The Excel macro crackdown, and other tech stories you may have missed

1. Time to prepare for the Excel macro crackdown

Earlier last month, Microsoft announced its plans to pull back on the decision to automatically block macros in Excel documents. Initially, the company said that Excel files that contained macros would be blocked if downloaded from the internet. Microsoft still plans to move forward with blocking Excel documents with macros, but not in the immediate future. (Source: Computer World)

2. Employees would consider quitting over work-provided tech

A recent survey of 10,000 IT professionals, office employees, and C-suite executives found that 49% of participants expressed their dissatisfaction with work-provided technology and 26% actually considered leaving their jobs due to their frustration. The study also found that 42% of employees have paid for technology out of their own pockets as a workaround to inadequate technology. (Source: Tech Republic)

3. Google phasing out free G Suite for small biz

Google has stopped offering its G Suite legacy free version to small businesses. As of June 27, Google transitioned existing subscribers to a paid Google Workspace account. The monthly rates for Google Workspace Business editions start at $6 and go up to $18 per month per user. This means that businesses with 300 users who previously took advantage of the free G Suite offering now must pay between $21,600 and $64,800 per year. (Source: Investopedia)

4. 7 handy Excel features you may have missed

Sandy Writtenhouse of online technology magazine How-To-Geek recently summarized seven useful Microsoft Excel features that day-to-day users may have missed. (Source: How To Geek)

5. ChromeOS Flex gives new life to old Macbooks and PCs

ChromeOS was designed to revive computers that have been outdated. Google has announced that this program can be installed on either Macs or PCs just by simply downloading this feature. After many trial runs, anyone is now free to download this program. However, Google intends for schools and businesses to get the most use out of it. (Source: Engadget)

6. Twitter tests a co-tweeting feature

It’s been confirmed that Twitter is in the process of testing a co-tweet feature. The company’s social media consultant and mobile developer each recently posted a tweet as a test that displayed both usernames above the content, although the new feature is not formally available yet. If and when it officially rolls out, users will be able to send an invitation to “co-tweet” for other users to decline or accept. Accepted co-tweets will appear on both users’ timelines. (Source: Mashable)

7. Business profiles on Google can now set automated responses

This feature allows business profiles to set automated responses to specific questions, sort of like a chatbot on a website. Google has released this feature so that it eliminates the need for employees to go through and send individual responses. You can also add links to these automated responses so that customers can know where to go for more information. To enable this feature, you can go to “My business” in the Google web browser, click “Customer” then “Messages,” then click “Menu” and then “Message settings,” and then “Manage frequently asked questions.” (Source: Search Engine Journal)

8. Guava raises millions for black small biz

Banking and networking platform Guava recently raised $2.4 million last month. The company’s focus is to eliminate the wealth gap for Black business owners compared to the largely white and male-dominated industry. Although economically black business owners are disproportionately affected, there have been more Black women who have become entrepreneurs in the last year than white men, according to a study by Harvard Business Review. (Source: Tech Crunch).

9. These retailers are setting up shop in the Metaverse

A growing number of big-name retailers and organizations are buying space in the immersive, virtual world known as the Metaverse. These companies include JP Morgan, HSBC, Louis Vuitton, Samsung, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Burberry and Adidas. With approximately 50 online space providers for the Metaverse, companies can choose from various platforms including Somnium Space, Decentraland, Voxels, Horizon Worlds, and The Sandbox. (Source: BBC).

10. Google Maps adds features

Google Maps announced last month the addition of several new features for businesses to integrate with Google Maps, including the store location feature and new analytics. (Source: Search Engine Land)

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Gene Marks

Gene Marks

Columnist on smallbiz, economy, public policy, tech for The Guardian, The Hill, Philly Inquirer, Wash Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur. Small Business owner and CPA