Microsoft has big plans to expand the appeal of Windows Phone 8, and two new mid-range Nokia Lumia handsets are only the start. Two slick new gadgets and a Lumia-centric software update could make Windows Phone an even more attractive option.
Ever forget to plug in your phone before bed? The new Nokia Wireless Charging Plate could permanently solve that. Read the rest of this entry
Microsoft has announced that its latest addition to the Lumia range of smartphones, the Lumia 930, running Windows Phone 8.1 is now available in Nigeria.
The Lumia 930 smartphone comes with the best of Microsoft built in work and play features such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, XBOX, Skype and Read the rest of this entry
Microsoft launched the Xbox One console less than 10 months ago, but the launch titles that were offered at that time were something of a mixed bag. That’s usually the case for the release of a new console but there’s a lot more to look forward to for the fall and holiday season as a flood of new Xbox One games are set for release. Read the rest of this entry
It’s the end of an era for one of most popular instant messaging software products. Microsoft started to phase out MSN Messenger (also known as Windows Live Messenger) globally in April 2013 and it will be completely shut down on October 31st. MSN Messenger is only available in mainland China until then. In an e-mail about the changes, Microsoft suggested that users switch to Skype. As an incentive to join Skype, Microsoft is offering a free $2 credit to users that make the switch. Read the rest of this entry
Technology giants, Intel and Microsoft have partnered with Brain Integrated Systems Limited to introduce into the Nigerian market BrainTab iw10. The tablet is powered by Intel Atom processor and has the windows 8.1 with office 365 in-built.
“The BrainTab iw10 is designed to help people experience the power of Intel Atom processor and Windows 8.1 easily with the main objective to being to make work easy and play hard.” Said Chairman of Brain Integrated Systems Limited (BISL), Mr, Tunji Balogun.
Country Manager, Intel , Bunmi Kundare stated that the BrainTab 1w10 is a world-class device which combines the technology of Microsoft and Intel. The device boasts of enhanced features including Intel Quad –Core 1.33-i.8 GHz Bay Trial –T processor, Intel HD Gen 7 graphics, 10 point capacitive touch screen, to make switching between favourite apps more fluid. It also has eight hours of battery life.
Industry Information Communication (ICT) Technology stakeholders at the launch described the device As a novel innovation from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in Nigeria.
Also commenting on the BrianTab iw10 General Manager Microsoft, Kabelo Makwane said “The tablet is much more than an ordinary tablet. The Brian Tab iw10 Windows Tablet gives you the power of touch and exciting ways to share, play, create, interact and enjoy. All the great apps you need are in the Windows Store and you can surf the web with the touch-perfect Internet Explorer. The USB Ports lets you connect to external devices while your Microsoft Accounts lets you share your tablet with other users but not your personal information, helping you keep things separate.”
Speaking further Balogun stressed that out of the box, people can enjoy the pre-installed Intel Explore and Learn App which contain various educational content materials that are of great value to students which also comes with Microsoft services like Skype
The Braintab iw10’s seamless body comes with a keyboard set that is easy to detach with a weight of 594g, the tab is easy to carry around
The benefits include a fit On storage and memory, 2GB DDR3 RAM 32 GB eMMC, and MicroSD Slot, expandable up to 64GB. For wired and wireless connections it is embedded with WiFi: 802. 11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0, 3G Network for wireless connection and data transfer, Micro USB incl Mini HDMI incl. adapter, headphone Jack.
The BrainTab iw10 is available in BISL retail outlet across the country.
BISL an OEM have been in existence for 10 years and with its partnership with Intel and Microsoft has been pioneering local assembly and sales of Windows and Intel powered products in the Nigerian market.
When the Xbox One console was released back in November some customers were not to happy to find out that the console’s Blu-ray player couldn’t play 3D Blu-rays. Its not that the hardware wasn’t capable of doing this, it was a software thing. Fortunately Microsoft has now thought that its about time this feature was opened up. The company has confirmed that Xbox One 3D Blu-ray support is coming through a software update in August. Xbox One gets that feature ahead of the PlayStation 4 which still can’t play 3D Blu-rays.
