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Winners and Losers: Threads takes on Twitter, as Microsoft Teams is exposed

Every Sunday, we pick out a technology brand that has had a particularly great week, as well as one that hasn’t.

For this latest entry, there’s been a lot to unpack with Mark Zuckerberg going to war with Elon Musk following the launch of the Twitter-rivalling Threads app. 

We’ve also seen the European launch of the Honor 90 phone, while Microsoft has inadvertently kickstarted the rumour mill by suggesting a PS5 slim could arrive before the end of 2023. 

Keep reading below to find out who we have crowned as the winner and loser of the week. 

Threads app logo

Winner: Meta 

Meta launched a new social media app called Threads this week, joining the likes of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp under Zuckerburg’s ownership. 

With Elon Musk enforcing several controversial changes to Twitter, many people have been searching for a replacement app in the same mould. Threads so far looks to be the best alternative option to Twitter, effectively using the same design template. 

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Mark Zuckerberg claims that Threads saw a remarkable 30 million users sign up to Threads within the first 24 hours, with reports suggesting that figure has since spiralled up to 55 million. It’s a resounding success for the launch of Threads, mounting the first serious challenge to Twitter since Musk seized control. 

Of course, Threads is still a long way off the approximate 450 million user count of Twitter, and is still lacking important features such as web access on desktop, private direct messages and the ability to use GIFs in posts. But with such a strong start, the future looks bright for Meta’s latest social media app, even if Musk is threatening a legal battle

Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams

Loser: Microsoft Teams

In one of the most remarkable technology stories of 2023 so far (via BleepingComputers), a member of the US Navy has exposed a significant security flaw in Microsoft Teams. 

Alex Reid, the aforementioned member of the US Navy, was able to use a tool called TeamsPhisher to bypass Microsoft’s security measures and send malware-ridden attachments to unsuspecting victims.

The good news is that this security loophole can only be used against people with a Microsoft Business account, so your personal account is likely to be unaffected. But that won’t offer any respite to companies that deal with sensitive information and use Teams as their main messaging system. 

Microsoft has confirmed that it’s aware of the problem, but it seems that fixing this security issue isn’t high on the company’s priority list, dismissing the security flaw by saying that it requires “social engineering” in order to be exploited. Microsoft also encouraged users to practise good computing habits online, and avoid clicking on suspicious links. 

That isn’t the most encouraging response from Microsoft. While it is indeed true that it’s highly unlikely that many people will be able to take advantage of this security flaw, there will still likely be plenty of businesses starting to consider alternative options to ensure the highest level of security for their employees. 

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