I got the opportunity to attend the Microsoft Tech-Ed Africa conference in Durbs again this year, which kicked off yesterday with an exciting keynote from Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Jason Zander.
The focus of the keynote, and clearly is Microsoft’s strategy for the next couple of months is, Cloud, Cloud & More cloud. By announcing that Windows Azure & Office365 will both be launching in the new year, we def going to see a shift in the way we work. Windows Azure is your won fully integrated Windows operating system, which is hosted in the cloud, while Office365 allows you to work & edit your documents on the go, across multiple devices.
Azure is slated for local release by May 2012, while Office 365, which brings cloud productivity to businesses of all sizes, will be commercially available in the first half of 2012, with trial availability towards the end of this year.
The Windows Phone Mango update, which is already available, brings 500 new features to local users of the platform, but the major development is the availability of Marketplace, which 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.
Another really interesting thing that was presented was a sneak peak at Windows8, which is currently in beta at the moment, which is clearly been designed for tablet devices, and incoroprates the very stylish looking Metro theme, which is really visually appealing from a UI point of view.
So far Tech-Ed Africa 2011 has been pretty interesting and having attended a few more talks this morning, on the Windows Phone 7 operating system, it is very clear where Microsoft’s focus is going. Mobile & the cloud looks like it’s the future.