All posts tagged Microsoft

Microsoft To Offer Office 365 In Student Advantage Program

During the vice president of education, Anthony Salcito’s,visit to Tunisia, Microsoft announced the official launch of its Student Advantage programme on the continent. Inanintimate meeting with students from various regions across the country, Salcito unveiled the components and benefits of this new programme.

With Student Advantage, qualifying institutions that subscribe to Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for all staff and faculties can also provide students with access to Office 365 ProPlus at no additional cost. Office 365 ProPlus includes all the familiar and full Office applications:Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, InfoPath and Lync,which can be locally installed on up to five devices and are available offline.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft Nigeria Builds Media Capacity For News Reporters

The programme will be made available in Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Angola, Zimbabwe, Cape Verde, Rwanda, Mauritius, South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Morocco and reasserts Microsoft’s commitment to participate in the modernisation of teaching methods and improve the employability of youth.

As part of his visit, Salcito also presented the opening speech at the second day of the African Ministerial Forum, which is focused on the integration of ICT in education and training. Salcito explained the importance of integrating the tools of digital technology to develop a high quality education experience. He also emphasised the important role Microsoft plays in this area as a strategic partner,giving students the opportunity to access modern learning tools, realise their potential and integrate successfully into business life.

Microsoft’s corporate commitment to youth in Africa underpins many of its regional programs, including YouthSpark and the 4Afrika Initiative. Both programs share common goals, including improving access to technology, boosting skills and igniting African innovation for the continent and the world.

READ ALSO: Microsoft Launches Employability Program With Aiki Online Platform

Microsoft Nigeria Builds Media Capacity For News Reporters

Microsoft Nigeria exposed journalists to benefits of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Windows 8.1 at a one-day capacity building training for the Nigerian media. The training was held by Microsoft in conjunction with its Gold certified partner, Ha-Shem Network Services Limited, also known for its world class IT solutions and training.

Office 365 is a major offering within Office 2013 which is the next iteration of Microsoft’s flagship office product line for customers and is designed to work with both touch and a mouse, and works seamlessly in the cloud, giving the user an unmatched on- and offline experience.

A cloud service designed for busy households and people juggling ever-increasing work and family responsibilities, the Office 365 Home Premium includes the latest and most complete set of Office applications; works across up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs and Macs; and comes with extra SkyDrive storage and Skype calling.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 brings significant advantages to those who are upgrading existing PCs or purchasing new ones and comes with a new look.  The operating system offers improvements in performance and existing capabilities.

To address challenges of weak technology reporting in the African media which is unstructured and shallow, and to bridge journalists’ reporting skills gap, Microsoft aims to provide local journalists with the tools they require to enable them report confidently on ICT issues, use technology properly in their day-to-day activities and create an affinity to the Microsoft brand and its solutions and services.

The workshop course content included Big data, One Note, Anti-piracy, Social media,Understanding Cloud Computing and Windows 8 & Office 365 experience.

Participants came from various media houses such as The Punch Newspapers, The Guardian Newspaper, ThisDay Newspaper, Champion Newspapers, BusinessDay Newspaper, National Mirror, The Sun and Vanguard Newspapers amongst others. Certificates of participation were given to all the journalists at the end of the one-day workshop.

Big Data: Big Hype or Big Value – Olayinka Oni, CTO Microsoft Nigeria

Editor’s Note: Olayinka Oni is seasoned IT professional with experience spanning consulting and the banking industry, he is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Nigeria

“As big data continues to grow, the most successful, competitive organizations will be the ones with the ability to turn that data into game-changing paths to new revenue opportunities and operational effectiveness.”

Increasingly technology scholars and analyst the world over seem to be in agreement around what is (are) the most important technology trends shaping our world Very easily the four mega-trends that everyone seems to agree is at play are Cloud, Social, Mobility and Big Data.

I would say there has been a lot of discuss around three of these trends in our locale – Cloud, Social and Mobility, what has not yet start to be main-stream in conversation and dialogue is Big-data.Some may argue it’s not near or that it’s still far from us but some recent occurrences in our country seem to challenge this notion and point to the fact that the time of Big Data is upon on us than we think. But maybe the first challenge is the understanding of what Big Data means?

The term big data was coined by the sciences like astronomy and genomics which first experienced data explosion. According to Mayer-Schonberger & Cukier, in the real sense of the word, there is no rigorous definition of big data; one simplistic way to think of it is: big data refers to things one can do at a large scale that cannot be done at a smaller one, to extract new insights or create new forms of value, in ways that change markets, organizations, the relationship between citizens and governments and more.

