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Big Revolution - Surface Go: A posh netbook and a gateway drug

Welcome to Tuesday's Big Revolution. Yesterday, I wrapped up my time working as an external assessor
July 10 · Issue #135 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Tuesday’s Big Revolution. Yesterday, I wrapped up my time working as an external assessor with Google’s Digital News Innovation Fund. That was one of the most fun jobs I’ve done in a while. I currently have some bandwidth for new clients, so drop me a line if I can help you.
– Martin

Big things you need to know today
- Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Go, a $399 iPad-like tablet running Windows 10. More on this below.
- Your iPhone is that little bit more secure today if you upgrade to iOS 11.4.1. It includes the previously reported ‘USB Restricted Mode,’ which stops people with special software (like cops) attempting to break into your device via the Lightning port. However, security researchers say they’ve already found a loophole.
- Reddit’s tolerance of hate speech is under fire again. With good reason.
- YouTube will give out $25m in grants to news organisations looking to expand operations on the platform. This news comes as YouTube aims to elevate ‘authoritative’ news sources.
The big thought
Surface Go: A posh netbook and a gateway drug
One phrase wouldn’t leave my mind after reading about Microsoft’s new Surface Go tablet: ‘posh netbook.’
Ten years ago, the netbook craze was just kicking off. The joy of having a tiny little PC you could carry anywhere, running full Windows XP (perfectly acceptable for the time!) was incredible. Just as coffee shops were multiplying at an insane rate across the UK, here was the perfect computer form factor to take with you and do some work while you sipped your grande cappuccino.
The novelty wore off, as netbooks simply weren’t powerful enough for sustained use. And as smartphones took off, people found they could do most of what they used a netbook for – and more – on an iOS or Android device.
The Surface Go updates that 'desirable, underpowered PC’ idea for 2018. It looks gorgeous, and Microsoft has taken learnings from both its own Surface line of devices and Apple’s iPad to develop an appealing little tablet at an accessible price. Don’t forget to add an extra $99-$120 for a keyboard cover, though. 
You certainly won’t be running high-end games on it, but as a way to carry a lightweight PC around wherever you go, it looks very tempting indeed.
But that 'netbook’ analogy just won’t go away. Will its slow processor end up frustrating users? We’ll have to wait for the first reviews, but for Microsoft, maybe it doesn’t matter. Surface Go has another purpose – it’s the perfect 'gateway drug’ for Windows 10.   
There are many people out there tempted by one of Microsoft’s pricey premium Surface devices, but the idea of Windows puts them off. Will it keep them as productive as MacOS on their trusty MacBook Pro? It’s too risky to find out.
At $399, Surface Go is a low-priced way of dipping your toe back into the Windows ecosystem if you’ve not tried it for a few years. And if you like it, Microsoft has a range of premium, full-price computers waiting to replace your Mac.
One big read
How the Pentagon Keeps Its App Store Secure How the Pentagon Keeps Its App Store Secure
Did you know the Pentagon has its own, publicly accessible – but still secure – app store? This piece takes a look at how it works.
One big tweet
Ashley Mayer
The irony is that the best way to promote yourself is to never (or rarely) promote yourself. Share ideas, entertain, ask questions, show people how you think and what you care about.
1:15 AM - 10 Jul 2018
That’s all for today...
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