Microsoft CEO in Africa for Windows 10 launch

2015-07-29 10:53 - Gareth van Zyl
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at an event demonstrating the new features of Windows 10 at the company's headquarters in Redmond. (Elaine Thompson, AP)

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Johannesburg - Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella has touched down in Kenya for the much anticipated global launch of Windows 10.

Instead of being in the US or Europe for the Windows 10 launch, Microsoft CEO is in Kenya which over the last week has also been visited by US president Barack Obama and other US tech names such as Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

Nadella announced his arrival in Kenya on Tuesday on his official Twitter account.

Kenyan city Nairobi also happens to be one of 13 cities worldwide where Microsoft is hosting launch events for Windows 10. Other cities include Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, New Delhi, Dubai, Berlin, Johannesburg, Madrid, London, São Paulo, and New York.

In Johannesburg, Microsoft is hosting a Windows 10 launch event at Mary Fitzgerald Square in the central business district on Wednesday evening.

Nadella's choice to be in Kenya, though, has come as that country has developed a reputation for being Africa’s ‘Silicon Savannah’ and an up-and-coming technology hub.

For example, global technology company IBM chose Nairobi as a location for its first research hub in Africa. Nairobi also received an IBM research hub before Johannesburg.

Kenya also plans to step the role that technology has in its economy by building a $10bn dollar technology city dubbed ‘Konza’, a public private project expected to be completed in 2030 and house tech firms such as Samsung.

Windows 10 availability, features

Windows 10 is available on Wednesday as a free upgrade on tablet and PC devices for existing users of previous Microsoft operating systems.

The free update, though, is only available to computers and tablets running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. These users who don't update within a year from Wednesday will also have to pay for the software.

Users who are compatible for the upgrade will see a Windows 10 upgrade icon in their task bar.

Meanwhile, for those who can’t upgrade, home versions of the software are also retailing for R1 640 on the likes of the SA Orange store while pro versions are being sold for just over R2400.

Features of Windows 10 include faster boot times, longer battery life, more data security, a new browser called Microsoft Edge and its digital assistant Cortana, which is a competitor to Apple’s Siri technology.

Windows 10 also sees the return of the Start button menu, a feature that was removed in version 8.

The Windows 10 upgrade will be available to 190 countries.

Read more about: microsoft  |  johannesburg  |  kenya  |  nairobi  |  windows

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