Windows Declines, Grandma Gets an Uber And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(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 – Alphabet has received approval to begin testing delivery drones in the United States.

Slowly but surely, the U.S. government is moving forward into the arena of drone deliveries. Amazon has been pushing this for years, and now Alphabet is making progress. This week, the government will work with Google’s top secret experimental (and James Bond-sounding) Division X to expand the use of drone flights, according to this report from Bloomberg.

Why this is important for your business:

Although not imminent, drone delivery will be a reality in the years to come. Amazon is already testing drones in India and the UK in addition to their activities in the U.S. This week’s announcement pushes things forward. Once the issues are worked out, this will be not only another option for shipping your products, but also a way for you to reach more customers in those far-flung places of the world.

2 – Advertising is coming soon to the extremely popular Facebook Live.

It’s a video world, and Facebook is leading the charge. Its Facebook Live streaming service (as well as competition from Google Hangouts On Air and Twitter’s Periscope) has been significantly growing and companies, both large and small, are starting to realize the benefits of reaching their audiences through this medium. This week, Facebook announced a change that will truly integrate the Internet video experience with watching regular television: commercials!
Why this is important for your business:

Marketing experts are estimating that more than 70% of Internet traffic will be video within the next few years. Many business owners are investing in this medium to engage more users and expand their reach. If you’re smart enough to create a cool video that educates and draws more eyeballs to your business on Facebook, you’ll soon have another revenue stream to consider: advertising. And if you’re not a video person, you’ll have the opportunity to advertise on the videos that are attracting attention, too. Just like TV.

3 – And now LinkedIn says it’s finally ready to leap into video.

If you’re one of the select 500 “influencers” on LinkedIn, the service is going to allow you to share your words of wisdom with 30-second videos that can be shared with and discussed by the site’s 433 million members.

Why this is important for your business:

Sure, this will be fun and educational for both influencers and their followers. But even if you’re not one of the elite few, I predict that you’ll soon be able to do the same on LinkedIn. And who knows? Your 30-second videos might draw more connections and attention from the LinkedIn community that could provide more opportunities for your business. Or maybe you’ll find that right partner or employer through a great video.

4 – Microsoft Windows is now the company’s #3 top seller.

This analysis of Microsoft’s recently released financial results shows how times have changed. Office and Xbox bring in more money to Microsoft than Windows. And database services aren’t too far behind. What was once a client-server world is truly the cloud. And Microsoft is embracing it full-on.
Why this is important for your business:

Here’s further proof that Microsoft is changing – and your business will likely change along with it. The company is now focusing on software and tools that enable better productivity and mobility across all platforms and has recognized that they can’t control the operating systems people and businesses use. Unshackled by the need to produce everything with Windows in mind, this change in direction will mean more great software for your business from the software company over the coming years.

5 – This new startup will make it easier for your Grandma to get an Uber. 

In my favorite story of the week, a little startup at Y Combinator’s Summer ’16 batch has come up with a genius idea. The next time your grandma needs an Uber, but she can’t order one because she doesn’t have a smartphone or is unable to use an app, just tell her to phone it in!

GoGoGrandparent (great name) is developing automated technology to let people use their telephones to order popular web-based services.

Why this is important for your business:

There are millions of people too old, infirmed or disabled to truly take advantage of the mobile apps on a smartphone. So enter a company that plans to fill this market need with an old school approach: mash up the telephone with a mobile app through an automated service so that everyone wins. You may never use the service. But you might be able to apply the same idea to your business.

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