• Coronavirus has affected a lot of businesses negatively
  • Conversely, it has caused people to put their attention to video conferencing and chat software
  • The outbreak has caused an increase in demand for such software

While coronavirus makes business difficult for some companies, it is driving more attention to offerings from other companies as well.

The current coronavirus problem has affected many businesses around the globe. It has caused delays in Apple's production of devices, caused Huawei to change its approach in unveiling and launching its flagship device, caused gaming giant Sony to cancel its participation in PAX East, and has caused many big events to be cancelled. These, in turn, can cause losses in revenue or setback in plans.

But while the COVID-19 outbreak has negatively affected these and other companies, certain tech giants are gaining the opportunity to make a mark in the lives of people –particularly those who are forced to work from home– using their products.

Increased demand

The increase in the number of people working from home as a safety precaution against the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has also increased the demand for teleconferencing and chat software from big tech companies such as Microsoft, Google and Zoom, investment and finance experts at The Motley Fool reported.

This demand is seen to increase all the more as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths continue to rise, the report said. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that as of Wednesday, March 11, there's been a total of 938 confirmed cases and a total of 29 COVID-19 related deaths. The numbers are seen to drive the demand for teleconferencing software up.

Per previous reports, Microsoft, Google and Cisco have decided to offer their video conferencing and chat software (Teams, Hangouts Meet and Webex, respectively) for free so that workers can continue working from home. All three companies said they are making their services for free for a limited time so that users can continue using their platforms without any worries.

The Motley Fool reported that Microsoft saw a 500% increase in the number of Teams users in China since January. It added that Zoom has also decided to remove the 40-minute limit for meetings for its China-based users, and that Slack is also offering a free tier for all users.

Working Computer
Working on a computer. Reuters