against Microsoft for its virtual work app, Teams, which is bundled as a part of the Office suite (no additional cost). Slack’s complaint is not about the similarities of the product (there aren’t many), but about Microsoft’s practice of bundling the app with its Office suite, just as it did years ago with Internet Explorer — the move that buried Netscape’s Navigator (and Netscape– RIP).

dis-rup-shun: A virtual workplace app such as Teams should be a part of every suite of products, and we can expect Google to add something to their office suite at some point. Perhaps Slack should be selling to Google right about now.

Spotify continues march to dominate streaming audio entertainment

Spotify continues dominance with Joe Rogan acquisition

Spotify is the dominant player in streaming music and is doubling down to be the streaming audio entertainment leader. The company has 130 million paid subscribers worldwide, well ahead of Apple, Amazon, and Google. Streaming music makes up 47% of global music revenues. Adding Joe Rogan’s podcasts, along with DC Comics and Kim Kardashian further differentiates the service with hot names. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: As the streaming video players have taught, offering original content is the key to keeping ahead of competitors. Spotify has taken a play from the video streamers and is widening the gap between it and its nearest competition. The company will be the dominant radio station, not just music station. Expect other popular audio entertainment, including sports and news, to be added to the platform.

Uber drivers sue for access to proprietary data

A group of Uber drivers in the UK who seek driver data to help unionize drivers in their nation are suing Uber for access to driver information. Uber says that statistics on drivers, including their speed, locations, acceleration, etc., are part of the company’s secret algorithms that bring it competitive advantage, and cannot be disclosed. Gizmodo

dis-rup-shun: The need for competent regulation of Big Tech firms, and difficult decision making about ownership of data is becoming more important, and more difficult every day. These data ownership questions are very significant, and precedent setting, and the creation of better government regulation is not only justifiable, but critical.

Coming soon: balloon rides to space

Space Perspective, a Florida based company, wants to take passengers to the highest levels of the Earth’s atmosphere, where the sky is black and one can see the curvature of the Earth. The pressurized capsule seats eight and includes a bar and bathroom. The company hopes to begin operations as early as next year. CNET

dis-rup-shun: Coming soon — kiddie birthday parties at 100,000 feet. The experience sounds exciting, but what government body regulates and inspects Space Perspective, ensuring that craft are well maintained, adequately equipped with safety gear, and is willing to send out a rescue party should something go wrong? Is this the purview of NASA or the FAA, or the FTC?

Instagram adds fund raising feature

Instragram, in response to a rise in activities to respond to social justice causes, has enabled a fund raising feature within the app. The fundraiser lasts for 30 days, but can be renewed. Fundraisers will be reviewed by Instagram before they can be posted. Does fundraising on social media work? Since 2015, 45 million people have raised over $3 billion on Facebook and Instagram according to CNET.

dis-rup-shun: Instragram is taking on GoFundMe, the best known fundraising platform, finding yet another important use case to incorporate into its platform. Despite criticism to the contrary, Facebook and its entities have a finger on the pulse of the population, and seek to ride the wave of people’s growing passion about causes.



Microsoft’s xCloud keeps gamers in the family

Microsoft straddles gaming platforms with xCloud 

Microsoft will offer xCloud cloud-based games to subscribers of its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. The free offering will extend cloud titles to subscribers, allowing them to play titles across mobile devices and computers. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: It’s a smart move — keeping Xbox enthusiasts within the brand even as cloud gaming offerings attempt to lure players from consoles. Microsoft must fight a two-front battle: keeping core gamers enthralled with its next generation Xbox platform, Xbox SeriesX, while also taking on cloud game offerings from companies such as Nvidia and Amazon.

Covid crushes Indian smartphone market

India is the second largest smartphone market and has experienced more than one million cases of Covid-19. When the nation ordered a lockdown in March, even online retailers Flipkart and Amazon were prohibited from selling. Smartphone sales for Q2 are down 48%. Xiaomi is the market leading seller of smartphones in India. TechCrunch.

dis-rup-shun: Does a setback of this magnitude offer an opportunity for rivals to unseat Xiaomi’s leadership in the Indian market, or will the company emerge from the quarantine with even more market force? At this stage in the game, buying market share is an even more long-term strategy, as economies of scale are more difficult when revenues are half of expectations, but Xioami has much to lose if rivals such as Vivo and Samsung gain on the company during difficult times.

