Windows 8 officially landed in Nairobi, with a promise to take the user experience through the roof. The way you used to do things didnt change, you can log in to Windows 8 straight from Windows XP and go on with work like you do normally, only with things getting done easier and faster. Microsoft unveiled a re-imagined Windows to the world and users can create, work and play with a personalized experience that fits unique style and needs.
Kevin Connolly, Windows Business Group Manager at Microsoft in West, East and Central Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands noted, “the experience you get from Windows and Office will be replicated across devices and platforms. Adding that already in the market there is a range of devices and consumers have very many options to choose from.” With Windows 8 come new range of devices and OEMS are already shipping devices with Windows 8 out of the box. This version of Windows will give users access to apps and content they need most on the home-screen live-tiles. You will also be able to set a picture password for touch enabled devices, while Internet Explorer 10 is also optimized for touch. Cloud capabilities like skydrive is built-in with the OS, you just have to sign in to your Live account.
During the launch we got to see apps being showcased by local developers, apps made for real-life needs, like banking by Co-op bank, distribution chain management by Virtual City among others. Developers say they now have an advantage when developing products that will help them serve their customers better. Kevin noted that Windows 7 sold close to 700 million copies and that ecosystem is available for developers to leverage and make killer apps. Herbert Thuo, Chief Marketing Manager at Virtual City said that what Microsoft is giving to them as developers are tools to scale and deliver good easy to use applications that can be used across the board, without geo-restrictions.
“The Kenyan Government continues to make big investments such as the undersea fiber cable that enabled unlimited access and connectivity to the world that saw Kenyans’ ability to download Windows 8 straight immediately it was released to the public from a website instead of having to receive mailed physical discs,” said Dr. Ndemo. He added that the Government has also been able to
effect the zero-rating of imported software to spur innovation and growth in the country.”
Windows 8 is available in 3 versions, these being Windows 8 RT for tablets and slates, Windows 8 Pro for laptops, PCs and Ultrabooks and Windows 8 Enterprise for business customers. Enterprise version comes with productivity features including ‘Windows To Go’, DirectAccess, and BranchCache. Bitlocker and Applocker are some of the security applications available. Pricing for Windows 8 is as follows: PCs running genuine Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 will get the upgrade at the price of $39.99 if they download the OS, users who purchased devices running Windows 7 from June 2 2012 onwards till January 31st 2013 will get a chance to upgrade via download for $14.99 using the Windows Upgrade Offer. This covers more than 140 countries and 37 languages.