Apart from this the August Xbox One update is also going to bring a handful of social features. The Activity Feed interface will change to a single column scrolling list which is larger and would include more content. Users get the ability to post text on their feed, like and comment on feed items, share game clips and more. Each users gets a personal feed on their profile.
A rather simple feature that has been missing from the console comes in the next update. Microsoft says it was one of the most requested features from the Xbox One community. A notification will now pop up when the controller’s battery is getting low. Users will also be able to turn off notifications during video playback.
Using Xbox SmartGlass or Xbox.com users can now purchase games as well as add-on content remotely. If the Xbox One is set to automatically take updates the content will begin downloading right after its purchase, even if the owner is not at home.
Other features include the expansion of OneGuide in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland and a “last seen” time in Friends list which shows how long it has been since a friend was online. The update will be released to those who get early access by next week. All Xbox One owners will get the update in August.
Microsoft unveiled an online Intellectual Property (IP) portal called the Microsoft 4Afrika IP Hub, in an effort to create an IP protection culture in Africa. The IP Hub will offer developers and independent software vendors the skills and tools necessary to develop, protect and monetise their innovations. The portal will pilot in Kenya for two years, after which it will be handed over to the local government with similar pilots being rolled out to other African countries.
Most small businesses in Africa are relying on secrecy instead of using established copyright, trademark, trade name and patent programs to protect their IP, making it vulnerable to exploitation. At the same time, worthy innovations miss out on the opportunity to be realised for the African continent, stifling its technology advancement and development of the knowledge economy.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), only 383 resident patent applications were filed in Kenya through the Patent Cooperation Treaty procedure or with the national patent office between 2009 and 2012. Similarly, only 683 resident patent applications were filed in Egypt; 608 in South Africa; and a mere 53 resident patent applications were filed by resident inventors in the Ivory Coast. In contrast, approximately 268,000 resident patents were filed in the United States during the same period.
Louis Otieno, director for Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft 4Afrika said, “Most African innovators function on the premise that the idea is theirs until someone else takes it to market, or duplicates it. As Africa’s innovation continues to flourish, the future remains uncertain if these promising ideas are not supported and protected properly,”
Innovators must have proof of ownership to be able to market or sell their innovation. Many do not know this, and for those that do, the process of filing IP protection can be long, manual and intimidating. The IP Hub will streamline and digitize the process, while educating young innovators about the importance of IP protection, and assisting them to enforce their ownership against third parties.
As John Waibochi, CEO of Kenya’s Virtual City Group, a local innovator, said, “IP protection has played an important role in the foundation and growth of our business. From when it was just in the idea stage, we registered it through our IP lawyers with the relevant authorities. This has allowed us to grow to where we are today, and ensures that our technology remains in the hands of Africans, for Africa and the world.”
“The Microsoft 4Afrika innovation goal is to bring to market and help African startups monetize their innovations and ideas, and allow them to make the right connection with investors,” Otieno said. “Protecting intellectual property ultimately leads to wealth creation and economic growth, and encourages development of knowledge-based industries. We designed the IP Hub to play a critical role in empowering African innovators and spurring this growth.”
The cloud storage industry is rapidly becoming a race to the bottom: in price. And Microsoft is quite willing to participate in this race if their announcement today of a tremendous price drop for OneDrive storage in addition to a substantial increase in free storage is any indication.
On the OneDrive Blog, the team announced several big changes to their storage offerings:
- The base level of free storage will now be 15GB, up from 7GB
- Paid storage plan prices are being slashed by over 70%: 100GB will be $1.99/month (down from $7.49) and 200GB will be $3.99 (down from $11.49)
- All Office 365 subscribers (Individual, Family, and Student) will be issued 1TB of free data per user, up from 20GB
Omar Shahine, the spokesperson who wrote the blog announcement, told a commenter that the 1TB upgrade for existing users will roll out with the rest of these features within a month from now.