Netflix — tech company or media company?

As Netflix has been, for a number of years, the face of the future of home video entertainment, a debate has ensued if this is a media or tech company. Wall Street has treated the company like a tech company, with a market value comparable to giant AT&T, even with revenue less than 10% of the latter. With the promotion of co-CEO Ted Sarandon, a content mastermind, the company’s emphasis on media content is clear. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Properly valuing Netflix is a challenge, as the company must spend vast sums to keep ahead of catalog-rich rivals such as Disney +, Peacock and AT&T (HBO) TV. This investment keeps profits out in the far distance as well, yet being first and the king of market share continues to provide the company with an out sized valuation.

UAE Mars probe launches successfully

The UAE’s space program, with a probe heading to explore Mars, launched from Japan early Sunday morning, Pacific U.S. time. The probe, launched from a Mitsubishi made rocket, is the first of three Mars explorations to launch this month as NASA and China also expect to launch Mars missions. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The space race, between sending probes to Mars, re-exploring the Moon, and sending satellites into space has become a very active business. With problems seemingly escalating here on terra firma, will governments and corporations continue to focus vast investments on things in outer space? How are the benefits of exploration and science quantified beyond the ability of companies such as SpaceX to build a commercial, low-orbit internet facilities?

China and Europe driving home-grown internet infrastructure

China’s plan for a new internet, called New IP

The Chinese government has ambitions to build a new, faster internet. This version, called New IP, will be controlled and operated by governments, giving governments access and insight into users, activities, and, presumably, control over all of the above. CNET

dis-rup-shun: To say that users will not be in favor of governments controlling the internet, and access to apps and content, is, well, a gross understatement. China’s proposal will undoubtedly be vehemently opposed by people everywhere, including  China. Those that stand to lose the most, of course, are Chinese citizens who may find that alternatives to New IP are one day closed,creating isolation not experienced since before the internet.

Europeans seek alternatives to cloud giants

German and French policy makers have formed an alliance called Gaia X as an alternative to U.S. and Chinese cloud giants, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba. Orange, Deutsche Telekom and SAP are the foundation members of the alliance, which will undoubtedly involve other Europe-based companies. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: The fear of concentration of power, in this case information, into the hands of a few very strong players, has, for several centuries, led to rebellions, revolutions, resistance and new legislation (anti-trust). Once again, the European Union is far more active at working to curb Big Tech’s market dominance than the U.S. Congress.

Boeing 747: another Coronavirus victim

British Airways announced that it will ground its entire fleet of 31 747s and rely on more efficient aircraft during this time of anemic international travel. The company has been operating the iconic aircraft for nearly fifty years.  CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Like a hurricane, Coronavirus is reshaping the landscape and accelerating the evolution of many technologies, including aircraft. The world’s largest production airplane, the A380, was shuttered a few months ago after only fifteen years of production. The travel industry has been, arguably, one of the most impacted by new technologies over the past decades (Sabre, Expedia, AirBnB,, Uber, to name a few) and now the industry must quickly adapt to a much different and much smaller market.

Time for an e-Bike?

e-Bikes, bicycles with electric assist motors to help with hills, acceleration and long hauls, are popping up all around us, helping to replace public transportation. CNET offers a look at several top models, from a compact by Swagtron, to a premium model from Trek.

dis-rup-shun: Expect the standard bicycle that most every boy and girl receives between ages 8 and 12 to be an e-bike, as the electric-assisted versions become more affordable and eventually only a little pricier than non-electric versions. In a handful of years, the only non-electrified bikes will be built for avid road racers and those seeking super-cheap basic transportation.

5G to transform healthcare – eventually

5G to be a life saver for emergency health

Imagine a call to 911, where the health statistics and full history of the patient’s pre-existing conditions are sent to the paramedics for review en-route to the patient. Care choices they make, and preparations made in the ER will be patient specific and could make the difference in the patient’s recovery or death. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The implications for 5G to transform healthcare are many, including remote patient visits (telehealth) and emergency response. While that is exciting, such a scenario also depends on easy and fast access to a database that stores patient records. Whose database, and how can we ensure that the important privacy afforded by HIPPA laws don’t prevent emergency technicians from gaining immediate access? Better network technology is a great start, but access to patient records remains an industry challenge.

