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A $22,000 Microsoft Surface Will Soon Be For Sale…And Other Small Business Tech News

By September 27, 2020October 5th, 2020No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Microsoft’s giant 85-inch Surface Hub 2S will arrive in January 2021 for $21,999.99

No, it’s not the laptop. It’s something much bigger. Microsoft shared this week that their 85-inch Surface Hub 2S will officially be available for purchase this coming January, and the option to preorder was made available last week. Priced at $21,999.99, the hardware was supposed to be released this past year. According to Microsoft, the Surface Hub 2S has assisted in bridging the gap between teams working remotely as well as doctor’s offices, hospitals, and schools. The bigger screen will also help in social distancing when people return to the office. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

$22,000 may seem like a pretty steep price to pay for a computer but it really is more than that – it’s a giant display and central system for managing virtual conferences and if you’re like most businesses you’re going to be juggling a lot of meetings with employees and customers at home, in remote locations and in the office. If you want to make it a quality experience you should be investing in quality technology and the Surface Hub has always received good reviews. This product is definitely geared towards corporate customers, but I’m betting many small businesses will find the investment worthwhile.

2 – Microsoft Teams is getting fake coffee shops, breakout rooms, custom layouts, and is launching new Cortana features for business users.

Microsoft recently announced new features for their Together Mode, which was designed specifically to address COVID-19 remote work meeting woes. While Together Mode is not new to Teams, some of the features — such as virtual conference rooms, auditoriums, and coffee shops — are. The features will use machine learning in order to instantly accurately place people in the seats of the virtual spaces. Microsoft also shared that they are rolling out several Cortana features which include giving users the ability to use their voice to make calls, play emails, and navigate their inbox. Additionally, Teams Rooms devices will soon have Cortana to help create a more efficient touchless experience as people begin to return to offices. (Sources: The VergeTech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Will Microsoft Teams surpass Zoom? Well, if the software giant continues to innovate with new features like these as well as making the application more pervasive and user friendly I can see this happening in the not-so-distant future. My advice to clients that are already using Office 365 is to go all-in on Teams and get training on other Office 365 apps that integrate with it.

3 — Facebook is starting to enable creators to take more control of their images.

Facebook released information last week that they are going to start giving publishers and creators autonomy regarding how their images are utilized on the social media platform. Updates to Rights Manger for Images and Rights Manager in Creator Studio will now use technology that will be able to match images in order to help creators manage and safeguard images, allowing greater control over where and how their material is shared on both Instagram and Facebook. (Source: Mobile Marketing Magazine)

Why this is important for your business:

A great step forward to protect your intellectual property. With Facebook’s help you can better manage your proprietary images and photos and get more control over how they’re being used.

4 —Companies can track your phone’s movements to target ads.

With privacy concerns being a major focal point for tech giants Apple and Google, companies such as NeuraSentiance, and NumberEight are starting to use sensor data based off of physical movement from phones in order to help ads target audiences. With many smartphones containing multiple sensors that help track a person’s physical movements, these companies will be able to target ads based on things such as when users wake up, go to sleep, when they are active, commuting, and more. (Source: Ars Technica)

Why this is important for your business:

Yeah it’s creepy but welcome to Marketing 2021. Brands are already tracking everything we do and now they want to track everywhere we’re going. You may have an ethical issue with this, but it’s legal and if you’re trying attract new customers to your store or location this is the kind of technology you’ll be needing in the next few years. I would take a closer look at what Neura, Sentiance and NumberEight have to offer and if their marketing tech will provide a good ROI for your business.

5 — Google will no longer let developers charge for Chrome extensions.

Google announced this past week that they will stop charging for Chrome extensions. While the tech giant disabled the paid feature temporarily, they will be moving forward with permanently making that change. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

From now on, if your business does development and wants users to pay for a Chrome extension, you will not be able to look to Google to help process the transaction. Google shared that developers have multiple options to help them handle payments, as compared to 2010 when the web store was first launched.

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