DFAT dips toes in Microsoft public cloud

AustraliaAustralia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has shifted one of its business units to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Azure solutions in one of the first federal government migrations of a full workload to the public cloud. DFAT earlier this week launched its $140 million ‘innovation Xchange’ – an innovation hub designed to propel the department to be more “create, entrepreneurial and innovative” in how Australia delivers international aid.


Microsoft Launches Cheapest Windows Phone

APACMicrosoft recently launched its cheapest Lumia yet — the Lumia 430.  The Windows smartphone has a retail price of US$70. The new Lumia ousted its fellow Lumia 435, which has a retail price of US$81.  It’s not an iPhone 6 and it doesn’t have the price of one.  The smartphone has a 4 inch wide WVGA display; an internal storage of 8 GB; a gigabyte of RAM while a microSD slot is also included.


Two cool phones from Cherry Mobile

PhilippinesMANILA, Philippines – Cherry Mobile recently launched two new Alpha series devices at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain recently. In its five years in the industry, Cherry Mobile has continued to expand its gadget lineup and market share despite international brands dominating the country. In 2014, Cherry Mobile it worked with Microsoft to introduce the Alpha series which boasted of two smartphones and two tablets – all equipped with a Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 operating systems.


Taiwanese developers crowned champions in Microsoft app contest

TaiwanMicrosoft Taiwan on Monday announced the winners of the company’s Community Champion app development competition, which saw two Taiwanese teams rise above 605 teams of 805 software developers from across Taiwan, Japan, and Malaysia. The competition is designed to promote Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform and infrastructure. App submissions by competing developers were judged by their design, innovativeness, and commercial viability.


Samsung to pre-install Microsoft apps on Android tablets

KoreaMicrosoft’s Office apps will be pre-installed in some Samsung tablets running Google’s Android system, extending an agreement to put some Microsoft apps on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 phone. The move is the latest in Microsoft’s efforts to get its cloud-enabled software into the hands of as many customers as possible, regardless of platform or device. Microsoft said Samsung will pre-install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype and its note-taking and cloud storage apps on certain tablets in the first half of this year.


Microsoft India bets big on Windows 10 OS to boost smartphone presence

IndiaNEW DELHI: Microsoft India is betting big on the new Windows 10 operating system to boost its presence in the smartphone segment after partnerships with domestic vendors failed to bring it success in the surging market. “We were not very happy with the results. The portfolios of our local vendors are based on Android predominantly. But we believe there will be a huge opportunity when we get to the Windows 10 OS,” said Vineet Durani, Director – Windows Business Group at Microsoft Corporation India.


‘Free’ Windows 10 upgrade for Chinese users may have a catch

China.gifThe free upgrade Microsoft has offered to Chinese users of pirated versions of its operating system may not be as good as it sounds, reports our Chinese-language sister paper China Times. The US software giant introduced Windows 10 at its WinHEC technology conference in Shenzhen on March 18. The company promised users of pirated versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 that they could upgrade to Windows 10 for free.


Microsoft to share revised research process with Taiwan developers

TaiwanMicrosoft is scheduled to host a forum with Taiwanese developers Thursday to share how the US software giant has revised its research and development processes in a transition into a cloud services provider. More than 200 general managers and research directors of Taiwanese software companies have been invited to attend the forum in Taipei, where Julia Liuson, a corporate vice president at Microsoft’s Developer Division, will discuss her company’s new corporate guidelines.


Windows 10 is coming to the Xiaomi Mi 4 smartphone

ChinaAt the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Shenzhen today, Microsoft announced a new partnership program with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi (hat-tip to iFeng). Once Windows 10 is released, Xiaomi Mi 4 owners can choose to flash the Windows 10 ROM onto their device, replacing the stock Android-based MIUI operating system. In a blog post, Microsoft said:


Images of Xiaomi Mi 4 running Windows 10 leaked

ChinaMicrosoft is said to have partnered with Xiaomi to bring a preview version of Windows 10 to the Mi 4 smartphone. While this news broke out yesterday and wasn’t expected to materialize anytime soon, a new leak today has given us the very first glimpse of the Mi 4 running a technical preview version of Windows 10. The authenticity of this leak has not been confirmed yet, so we’re taking it with a pinch of salt for the time being. It’s also not clear if this is the final version of Windows 10 that will be available for Mi 4 users.


