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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Walmart is selling a $99 Windows laptop… and other small business tech news this week

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

1 – Walmart’s $99 Windows laptop is selling fast.

Walmart started rolling out Black Friday deals earlier this year. One of its best deals includes the ultra-slim Gateway 14.1-inch laptop, which was originally $229, for $99. Some of the Windows-based laptop’s features include a 1 MP webcam, up to 8.5 hours of battery life and a 1920 x 1080 HD screen resolution. The laptop also comes in four different colors and features a sleek, slim design. (Source: Digital Trends)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s definitely not high-end, but if you’re looking for an incredibly cheap laptop for non-essential use, now is the time to buy. Give it to an intern. Or have it as a backup. Or use it as a disposable. In any case, it’s a bargain.

2 – Zoom is adding email and calendar features to take on other workspace platforms.

Zoom recently announced that it plans to roll out new features, including calendars and email, in an effort to compete with platforms like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. With the new features, users will be able to connect to their third-party email and calendar services. right on your desktop through the Zoom app. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

I wish that instead of spending its resources trying to catch up with Microsoft and Google as an office collaboration system (which it never will), Zoom would specifically double down on its video conferencing technology and continue to make it the best and most affordable out there. Microsoft and Google have plenty of other apps and investments to worry about. Given its brand and reputation, Zoom has the potential to be the leader in its specific niche if the company only focuses on that niche. Doing that would benefit many small businesses, like mine, that enjoy the platform.

3 – For Windows 8, the end is near.

Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system will soon end vendor support. Microsoft announced that it does not plan to provide an end-of-life program for Windows 8.1, and Google shared that Chrome will also drop support for Windows 7 and 8.1 early next year. Firefox hasn’t yet released any information on how it plans to handle the operating system, but other vendors, such as Opatch, will continue to develop micropatches over the next two years for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, but not 8.1. (Source: Computer World)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re one of those still holding on to Windows 8, it’s time to move on. The main reason is security. As I write this, there are millions of malware bots looking for older operating systems like yours to infect and invade. Upgrade your hardware and upgrade your operating systems. And be glad you extended the use of Windows 8 for as long as you have. Great job. Now let it go.

4 – The new Gmail interface is here to stay.

Starting this month, Gmail will start moving everyone into what the company calls its “integrated view.” With the new interface, users will have options to access Meet, Spaces, Chat, and Mail when they navigate through the left sidebar of the interface. (Source: The Edge)

Why this is important for your business:

Google began testing the new design earlier this year and originally gave users the option to opt out. Going forward, users will no longer have the option to return to the old Gmail interface. Whether we like it or not, it is the reality in the future.

5 – AWeber is incorporating new technology to help small businesses achieve their goals.

Third-party autoresponder service AWeber is integrating new technology that enables small businesses to leverage their email marketing strategy. Some of these new features include an easy-to-use landing page builder and the ability to embed things like surveys, polls, and other dynamic content directly into your emails. (Source: EIN News)

Why this is important for your business:

Online marketing tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp always seem to turn heads. But AWeber has been around for years and I have many customers who happily use their service. The company enforces a higher level of service for its platform rather than just letting its users figure things out. And, possibly, it offers more online marketing tools for the price. Sure, you can look at the bigger players, but if you’re looking into online marketing platforms, I’d suggest taking a look at this one too.

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