Wattbike is a different connected stationary bike experience

Wattbike offers a indoor cycling experience for “real” bikers. The Wattbike, available for $2,599, has 22 gears and uses magnetic resistance to simulate a real bike. It does not have an integrated monitor, but features a holder for a smartphone or tablet, which can be used with a number of third party riding apps for those that are not into Peloton’s virtual studio experience. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The Wattbike experience will likely appeal, much moreso than Peloton, to the true biker — not only given the bike itself, but because of the “solo” approach without scheduled classes, and the freedom to choose apps. Of course true bikers may also prefer to bring their bike inside, put it on rollers, and choose a favorite app. Expect to see more variants of connected fitness experiences in the coming months.

California registration of Tesla’s halved during Q2

The number of Tesla’s registered in the company’s best buying state, California, halved during Q2, the initial quarter of the quarantine. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: No, the citizens of California are not falling out of love with electric vehicles, nor of Tesla, but of driving itself — and therefore of purchasing the next car.

Espresso portable display is an elegant solution for Mac or PC

Many knowledge workers now insist that having external monitors are critical for work, and Espresso has developed a slim, easy-to-use and easy-to-connect model with a compact stand. The device sells for $320 to $350. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: The quarantine has required home offices to be setup in interesting places, and places that often change. Piling monitors into a car or plane to relocate to the office/retreat at the beach or the mountains often results in some beat up monitors, if they can come along at all. Portable monitors are the answer, and you can use them long after the quarantine is over.

Grocery carts obsolete cash registers

The cart is the cash register, declares Amazon

Amazon’s Dash carts — grocery carts that watch what you put in them and scan as you go — are replacing cash registers and cashiers at a pilot store in Woodland Hills, California (near Los Angeles). CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Skipping the check out line at the grocery store — good news! Eliminating more employees from the economy — ouch! If this is the new face of shopping, then Amazon will have a lead — perhaps by not sharing the cart technology with non-Amazon stores, or perhaps by dominating point of sale technology as a technology provider, or  by creating so many Prime membership benefits that Prime will be the biggest buying club ever — leading to preferred video, shipping, shopping, delivery, doctor visits, theater seats, airline tickets, hotel rooms, and the list goes on.

Google fined for not erasing personal data

A high ranking European official put Google to the test, citing a European Union law, enforced in 2014, that gives a citizen the right to request removal of data from a search engine. When Google failed to comply, the company as fined 600,000 Euros. CNET

dis-rup-shun: More power to the EU for keeping Big Tech inline. Using my personal data in exchange for free services is fine, until it isn’t, and then people should have a way to turn back and become anonymous. In some cases those rights are granted by law, but how can they be enforced? Call in the data privacy police. This is an emerging problem that will become a political hot potato in coming elections across the globe.

It’s happening: companies are cancelling office space

Companies, particularly start-ups that are always looking for ways to reduce cash burn, are not renewing office space. CBRE predicted, in May, a 7% drop in office rental rates and vacancies to rise as high as 15%, up from 12% in Q1. Many companies in Silicon Valley have already started to beef up staff outside of the Bay Area.

dis-rup-shun: There are great reasons to have an office, but the pandemic has proved that many businesses can run quite well without them. After a drought, leasing will increase, but space planning and use will be different, with many more “hotelling” configurations for workers that may spend only a day or two per week in an office.

Microsoft is ready to take back schools, with Kano

Kano, a maker of inexpensive computer kits that kids can build and use, has partnered with Microsoft to build an inexpensive computer kit that runs Windows and can help cash-poor school districts purchase computers for kids. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Between iPads and Chromebooks, Microsoft was being forced out of the public education marketplace. In another sign of Microsoft’s return to a great run company, this partnership should help more kids grow up on Microsoft products. The problem, of course, is that the future of schools is in question as the shelter-in-place continues and the return to classrooms is very questionable one month before many school districts normally open.