In 2012, Gartner defined it as follows: “Big data is high volume, high velocity, and/or high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization. To address the challenge of data haven grown so large that it no longer fit into the memory that computer use for processing, engineers came up with new processing technologies that lets you manage large quantities of data than before and more importantly the data need not be structured (in tidy rows or classic database tables).

Back to the recent local occurrences, the recent spate of air-craft mishap in our country for example got me thinking could big data have helped? In my thinking probably yes, what if our aviation industry and its regulators had capabilities that is able to use predictive tools (basically using mathematical models and historic data) to determine before a flight takes up to a near perfect prediction that a flight may most likely go wrong mid-air?

A model that marsh data that includes weather conditions (like wind and storm, etc.),data created by jet engines in real time, sensors collecting data on the surrounding environment (temperature, humidity, air pressure, etc.), air-craft maintenance data, number of hours clocked, etc. regulators are therefore able to ensure compliance and safety in real-time by setting up all the compliance rules & safety criteria and validating them against a streaming data set comprised of data from flight sensors, flight management system, vertical navigation system, etc. The system is built to trigger alerts, in real-time, if there is a potential compliance breach or a safety concern.

And another occurrence that comes to mind is the banking crisis that we have only truly/somewhat started to come out of, again maybe if the regulators had capabilities to simulate in a near to real time the sensitivity of each bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio to moving data feeds like (both external & internal); Sectorial Risk tied loan-book exposure, Cash Reserve Ratio, Foreign Exchange Rate movement, Consumer Price Index, Loan Account Velocity, Asset/Collateral Cover & Quality, Quality & Sophistication of Loan Management Process & Organization, Frequency of Approach to Re-discount Window, etc. Maybe, just maybe they could have saved the day by knowing the best time to stop the systemic hemorrhage possibly with the right ‘policy-dosage’.

Beyond this situational scenarios, increasingly enterprises are finding new use for big data that was hitherto not possible. Before now when people think of big data, they think of social media and Internet sites but this is changing very quickly due to advances in technologies which is bringing to mainstream and within affordable reach the discuss and relevance of big data in enterprise and government. Advances in technologies like in-memory technologies that allow for processing of millions of rows of data in seconds, increased sophistication of analytics software and tools allowing for deeper/greater data visualization and Self-service BITechnology. These coupled with the always connected trend powered by two of the 4 technology mega trend (Cloud & Mobility) mobility fueled by proliferation of mobile devices

Would it be interesting to a CEO of a bank when the banking relationship starts to wane with a particular customer segment; say after a set number of complaint and complaint type, in a particular branch category/location running a particular product based on their social profile (tribe, creed, current status in life, network, etc.)?Assuming he gets to have an early-warning signal just as that threshold was about to be reached.

This is powerful and business value in that it ensure that truly organization get to know something is happening and needs immediate attention before it truly happens and we are left with situational analysis as to causes.Would it also be interesting to be able to generate Liquidity Risk of millions of customers on the fly from their millions of cash flows whilst doing real-time sensitivity analysis using data like exchange rate movement, interest rate, etc.?A practical example and common scenario that bankers would easily relate to in this locale is the concept of “Follow the Money”, consider a situation where all inflow across channels and across locations can be consolidated for the source of the fund to bubble up a new customer to capture just purely be able to leverage big data technology and analytics tools.

A similar scenario is where a large and unusual deposit into a customer’s account triggers real time alert to the relationship team and contact centre of the moment of truth opportunity to make a new product offer real time. Increasing the opportunity to trap and lock the funds in the bank and deepen the bank’s share of the customers’ business.And you can extrapolate the value of this to other relevant banking scenarios like real time and granular transactional risk-based pricing, real time interaction of data across multiple channels to detect fraud threat as it happens real time in order to provide live responses/action, enhancement of data quality/data cleansing, etc. And lastly, with the increasing IT Consumerization trend, customers are being preconditioned and stereotyped to expect high level of personalization in the channel interaction with their bank. Reality, most of our banks are non-starters when it comes to leveraging big data for personalization of customer experience

Another scenario that would largely benefit from Big Data is the increasing need for Business automation and integration as a result of the increasing complex status most of our businesses have started to attain, most especially our Financial Services and Telco sector. Whilst there is nothing new about business automation and integration, but leveraging cloud computing has greatly enhanced the extensibility of what is possible. For the techno at mind, it simply means we can now expose or call Application Programing Interface (API) securely (whilst selectively gating access to more sensitive data) at scale combining hundreds millions of search terms/data to produce answer in near real time system automation.

