Microsoft takes on Twilio, Google launches a work-tracking tool and Mirakl raises $300 million. Microsoft announced today that it's ready to compete with Twilio by launching a set of features that allow developers to add voice and video calling, chat, text messages and old-school telephony to their apps. “Azure Communication Services is built natively on top a global, reliable cloud — Azure," wrote Microsoft's Scott Van Vliet.
Google's in-house incubator Area 120 is today introducing a new work-tracking tool, Tables, which aims to make tracking projects more efficient by investing in automation. Instead of simply tracking notes and tasks associated with a project in various documents that have to be manually updated by team members, Tables' bots help do things like scheduling recurring email reminders when tasks are overdue, messaging a chat room when new form submissions are received, moving tasks to other people's work queues or updating tasks when statuses are changed. The solution is designed to be useful across a number of use cases, including project management, IT operations, customer tracking and CRM, recruiting, product development and more.
Over the past decade, the dynamic between Chinese and United States tech companies has undergone dramatic shifts. Once seen as a promising market for American companies, that narrative flipped as China’s tech innovation and investment power became increasingly evident, and the expanding reach of the Chinese Communist Party’s cybersecurity regulations fueled concerns about data privacy. The U.S. Commerce Department was set to enforce the shutdown of TikTok and WeChat in the United States last weekend, but both apps got reprieves.