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Big Revolution - Driving users to the Edge

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Welcome to Friday's newsletter. If you're a social media geek or professional (or both!), don't miss
 
July 3 · Issue #762 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Friday’s newsletter. If you’re a social media geek or professional (or both!), don’t miss Matt Navarra’s weekly newsletter, which goes out UK lunchtime on Fridays, so if you’re reading this as it hits your inbox, you don’t have long to subscribe to get this week’s edition.
— Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Windows 10 is getting a redesigned Start menu and taskbar. The app-switching alt-tab interface will include all Edge browser tabs, too. Thankfully you can switch this off if you’re the kind of person who always keeps a million tabs open.
  • Reuters is going behind a paywall. The news agency will stop offering most of its reports for free, The Information says [paywalled].
The big thought
Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge
Driving users to the Edge
Microsoft’s new version of the Edge browser is excellent. Imagine Chrome with a lot less bloat and a lot less tracking. Imagine Brave with no ads and a less in-your-face approach to privacy. That’s Edge. It runs your Chrome extensions, and runs a lot faster than Chrome does these days. There’s even a full-on adblocker built in natively, if you want it.
You should definitely try Edge, especially on Windows. But while Microsoft has moved on from the bad old days of Internet Explorer, some things never change. The Verge reports on the tactics being used to force the new browser on Windows 10 users:
Seriously, when I restarted my Windows 10 desktop this week, an app I’d never asked for:
1/ Immediately launched itself
2/ Tried to convince me to migrate away from Chrome, giving me no discernible way to click away or say no
3/ Pinned itself to my desktop and taskbar
4/ Ignored my previous browser preference by asking me — the next time I launched a website — whether I was sure I wanted to use Chrome instead of Microsoft’s oh-so-humble recommendation.
It’s spammy tricks like this that put people off software. They’re tactics more aligned with malware than high-quality software.
Microsoft has done so much to shift public perception of itself. Under CEO Satya Nadella, the company has shifted from a ‘dominate everything’ strategy to something far more nuanced, focused around being central to cloud technologies. And Windows 10, Office, and all of the company’s consumer software is so much more pleasant to use now it fits around the customer’s life rather than forcing users to contort their behaviour to suit Microsoft.
But it seems some old habits die hard. Aggressively forcing Edge on Windows users smacks of the kinds of ugly tricks the company pulled in the '90s. Hopefully they realise this, as a positive brand perception can easily be ruined by a slip-up or two.
One big read
Silicon Valley Elite Discuss Journalists Having Too Much Power in Private App Silicon Valley Elite Discuss Journalists Having Too Much Power in Private App
Twitter has been ablaze with tensions between American VCs, who think journalists sensationalise stories “for clicks,” and American journalists, who think VCs don’t understand how journalism works. Now you can (if you really, really want to) listen to an hour of leaked audio from Clubhouse, featuring top Silicon Valley folk whingeing about the media.
One big tweet
Following on from the article above, this thread is worth a read. VC big-thinking is often just content marketing. That’s not a bad thing, but it should be understood in that frame. I should add that some VCs are really interesting thinkers, but they tend to be the more down-to-Earth ones who don’t set themselves up as gurus. Click through below to read the full thread.
Anand Giridharadas
A basic confusion has wrought so much destruction in American life.

A lot of venture capitalists tricked themselves, and then others, into thinking that they are thinkers.
That’s all for today...
Back tomorrow with your weekend big reads.
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