Walmart’s Selling A $99 Windows Laptop…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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

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

Walmart began rolling out Black Friday deals early this year. One of its hottest deals includes the Gateway 14.1-inch Ultra Slim Notebook — which was originally $229 — for $99. Some of the features for the Windows-based laptop include a 1MP 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 boasts 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 insanely cheap laptop for non-essential use then now’s the time to buy. Give it to an intern. Or have it as a backup. Or use it as a throwaway. In any case, it’s a bargain.

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

Zoom announced recently that it plans to roll out new features including calendars and emails in an effort to compete with platforms such as Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. With the new functions, users will be able to connect to their third-party calendar and email services directly on their 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 is never going to happen), Zoom would double down specifically on its video conferencing technology and continue to make it the best and most affordable out there. Microsoft and Google have plenty of other applications 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 just focuses on that niche. Doing that would benefit the many small businesses – like mine – who enjoy the platform.

3 – For Windows 8, the end is near.

Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system will soon stop getting support from vendors. 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 stop providing support for Windows 7 and 8.1 early next year. Firefox has not yet released any information about how it plans to handle the operating system but other vendors such as Opatch will continue to develop micro patches 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 clinging 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 happy that you extended the use of Windows 8 for as long as you have. Great job. Now let it go.

4 – Gmail’s new interface is here to stay.

Starting this month, Gmail will begin moving everybody over to what the company is calling its “integrated view.” With the new interface, users will have options to access Meet, Spaces, Chat, and Mail when navigating the far-left sidebar of the interface. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Google began testing the new layout at the start of this year and originally gave users the option to opt-out. Moving forward, users will no longer have the option to revert to the previous Gmail interface. Like it or not, it’s reality going forward.

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

Third party auto-responder service AWeber is integrating new technology which enables small businesses to leverage their email marketing strategy. Some of these new features include an easy-to-use builder for landing pages and the ability to integrate items such as surveys, polls, and other dynamic content directly into their emails. (Source: EIN News)

Why this is important for your business:

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

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