Nokia is replacing its CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, with a top Microsoft executive, Stephen Elop, as the Finnish handset manufacturer seeks to make up for ground it has lost in recent years to rivals such as iPhone-maker Apple and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion. But already a senior Gartner analyst is questioning the move. “I’m in two minds about this,” says Gartner vice-president Nick Jones.
Microsoft may eventually build two data centres in Africa, possibly in SA, to serve the continent, but no decisions have been made yet. However, the company will aggressively expand its cloud-based (server-hosted) services to the region, beginning in SA later this year with the launch of Xbox Live, its online gaming and entertainment offering.
When it comes to the latest handsets, consumers want to know more about the software they’re buying than the hardware specifications of the phone itself. This is driving big competitive changes in the smartphone market and reshaping an industry. A few years ago, buying a cellphone was a relatively trivial exercise.
One of the country’s leading business intelligence software companies, Harvey Jones, has been forced into a dramatic restructuring after its UK parent, London-listed Avisen, refocused its business. It’s understood that Harvey Jones, which had employed about 30 people, has been forced to reduce its headcount dramatically. Now MD Keith Jones is leading a management buyout of the local company but he says he is unable to comment until the deal is wrapped up, probably sometime next week.
Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, was in SA last week to meet with the software company’s customers and to attend the soccer World Cup final in Johannesburg. TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod sat down with Courtois, who is responsible for all of Microsoft’s operations outside the US, for an exclusive media interview and asked him about life at the company after the departure of Bill Gates, cloud computing and the plans for its Bing search engine.
Microsoft will at the end of August announce the names of the black-owned SA companies into which it plans to invest nearly R500m. That’s the word from Microsoft SA spokesman Adrian Wainwright, who says the company has received more than 650 applications from interested IT companies.
The elements of the future of the desktop are slowly falling into place. No one company has a comprehensive set of products and services that will deliver the future of computing, but the shape of things to come is getting clearer. The key driver behind it all is convergence — convergence onto a single productivity device, and convergence in the “cloud”. In hardware, desktops are losing market share to notebooks, which in turn are being
Microsoft has moved to claim the high ground for its Xbox 360 line-up ahead of the official opening of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on Tuesday in Los Angeles by announcing launch details for its “Project Natal” motion-controlled interface at two separate press events. The software giant told expo delegates that its motion-sensing camera