Spotify Still Growing But Still Losing $; Microsoft to Unbundle Teams; Galaxy Z Fold Coming Early; Google Authenticator Now Syncs 2FA Codes on Different Devices

Spotify continues to be the 800 lb. gorilla of streaming, as it continues to gain users for the platform…but despite layoffs the first of the year, it is losing money. Appleinsider.com reports that the company bled away a quarter billion dollars first quarter, even after the reduction in staff. On the plus side, Spotify has 515 million active monthly users, which is a 22% increase from the previous year…their largest ever first quarter increase. The number of folks that pay to subscribe is up 15%, but attempts to expand into new types of audio hasn’t really helped the bottom line. The company projects that in this quarter, they will grow to 530 million users, with premium paid subscribers increasing to 217 million. 

Microsoft is expected to stop bundling Teams with the Office productivity suite. This is being reported by Financial Times, and it appears to be aimed at evading a European Union antitrust investigation. The Times says companies will eventually be able to buy Office with or without Teams installed, but how that will work is not clear yet. Microsoft is in talks with EU regulators right now. In 2020, remote work platform Slack, which is now part of Salesforce, complained to the EU about the bundling of Teams with Office. Microsoft hasn’t had to wrangle with the Europeans over restraint of trade since 2009, and seems to be keen on avoiding litigation and big fines. Stay tuned. 

On the word that a Pixel Fold phone may be imminent, Samsung is considering launching the Galaxy Z Fold 5 early, Instead of waiting until August for their next Unpacked event, Samsung may move it into July. According to  Androidcentral.com, Samsung expects the Pixel Fold to pretty well go head to head with the Z Fold in specs and design…not to mention price, which has been rumored to be $1799…right in the wheelhouse of the Z Fold. The Pixel appears in leaks to have a rather chunky hinge, and Samsung may have a leg up with a new hinge design that allows a thinner phone. The hinge is also expected to be more durable, and give the phone more water resistance and the Z Fold should sport wider displays, too. 

A lot of folks have been using Google Authenticator form their phones, just like lots of folks use Microsoft’s Authenticator. A problem has been, if your phone got lost or stolen, you were basically screwed. Now, zdnet.com reports that you will be able to back up and sync your one-time 2FA codes to your Google account via the cloud. That means you can access those same codes from a different device signed in with your Google account…especially if your primary device is unavailable. The updated apps are available now for both Android and iOS.

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now.

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