Alibaba hiring in Amazon, Microsoft backyard as US cloud unit expands

China.gifBEIJING: China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the world’s largest e-commerce firm, has begun hunting staff in Seattle, home turf of Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp, focusing on savvy cloud computing hires as it ramps up U.S. operations. Three positions were open to people in Seattle, two of which also allow applications for Alibaba’s Silicon Valley offices, according to advertisements on LinkedIn Corp’s business networking site in the past week.


How Cloud Can Improve City Government

APACCivil servants don’t like sharing their data. In the name of accountability, departments will happily shield their precious data from the eyes of other departments, let alone citizens. It takes an extreme act of political will, or a crisis, to drive transformation. This may explain the relatively slow uptake of cloud computing technology by Asia Pacific’s city governments.


Cloud adoption by Asia Pacific cities set to double over next three years

APACA report on cloud adoption practices in the Asia Pacific, released two weeks ago, predicts that cities will quickly be taking up cloud-based services and solutions to handle their day-to-day as well as long-term requirements. The 35-page research paper is the first comprehensive evaluation of the impact of cloud computing on governments in the region.


Microsoft sues Kyocera over cell phones, seeks ban

JapanSAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft Corp sued Kyocera Corp for patent infringement, alleging the Japanese company’s Duraforce, Hydro and Brigadier cell phone lines violate seven Microsoft patents.  Microsoft asked a Seattle federal judge to impose a US sales injunction against Kyocera’s infringing products, according to the lawsuit.  A Kyocera representative could not immediately be reached for comment.


Microsoft rolls out Singapore cybercrime center for APAC

SingaporeMicrosoft has launched its new Cybercrime Satellite Centre in Singapore, one of the five globally including in Beijing, Berlin, Tokyo and Washington. The Singapore center will serve as the regional hub for Microsoft to undertake cybercrime and cybersecurity initiatives in Asia Pacific, through public-private partnerships and cross-industry collaboration. It will support all major Southeast Asian countries as well as Australia, India, Korea and New Zealand.


Government’s open source push worries software cos like Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, from India

IndiaNEW DELHI: As the government looks to adopt open source software development for its applications, proprietary software vendors such as Microsoft, IBM and Oracle are worried, and are looking at alternative ways of doing business, say experts.  “All the big players are already worried. They have made a lot of money in the traditional proprietary software model, but in the next 2-3 years, as people come out of the lock-in period of (their contracts), you will see the demise of a lot of these proprietary models,” said Professor Rahul De.


Most Asian cities yet to adopt cloud technologies, Microsoft survey finds

APACMajority of Asian cities have not yet adopted cloud technology to a significant degree, Microsoft has found. Only 22.2 per cent of Asian cities adopted cloud computed to a “moderate” or “extensive” degree, despite most officials knowing the benefits of using the technology, a survey by Microsoft and local government network CityNet found. Microsoft surveyed 38 senior city officials from 37 cities in Asia. The respondent cities ranged in population from over 20 million, as in Mumbai, to 100,000, such as small cities in Nepal.


MWC 2015: Acer launches its first Windows 8.1 smartphone

TaiwanAcer has unveiled the Liquid M220 smartphone, its first Liquid smartphone to run on the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, featuring a 4-inch 233ppi display. The Liquid M220 features a 5-megapixel auto-focus back-end and a 2-megapixel front-end camera. The back-end camera also sports an 89-degree wide-angle lens for better photo shot.


Acer to launch new Windows phone at int’l mobile show

TaiwanTAIPEI–Taiwanese computer maker Acer Inc. (宏碁) is set to unveil a new smartphone running on the mobile version of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Spain next week. The Windows-based handset will be released alongside Acer’s new Android-powered Jade smartphone and a wearable device at the MWC, the world’s biggest mobile show scheduled for March 2-5 in Barcelona.


First Microsoft smartphones launching in Australia from $129

AustraliaMicrosoft’s first smartphones to do without the Nokia brand name are launching in Australia. The Microsoft Lumia 435 and the Lumia 532 will be available from early March at prices that make Motorola’s budget Moto E appear expensive. Pricing has been set at $129 for the Lumia 435 and at $149 for the Lumia 532. The inexpensive price tags will help Microsoft sell the smartphones in high numbers; a strategic move aimed at increasing the company’s Windows Phone audience.