In lay terms it means our traditional system automated processes now have the ability to be more intuitive and more granular in deciding and hinging closer to age long desire of business to unlock value from its already sunk huge investment in technology. Imagine for a moment a real life scenario when you have been on a trip for a while and wanted to place a call to loved ones and suddenly discovered we have been cut-off by our mobile operator? Would it not have been nice if the system before it went ahead to cut off your line that you are above your contract level, was able to pull several data and churn same to arrive at a decision, data like the average monthly spend of the customer, credit record of the customer, frequency of roaming, previous customer contact with the service/call centre, customer profile (status, preferences, sentiments, etc.). Other relevant telco opportunity leveraging big data and Internet of things include;

Saving the best for last. As I was finalizing this piece, I asked that a colleague help me peer-review my write-up and his profound comment was that the place where big data can unlock the biggest value is in public sector; and that whilst government are typically a little further back in technology maturity they have also been known to leap-frog the fastest and to scale. Beyond trends, some practical examples that government can use to leverage big data to better execute on their mission.

A good use is in criminal investigation – Microsoft published recently a case study on Thailand’s Department of Special Investigations (DSI), and its use of big data to dramatically accelerate and improve the accuracy of its investigations into criminal cases. Leveraging better BI and data-mining tools the DSI was able to reduce complex and manual processes and establish a system that could automatically notify personnel of suspicious persons or activities related to criminal cases.

For example, when many foreign criminals pour into the country and all travel to the same location, or when there is a noticeably large sum of money being transferred into the country. The most impressive about DSI’s new big data implementation is the dramatic impact that it’s had on investigations overall. Before, conducting a traditional investigation could take as many as two years to search for tips, gather, and analyze data. Today, with the Microsoft big data solution, the DSI is able to conduct investigations in as few as 15 days, thanks to the automated processes, reduced complexity and more accurate insights afforded by the new system. If you’d like to learn more about this impressive case study

The key to achieving greater judicial efficiency is unlocking data so that it can be easily shared, analyzed, and acted upon. Today’s case management solutions break down jurisdictional and organizational barriers to ensure that every stakeholder has an up-to-date view of case information from any location, and can update and distribute that data as needed. It’s about getting attorneys, judges, and law enforcement personnel on the same page, through one integrated solution that not only facilitates more efficient collaboration, but enables high-level business intelligence analysis through powerful analytics.

Decision-makers need access to historical justice data in order to identify hidden trends and make better, more informed decisions.We’ve seen the power of case management at work within organizations like the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP). CCAP was facing resource-constraints while operating several disparate case management solutions across its various courts, jails, and corrections offices, which severely limited information sharing and required redundant data entry at each location.

To address these challenges and become more efficient, CCAP partnered with Microsoft to build a Unified Case Management system on Microsoft Dynamics CRM that brought stakeholder data together within one system, empowering users to easily search, share, and act upon all of the information at the organization’s disposal. CCAP leaders are now able to extract better insights due to more accurate dashboards and reporting tools, and with manual data entry kept to a minimum, personnel are free to focus more of their time on pursuing justice and keeping citizens safe.

Other big challenges that can be tackled by big data include; using sensors to better understand phenomena such as weather, pollution, or traffic patterns to analyzing massive sets of “nanodata” to model the societal effects of policy, to the fast and low-cost mapping of the human genome to deliver better health outcomes.

Some persons may say all these is but another hype from the tech world, agreed some of it may end of being particularly when approached from just a technology purchase/nice to do IT Project standpoint (hmmm, nice to do IT Project is actually something I like to write about soon). But there are already references to real tangible value:

In 2003 Oren Etizioni needed to fly from Seattle to Los Angeles for his younger brother’s wedding. He bought online his plane ticket months before online on the premise that it would be cheaper. When he got on the flight he was curious to validate that he got a good bargain, so he asked couple of people around him the cost of their ticket to his surprise he paid more than everyone around him. Back from his trip Etzioni was determined to figure out a way for people to know if a ticket price they see online is a good deal or not. An airplane set is a commodity: each one is basically indistinguishable from others on the same flight. Yet the prices vary wildly, based on a myriad of factors that are mostly known only by the airlines themselves. Using a sample of 12,000 price observations that was obtained by “scraping” information from a travel website over a 41-day period, Etzioni created a predicted model that handed its simulated passengers a tidy savings.

