Microsoft launches Windows 8 in SA

2012-10-26 07:26
The latest version of Windows is seen on a laptop in Johannesburg. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The latest version of Windows is seen on a laptop in Johannesburg. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - Microsoft’s launch of Windows 8 in South Africa attracted a technology who’s who as the company used the platform to demonstrate its determination to grow in Africa.

The event also attracted celebrities like Olympic gold medal winner Chad Le Clos, who endorsed the new version of Windows.
 
“One of the first things that’s pretty cool about the new Windows 8 is the picture password,” said Le Clos as he clicked on his image to log in.

Microsoft SA managing director Mteto Nyati told News24 at the event in Johannesburg that internet growth on the continent has been primarily on mobile devices and tablets are particularly attractive because they can be financed via the mobile operators.

“You need to understand there’s been a great adoption of mobile technologies by Africans,” he said.

“Our sense is that we are going to be seeing a similar kind of trend when it comes to tablets and the drive for that is the financing model of tablets or phones by the mobile operators.”

Focus

Many consumers can purchase tablets on contract from mobile operators and this makes them more affordable, particularly when the devices are bundled with data.
 
The Microsoft Surface tablet was a focus of the SA launch as a demonstration that the company has shifted its efforts to the mobile market.
 
“Our view is that laptops will continue to struggle; we’ll continue to struggle around the desktop, but the adoption of Windows 8 tablets is going to be much higher in Africa,” said Nyati.
 
He added that the company would retain its commitment to software development and that the new platform was an opportunity for local developers to make money.
 
“The other driver for this will be the applications: Given the opportunity that the Windows 8, through the Windows Store, will be giving Africans to make money out of applications, we are going to be seeing more applications being written that are relevant to Africa.”
 
Typically, developers will earn 70% of the revenue generated by the sales of apps but Microsoft has indicated that if revenue exceeds $25 000, the developer will take an 80% cut.
 
Widespread adoption

Most computers that access the internet in Africa run older operating systems like Windows XP, but Microsoft was bullish about the adoption of its latest iteration of Windows.
 
“If you look at the source of those desktops, the majority of those desktops are not necessarily coming from consumers: They are coming from government or small businesses,” Nyati said.
 
Microsoft also announced a partnership with Standard Bank where consumers can purchase the Samsung Ativ tablet for R6 695 through the bank, as well as a dedicated banking app available on the Windows Store.

Nyati insisted that widespread adoption of Windows 8 was largely dependent on consumers adopting the platform and demanding a response from governments.
 
“What you’re going to be seeing is the pull coming largely from the consumers, wanting to interact with their government through smarter ways and that pull is going to be forcing government into making the right investment at the back end.”

Read more on:    microsoft  |  technology  |  computing
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