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Google Meet Goes Free, Microsoft Flags Double Spaces…And Other Small Business Tech News

By May 4, 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 — Google Meet is going free as it guns for Zoom and aims to fend off Microsoft Teams.

Google announced this past week that it is going to begin making their video conferencing platform— Meet—  free, as a way to stay competitive with video conference giants Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Google Meet has received an influx of new users who are now having to work from home. Google plans to implement the feature slowly to more users in order to make sure that all goes smoothly. Users with a G Suite account will be able to opt-in for alerts in order to be notified of when they can start using Meet. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

There will be many changes to our workplaces in the future because of the Coronavirus pandemic and one of them will be the increased use of video conferencing and collaboration systems. Zoom has been getting all the attention, but its rivals – Google, Microsoft, GoToMeeting, Citrix and others – are going to compete aggressively for your attention with free deals and other incentives.

2 — Microsoft Word now flags double spaces as errors, ending the great space debate.

Microsoft Word will now highlight when a user puts two spaces after a punctuation mark, flagging it as an error and ending the confusion surrounding this practice in the past. Now— when users are typing— if they accidentally— or intentionally—  put two spaces after a punctuation, Microsoft Word will provide the option to fix the double space to a single. Microsoft began troubleshooting the new update through Word’s desktop version and also been providing recommendations using the Word app Editor feature. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

To double space or not to double space? That’s been an age old question and now Microsoft is taking a stand. Get ready for lots of new grammatical errors in your company’s communications (as if there aren’t a lot already!).

3 —National Business League rolled out a $1.8 million platform to connect black businesses with technology amid COVID-19.

This past week, the National Business League Inc. — also known as NBL— is going to utilize their new 1.8 million user platform to help minimize the divide that exists digitally due to the COVID-19 pandemic among black-owned small businesses. (Source: Black Enterprise)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re a black-owned company then pay attention: NBL rolled out their newest technology platform along with many other initiatives to help businesses like yours, which will include the creation of a new mobile app and website. NBL plans to utilize social media platforms, online virtual entrepreneurial and educational training, live streaming, and additional services to help the gap among black-owned businesses that exists regarding technology.

4 — Without cloud computing, businesses would now be in even deeper trouble.

According to Canalys—  an analyst firm— $107 billion were spent on cloud-computing services all over the world last year. That amount is 37% more than in 2018. It is predicted that public cloud services will rise to 17% this year, totaling $266.4 billion. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way businesses run and employees work, the investment in cloud computing has allowed the transition to working from home happen relatively smoothly for many companies. If the Coronavirus had hit in 2010, businesses would have been in even bigger trouble, with only $6,300 a year being spent on cloud computing during that time. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re not convinced that leveraging cloud is a good thing to do, the Coronavirus pandemic should have convinced you that the cloud is now and essential thing to do. Even if you have desktop or older applications, you can still move them to a managed server environment. The important takeaway is that you need to have a cloud strategy for your small business going forward.

5— Phishing scams are targeting SMBs seeking COVID aid.

According to data shared by, the relief provided for the coronavirus pandemic through the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) has opened new opportunities for scammers to take advantage of business owners looking for help.. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

According to the data, those behind the scams try to trick business owners by sending out emails pretending to be the Payment Protection Program (PPP). The idea behind the fraudulent emails is to try and fool individuals in choosing relief options for their businesses using official-looking log-in pages in an attempt to lift important corporate information.

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