Microsoft is adding games to Teams to make virtual meetings more exciting
Microsoft is opening the news this week with exciting news for Microsoft Teams users.
In a bid to improve the virtual meeting experience and boost engagement, Microsoft is adding a number of casual games to its chatting and video-calling service – Microsoft Teams.
How does this work?
The tech giant has added a new app called Games for Work to its video-conferencing tool, which will now allow users to switch to some casual gaming titles and play them together. The app includes games like IceBreakers, Wordament, Minesweeper, and Solitaire and will support as many as 250 people together.
For anyone wondering how game playing is about to help teams during meetings, Microsoft has an answer for that.
Microsoft asserts that while some people playing games during working hours are nothing more than a source of distraction, in reality, the benefits of such activities are plentiful. It cites a report by Brigham Young University to support its claims. The study findings reveal teams that play short video games together remain 20 percent more productive after playing video games for just 45 minutes than those who participate in more traditional team-building activities.
Microsoft has encouraged customers to try these games to boost productivity and have fun simultaneously. Exciting times for Teams users!
Microsoft announces Teams Shared Device license
In another Microsoft-related news this week, the software giant is looking to evolve its Teams software to cater to diverse use-cases. This week, the company announced a new license type called “Teams Shared Device” for enterprise customers.
In essence, Teams Shared Device license is a rebrand of the existing Common Area Phone (CAP) license so that it can adapt to and cover more scenarios. For those unaware, a CAP license is recommended for enterprises that use a Teams device in an area that is being actively used by multiple people, such as a lobby or a reception.
The new Teams Shared Device license will continue to offer the functionalities offered by the CAP license but also expand to address more use-cases for customers using Teams Displays and Teams Panels.
Teams Shared Device license will launch at the end of 2022 across all channels for $8 per device per month. In the meantime, customers are requested to get in touch with their Microsoft account executives to better understand what license suits them.
Suit accuses Intuit of sharing watch histories with Facebook
In another not-so-exciting news story this week is the Moloney v. Intuit, Inc. class action lawsuit, which accuses Intuit of secretly sharing the identity and video viewing habits of TurboTax and QuickBooks subscribers with Facebook without consent.
The 20-page lawsuit claims that the financial software company, which owns and operates TurboTax.Intuit.com and QuickBooks.Intuiut.com, discloses consumers’ personal information and video-viewing activity to Facebook as they watch educational videos on either site.
The case argues that Intuit has violated the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) by failing to obtain express written consent from its “hundreds of thousands” subscribers before disseminating their personally identifiable information to a third party.
We don’t know what this entails for Intuit, but as the case progresses, we’ll be sure to let you know.
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Salesforce, Amazon, and other ditch office space
In recent weeks, we’ve seen several layoffs at different Big Tech companies like Salesforce, Amazon, and Meta, amongst others. Now, it appears like they may have overextended themselves as they are now pairing layoffs with jettisoning office space.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, it appears like they are trying to get out of their leases or sublets.
At the moment, technology companies have 30 million square feet of office space available for sublet, more than triple the 9.5 million square feet they had available in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to CBRE.
As Colin Yasukochi, executive director of CBRE’s Tech Insights Center, puts it, and we agree, the layoffs are starting to gain momentum.
ClickUp and HubSpot announce strategic partnership
The partnership seeks to help customers create more efficient workflows and better collaborate across teams. By bringing together the powerful capabilities of ClickUp and HubSpot, stakeholders throughout the customer lifecycle benefit from increased productivity and are better equipped with the knowledge they need to foster and grow customer relationships.
The two-way sync between ClickUp and HubSpot automates hours of tedious manual work, accelerating the customer success workflow and providing visibility to all relevant team members on the latest status and next steps.
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Adobe doubles down on bringing Creative Cloud to Windows
One of the major challenges of Windows on Arm-powered devices has typically been the lack of native app support.
Well, Windows on Arm users will now have a couple less programs to worry about, as Adobe and Qualcomm have announced that they will work together to bring more of Adobe Creative Cloud onto Snapdragon-powered devices running Windows.
Right now, Windows on Snapdragon users can already get Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom natively on their machines. They will also be able to download and use Adobe Fresco and Adobe Acrobat natively on their Window Arm devices.
Adobe is also making use of the dedicated on-device Qualcomm AI Engine on Snapdragon platforms to give users an enhanced experience with features such as super-resolution, background removal, and color enhancement.
TikTok has launched new in-app ecommerce feature
On a surprising, not-so-surprising note, TikTok is trying to compete with Amazon with a new feature now available in the US.
In addition to its most recent shopping features, TikTok has just launched TikTok Shop, where users can now make purchases directly through the app. The feature officially began testing in the U.S. this week. It was previously only available in the UK and seven countries in Southeast Asia.
The new feature is, however, invite-only, but if the Shop feature becomes available to advertisers and brands globally, you should start testing it as an alternative way to promote your products.
SportsBiz’s SaaS platform empowers brands to maximize sports sponsorship
With only a few days until the World Cup, sports sponsorship will be at its peak exposure as global brands aim to align with the buying behavior of this flagship event’s estimated five billion viewers.
Well, it does appear like SportsBiz has ground-breaking plans for that.
Its end-to-end SaaS suite empowers sponsors in the $100B industry to match with optimal sports assets, maximize all dollars invested, and measure the value of their sponsorship investment without bias. SportsBiz launched this month with an industry-first TV, Web, and Social Media solution, one that enables brands to become their own in-house agency and make actionable decisions at a fraction of the time and cost.
With significant disruption taking place in the industry and increased demand for sponsorship accountability, the future bodes well for SportsBiz and its platform.