Hashtag Trending August 11 – Meta worries about idle workforce; Microsoft disbands prosumer team; Google grills Apple over texting beef

Meta CEO worries that some employees aren’t doing work, Microsoft cuts team focused on prosumer experience, and Google blasts Apple’s texting standard.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, August 11, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is raising concerns about the quality of the workforce in big tech. Some tech giants believe that while they’re hiring more workers, only a portion of them are doing work. Zuckerberg said in a Q&A that some people at Meta shouldn’t be there, and that he’s okay if employees quit if he ups the pressure. His expression mirrors that of Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, who earlier this month said that productivity at the company isn’t where it’s supposed to be given the staff size. He urged Google employees to be more mission-focused and customer-centric.

Microsoft has allegedly dissolved its Modern Life Experiences team. The team was originally assembled in 2018 to focus on professional consumers. Since then, it has reached out to popular social platforms like TikTok and even Discord to be more relatable. The company has apparently offered the 200 members of the team other positions or severance pay. Now, Microsoft wants to double down on Windows, Microsoft 365, Teams and its hardware businesses to woo consumers. 

Google has created a new page dedicated to grilling Apple for not adopting modern texting standards. The issue, as painted by Google’s cheerful-looking page filled with graphics and links, is the lack of rich communications standard on iPhones. When an Android phone sends an RCS text message to an iPhone, the recipient device would convert them into the older SMS and MMS standard, often deteriorating their quality in the process. In addition to calling for Apple to change, Google is also urging its fans to spread the message on social media.

A Michigan man fed up with poor selection of internet services has built his own internet service provider. Jared Mauch, a network architect working for Akamai, started his project five years ago when Comcast asked for $50,000 to pull internet cable to his home. In January 2021, his homebrew internet service was serving 30 rural homes, and has since then expanded to around 70. And with a recent contract between Mauch and Washtenaw county, he would soon receive funding to bring his service to 417 addresses in the region. Residents pay just $55 for 100Mbps internet and no data caps, or $78 for 1Gbps. That’s a steal for rural residents starved of quality internet connections.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at sbalsara@itwc.ca

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