The model had no understanding of why, only what. That is, it didn’t know any of the variables that go into airline pricing decisions, such as number of seats that remained unsold, seasonality, or whether some sort of magical Saturday-night-stay might reduce the fare. It based its prediction on what it did know: probabilities gleaned from the data about other flights. “To buy or not to buy, that is the question,” Etzioni mused. Fittingly, he named the research project Hamlet. The little project evolved into a venture capital – backed startup called Farecast. Microsoft snapped up Farecast for around $110million, and integrated it into the Bing search engine. By 2012 the system was making the correct call 75% of the time and saving travelers, on average, $50 per ticket.

In conclusion, the world of data is changing in a big way, and customer expectations are changing right along with it. Big Data gives you the tools to make sense of all your collected data. It challenges you to view your business in new ways. And it gives you a basis to power innovation. What this writeup tries to do is to illicit thoughts as to the various scenarios of use of Big Data both in the enterprise and individual lives.

At Microsoft our approach to big data is to; “Enable insights into ‘Big Data’ to all users wherever they are”, taking Big Data to a billion people because everyone can make smarter decisions based on data. We believe big data should be in the hands of the people closest to your business who are moments away from that next big idea. Our approach is simple – we enable organizations of any size to access data of all types, whether structured or unstructured, big or small. We empower end users to easily analyze their data with familiar tools like Excel. And we offer a complete data platform for IT to scale insights across their organization with Enterprise-class security and data governance. Microsoft Big Data gives you the power to take action. You can gain a flexible platform and accessible tools to discover, connect, and deliver new insight.

Big Data is here today, within your reach. Isn’t it time to get started?

Microsoft Launches Employability Program With Aiki Online Platform

On Friday, 15 November 2013, Microsoft unveiled Aiki Nigeria – an online employability programme at a cocktail event held at The Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The event which was hosted by On-Air Personality Toke Makinwa and comedian Owen Gee had in attendance the CEO of JK Pharmaceuticals; Jimi Agbaje, Microsoft’s director for developer platforms, Sub Saharan Africa; Dele Akinsade,  and Director – Youth Enablement – 4Afrika Initiatives at Microsoft; Patrick Onwumere.

Also in attendance was Musician; Timi Dakolo, Saxophonist; Mike Aremu, Actress; Ufuoma Mcdermott, Fashion Designer; Mai Atafo, Kimberly Ryan’s General Manager; Isoken Okusami, Advocate; Kathleen Ndongmo, and Microsoft Sr. Partner Sales Executive; Lolita Aguele .

Aiki as described on the official twitter handle of the initiative is a Nigerian online employability portal but contrary to the first tweet off the handle, the site is yet to go live. We’d keep tabs on the platform but until then, enjoy the launch event photos.

 

 

Eco-Innovation Hub Set To Power Nigerian Technology From Akure

The Imagine cup finals sometimes back in Lagos saw some of student from  Federal University of Technology Akure  pitch iMedic, a maternal and childcare software that helps provide first aid information and medical location. It was an impressive presentation; one which gives insight on their ways of building immediate solution for local problems and the local community they are in.

It also came to my attention that a community of developers was springing up in Akure, so it was wonderful visiting the Eco-innovation center and speaking to some developers about their projects. With most of them bootstrapped and funded  by developers and well-wishers, this did not take away from the desire to focus on solving community problems using technology.

Most projects are centered around the rural community like iMedic which has been adopted by the Ondo state Government to supply to the solution to the women in the rural area of Ondo state and get the government doctors to sign up for the testing. Another interesting app from Eco-innovation is Findr, a local business directory that list nearby services like Barber, Tailor, Carpenter, etc and their operating hours for easy access of the users.

Joel Ogunsola, a key member of the community explained the primary intention of the founders which is to create a community of developers and Techpreneurs to build solutions for societal problems and to provide access to funding and training. The hub is currently working on a number of interesting local solution apps with some as submitted entry for MTN app competition.

Did anyone see anything tech coming out of Akure?

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Microsoft Q&A Session At DEMO Africa

At DEMO Africa, Microsoft Corp  announced a strategic cooperation agreements with three incubator organizations including:  CcHUB in Nigeria, DTBiin Tanzania and AfriLabs, the pan-African hub network, across the African continent to enable startups, innovators and Africa’s developer community to grow their skills and build businesses with Microsoft technologies.

