Microsoft’s Tech-Ed and Partner Summit has just started to get in gear in Durban and already a couple of announcements have been made. The biggest message during the keynote opening address on Monday was that Microsoft is clearly going big on cloud computing, with Azure and cloud subscription service Office 365 both on their way to South Africa in the next few months.
Although the Windows Phone Mango update is already available to South Africans, the big news surrounding the operating system is that the local marketplace will launch soon. “(It) will allow South African consumers to buy local and international apps using local currency via their credit cards. Mango also includes Xbox live integration, which will allow users to access Xbox mobile games,” Microsoft said in a statement.
During his keynote address, Microsoft South Africa’s Managing Director Mteto Nyati said he is very excited about the possibilities and connections that Tech-Ed and Partner Summit will create. “Out there people are looking for relationships, partners and other customers. People are looking to create a point of a relationship, and they want to know what is going with their customers – and this is what Microsoft Partners are looking for, and this is what Microsoft is looking for”.
He also highlighted the main key points that will be the focus of this year’s summit. “One is cloud computing. A lot of people said a couple of years ago that cloud computing in Africa won’t work. But it has become very important. How important is that? I’m sure millions of Blackberry users would know that,” he said, taking a stab at the recent BBM blackout.
In another cloud-based announcement, Microsoft and HP put down a strong marker with the announcement of their joint Database Consolidation and Private Cloud Appliance, designed to help organisations consolidate all their database workloads into a private cloud.
The HP DBC Appliance will include all the hardware, software and support a customer needs to migrate all their database workloads from physical servers into a private cloud designed for optimal performance and energy efficiency.
IT News Africa is at Tech-Ed and Partner Summit and will be reporting on all the latest developments, news and will be conducting in-depth interviews from Microsoft.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor