Welcome to Top 5. I'm your host Iyaz Akhtar.
We're pretty much halfway done with this year, half really.
So let's take a look at the five biggest tech stories so far.
At number 5, Consolidation is the Game.
I'm lumping together this trend as one story.
Verizon is trying to buy AOL for $4.4 billion.
AT&T is trying to acquire DirecTV for $48.5 billion.
Then there's that report that T-Mobile and Dish might get together.
Comcast tried to buy Time Warner Cable, but that fell apart.
So Charter showed up and tried to gobble up Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Networks.
These are the folks who control the communication line to the US.
So keep an eye out on what deals actually go through, and which ones don't.
And number four, the US embracing net neutrality.
This year the United States ruled to regulate the Internet as a utility issue and then issued new rules to join Chile and other countries to preserve net neutrality.
What does that mean?
As CNET's own Maggie Reardon boils it down, the new rules make sure no broadband provider can block lawful content nor can it throttle specific applications or services.
Third, a broadband provider can't be paid to prioritize content.
No fast lanes on the internet.
Another words, the internet should continue to work the way it already does.
Bits are bits and are all treated the same.
At number three is the Apple Watch release.
In April, Apple released the Apple Watch at a starting price at around $350 Smart Watch was kind of a hard sell.
It's a device that has limited functionality away from a paired iPhone.
Apple hasn't released any official sales numbers, but analysts at Cohen and Co estimated that the total Apple Watch preorders worldwide reached about one million units during the first weekend of availability.
At number two, the free Windows 10 upgrade.
Why is this a big story?
Microsoft Windows 10 is an aggressive move to get people to upgrade from Windows 7 machines and above.
The company has been a victim of its own success at times because some people refuse to upgrade.
Why switch from Windows 7 to use a semi alien Windows 8?
Windows 10 takes care of a lot of complaints people had about Windows 8. And at a price of free for the first year, we might actually see a big wave of adoptions to Windows 10 when it's released on July 29th.
And the biggest tech news story of the year so far is television over the Internet becoming a reality.
2015 was the year when people looking to ditch the traditional cable or satellite packages got some options.
First up was Sling TV from DISH Network that brought a bundle of networks to people over the internet, at a base price of
In March we got Playstation Vue, Sony's $50 per month television over the internet offering.
HBO finally got in the game, offering up an online version of its pay channels that required no cable subscription.
The television industry doesn't like change.
But the fact that all of this happened, is huge.
Who knows what will happen in the future.
Maybe Google will buy Tesla or Apple will purchase you.
Okay that's probably unlikely.
Anyway for more top fives like this visit top5.cnet.com.
Thanks for watching.