More on the agreement can be found here, but an interest Q&A session followed after and can be read below:

Q: Can incubator organizations across Africa apply to be part of this program?
A: Any interested incubator is welcome to reach out to us directly via africa@microsoft.com.

Q: How much is Microsoft spending on this investment?
A: We are not disclosing a specific dollar amount, but it suffices to say that Microsoft is deeply invested in developing highly impactful programs for the African youth and SMEs through these collaborations.

Q: How does this partnership map to the all up 4Afrika Initiative goals?
A: Microsoft 4Afrika is focused on helping accelerate economic development and improve competitiveness in Africa. By working with these technology hubs and incubation centers, we are supporting the growth of African SMEs through access to technology, skills development and Microsoft experts, and by helping those with truly competitive solutions to scale the world via the Microsoft Store.

Q: How did you decide on these three organizations? Was there an application process?
A: These three organizations are best-in-class incubators and hubs, all of which had expressed interest in developing programs with Microsoft to empower their developers & startups. There was no formal application process, but we certainly did our due diligence to confirm that all three were doing fantastic work with startups and SMEs in their communities. And because it is essentially a network organization, partnering with AfriLabs was a great way for us to support requests coming from across the continent, and scale as far as possible to reach as many African startups and SMEs as possible.

Q: Do the organizations have to pay anything to receive Microsoft’s support?
A: No

Q: How does this program compare with the Microsoft Ventures partnership program?
A: The Microsoft Ventures program is targeting accelerators and will be supporting in a deeper engagement the startups hosted there. These collaborations are targeting technology hubs and incubators and supporting the breadth developer and startup community.

BONUS: Microsoft Enters Into Cooperation Agreements To Accelerate African Innovation 

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Microsoft Enters Into Cooperation Agreements To Accelerate African Innovation

While attending DEMO Africa, Microsoft Corp. Today announced strategic cooperation agreements with three incubator organizations across the African continent to enable startups, innovators and Africa’s developer community to grow their skills and build businesses with Microsoft technologies. Under the recently launched Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, Microsoft has entered into agreements with CcHUB in Nigeria, DTBiin Tanzania and AfriLabs, the pan-African hub network.

The cooperation aims to offer the communities working in these hubs increased access to software, skills development opportunities and a means through which innovative startups can access capital investment,benefit from international outreach and scale their businesses to the world through Microsoft’s cloud computing solutions.

The Co-Creation Hub, or CcHUB as it is commonly known, is Nigeria’s first innovation lab and pre-incubation space designed to catalyze creative social technology ventures. It is a place for technologists, social entrepreneurs, government and investors in and around Lagos to co-create new solutions to address business opportunities and social needs in Nigeria.

The Dar Teknohama Business Incubator, commonly known as DTBi, is a registered and autonomous entity established by the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology to promote information and communication technology (ICT) innovation and entrepreneurship, contributing to job creation and enhanced economic health in Tanzania.

AfriLabs is a network organization that connects incubator hubs across the continent, in orderto promote the growth and development of the African technology sector. AfriLabs has 20 member organizations in Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

Microsoft will work with each organization to:

  • Support the startup community with Microsoft BizSpark memberships and access to business networking and capital investment opportunities. BizSpark is a global program that helps startups grow into successful businesses through software support and a vibrant ecosystem that delivers exceptional business advantage.
  • Enable developers to access the latest events and workshops on Microsoft’s newest development technologies through relevant community events.
  • Provide Microsoft devices, including Windows Phones and Windows-based tablets, for testing applications and other software developed by the local IT communities.
  • Enable them to benefit from the 4Afrika Internship program, which will provide them access to the pool of talent graduating as 4Afrika interns as potential hires for their own facilities.
  • Enable them to benefit from the 4Afrika Volunteer program, which will provide themwith access to the pool of Microsoft employees volunteering in Africa as visiting trainers and mentors at their own facilities.

In addition, the partnership with AfriLabswill support the development of sustainable and scalable working environments across the continent, such as technology hubs and incubation centers, to stimulate entrepreneurship and support African startups. Microsoft will work with Afrilabs to help startups working in these hubs to become successful technology companies driving innovation, employability, competitiveness and growth in Africa.

MtetoNyati, vicechair of the 4Afrika Advisory Council and managing director of Microsoft South Africa,will speak at DEMO Africa this week. In advance of the event, he said “Microsoft sees boundless potential in African youth, developers and entrepreneurs, and we view the collaborative efforts with these innovation hubs across the continent as strategic and crucial opportunities for us to extend our support to their ecosystems. Through the 4Afrika Initiative, we are deeply committed to helping accelerate African innovation, and we hope these efforts will help us reach more people who are looking to turn their great ideas into a reality that can empower their community, their country and Africa at large.”

