Microsoft launched Windows 8 on the 25th of October globally and the finished OS was available for download the next day. In Johannesburg, the launch was an Africa themed evening with storyteller Kingsley Holgate as the MC of the event. Microsoft had previously given Slates running windows 8 to several celebrities from South Africa to experience and tell stories of how Windows 8 did impact the way they run their businesses and their daily lives, including the social part.
These were mountaineer Sibusiso Vilane, Olympian swimmer Chad Le Clos, celebrity Chef Ruben Riffel, photographer Greg Marinovich, ceramic artist Fee Halstead, plastic surgeon Ridwan Mia and local band Dance You’re on Fire. The celebrities told exciting stories of how great a shift they got from using their previous business management tools to adding a Windows 8 Slate in the processes. The Slate running Windows 8 RT made them able to do with ease tasks like documents editing and sharing, social media, and ease of use which included flexibility. This was an all inclusive device that functioned like a tablet and the experience of a PC.
“With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft is unveiling a reimagined Windows to the world,” said Microsoft SA managing director Mteto Nyati. “Whether you want a tablet or a PC, whether you want to consume or create content, whether you want to work or play – Windows 8 delivers a personalised experience that fits your unique style and needs.”
Windows 8 was launched in two versions for retail, being Windows 8 Pro for laptops and PCs and Windows 8 RT for ARM Tablets and also Windows 8 Enterprise for businesses. The eterprise version offers WIndows to Go, Direct Access and BranchCache for mobile productivity and security features like Bitlocker and Applocker.
Users who purchased devices running Windows 7 from the period of June 2 to January 31 2013 are eligible for a $14.99 Windows 8 Pro upgrade as opposed to the $39.99 price if you buy on-line and $69.99 if you buy from Microsoft Retailers. Microsoft also launched the Windows 8 Store where users can shop for addons specific to Windows 8, Windows 8 Tablets and Laptops and also Windows 8 Operating system.
“I am proud that for once Africans can get to develop apps that leverage on the breadth and volume that we continue to sell every year. Developers can actually make money on the Windows 8 platform, thanks to the store, ” said Mteto Nyati, Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa.
During the event, Standard Bank also got to launch their Windows 8 banking app. This was developed in partnership with Samsung in a setting that will allow Standard Bank customers in South Africa become the first to purchase Samsung ATIV tablets running Windows 8. The app by Standard Bank was the first Banking app in the Windows 8 app store. Microsoft expects to ship over 25 million Windows 8 devices by end of 2013.