These are all welcome changes and really make sense for Microsoft. First of all, it puts the service on par with Google Drive’s recently lowered prices. That alone is a good thing for business. While Google seems to be everywhere, OneDrive is an integrated part of the operating system for 12.5% of all the world’s desktop computers, the market share of Windows 8/8.1. Office 365 has been surging in personal subscribers, up to 4.4 million in April 2014. Everyone with a Microsoft/Bing/Hotmail/Outlook/MSN/Skype account has OneDrive.
Basically, Microsoft wants to give as many users as possible a good reason not to look elsewhere for cloud storage. It’s a great position to be in – the default cloud storage for many, many people. So many customers are theirs to lose. With this, they are offering near best-in-business free storage that has seamless integration with their newest operating system as well as their top-flight office suite. Every Office user will have a hard time justifying a change with the enormous 1TB gift.
Even more compellingly, subscribing to Office 365 just for the 1TB of OneDrive storage seems to be a very legitimate option. When comparing the prices of various cloud services, Office 365′s Individual tier would constitute by far the cheapest option for 1TB of cloud storage. For Microsoft, this compels people who are undecided on Office 365 or Office more generally to just go ahead and sign up; then, when they want to do office tasks, they will end up using Office.
This helps Microsoft continue to dominate the office software segment, which is threatened by the abundance of free alternatives like Google Docs. Part of the reason Office has been so omnipresent is because nearly every PC used to ship with it. When everyone had Office, every office task was done with Office. The documents being used in various industries and for various purposes were in Office formats.
By giving people a compelling reason to sign up for the new subscription model for Office, Microsoft is positioning itself well to continue owning that space.
While not everything Microsoft has been up to has been smooth or worked perfectly, they have been doing a pretty good job of becoming a more open company and positioning themselves as some sort of underdog in the industry, who you should root for against Google and Apple, the tech darlings of the moment. Whether that should be the case is up for debate, but this change to OneDrive embodies a trend of legitimately good developments from Microsoft.
Last week Nokia teased an announcement on their website? Based on the teaser, many had speculated that this could be a new Nokia Android phone, and sure enough it is. Nokia has since officially announced the Nokia X2 and for those who were looking forward to an Android powerhouse, it looks like you guys will be disappointed.
However for those who love the Nokia brand and just want something cheap and functional, perhaps the Nokia X2 with its price tag of €99 could be of interest to you. In terms of hardware, it’s not the most powerful but like we said, it should be good enough to get the job done. The phone will be powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor under the hood.
It will come with a 4.3-inch WVGA ClearBlack LCD display, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage, a microSD card slot for memory expansion and 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage, a 5MP rear-facing camera, a VGA front-facing camera, and a removable 1,800mAh battery. It will also support dual SIM functionality, so if you own more than one line, this should come in handy.
According to Nokia, the Nokia X2 will be available “immediately” in select countries. They did not specify which countries the phone will be available in so you will have to check your local Nokia website to see if it is available.
Google and Microsoft will add a “kill-switch” feature to their Android and Windows phone operating systems.
The feature is a method of making a handset completely useless if it is stolen, rendering a theft pointless.
Authorities have been urging tech firms to take steps to help curb phone theft and argued that a kill-switch feature can help resolve the problem.
Apple and Samsung, two of the biggest phone makers, offer a similar feature on some of their devices.The move by Google and Microsoft means that kill switches will now be a part of the three most popular phone operating systems in the world.
Smartphone theft has become a big problem across the world. According to a report by US authorities: some 3.1 million mobile devices were stolen in the US in 2013, nearly double the number of devices stolen in 2012; one in three Europeans experienced the theft or loss of a mobile device in 2013; in South Korea, mobile device theft increased five-fold between 2009 and 2012; and in Colombia, criminals stole over one million devices in 2013.