Reacting to this announcement, BosunTijani, the CEO of Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, said: “This partnership is the culmination of several collaborations between CcHUB and Microsoft Nigeria over the past two (2) years and we are really excited at the opportunity to implement programs in support of innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria”

The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is designed to help Africa improve its global competitiveness. By 2016, various 4Afrika efforts spanning the continent, such as these new collaborations, will help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth, bring 1 million African small and medium-size enterprises online, upskill 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce, and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop skills for employability, 75 percent of which Microsoft will help place in jobs.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft Nigeria Employees Shows Love to Special Children

A unit of employees of Devices and Services giant, Microsoft Nigeria in commemoration of its annual giving day  paid a visit to the Hearts of Gold Children Hospice in Lagos.

The Hearts of Gold Children Hospice in Lagos is the first and only children’s hospice in Nigeria which caters for a number of abandoned and orphaned children suffering from a vast range of severe congenital, physical and mental disabilities.

Olatomiwa Williams, spokesperson for Microsoft Employees during the visit, spoke on the rationale for identifying with Hearts of Gold Children Hospice, explained that the choice of the centre was borne out interest on children suffering from physical and mental disabilities and “a perfect opportunity to add value to the lives of special children at the Hearts of Gold Children Hospice”.

The Microsoft team was received by Mrs Laja Adedoyin, Founder of the Hospice, who took the team round the Hospice, commended Microsoft Employees for their donation to the Hospice and also spending time with the children.

The Hospice is for children who are not likely to make it to adulthood due to their physical and mental health challenges and it is only someone with a big heart that can be involved with these special children. The home is a safe haven established out of the need to show love and give hope to these children,” she said.

Mrs Adedoyin narrated how the Hospice came into being and how the governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola has been of tremendous support by identifying with the Hospice and giving hope to the children.

Speaking on behalf of the Microsoft team, Ade Famoti appreciated the founder for her tremendous love for the children and her warm reception in receiving the team.

Thank you for allowing us spend time with the kids and we hope this will not be our last time here. We must do well while we do good as “there is no gift greater than giving your time because time is a special commodity”. In addition to spending quality time at the Institution, the team also donated money, air- conditioners and a flat screen television to the Hospice.

Good seeing the big guys giving back to community, and sure hope others – as well as the little guys (referring to startups) do same.

Nigeria: Microsoft Windows 8.1 Operating System Now Available

Microsoft recently announced the global availability of Windows 8.1,a feature-rich update to its Windows 8 operating system, enabling customers to create experiences that keep pace with their lives—at work, at home or on the go. Consumers with a Windows 8 device in more than 230 markets and 37 languages can download the free update via the online Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as boxed software starting Oct. 18 at retail locations around the world.

Windows 8.1 evolves the Windows vision for highly personalized computing while showcasing Microsoft’s continued commitment to rapid and responsive development.It marks a wave of new, innovative devices coming for consumers and businesses—from the convenience and mobility of tablets and 2-in-1s to the productive experience expected from laptops, all-in-ones and specialized industry devices.Many of these new devices are touch-enabled and will deliver advancements in processing power, battery life and design, across a range of price points.

With Windows 8, we introduced an era of highly mobile, touch-enabled, and always-connected computing,” said Awawu Olumide-Sojinrin, Acting Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria. “Windows 8.1 evolves this vision and brings together everything people do across all their devices whether at home, at work or on the go. Windows is delivering the most personal computing experience out there, making your device a unique extension of you and offering more ways to create an experience that is personal, expressive and keeps pace with your life.

Windows 8.1 offers a host of increased customization refinements and functional improvements from personalization, and upgraded user interface and experience, to enhanced search and wide range of apps. Other features such as multitasking, productivity, cloud integration with SkyDrive, and a redesigned Windows store come with the new 8.1 OS.

Customers can go to vist the Windows Shop online to learn about the wide variety of new Windows devices available now and throughout the holiday season to find the one that best fits their needs and budgets. More information about Windows 8.1 is at blogs.windows.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. More here

#NokiaWorld Abu Dhabi | Live Blog Updates

Join the live updates from Nokia World Live, Abu Dhabi. We have Adewale Yusuf on ground bringing you all the gist and announcements – from the Lumia to Asha.