Monday, 1 October 2012

Microsoft plans Xmas Day launch of Windows Phone 8 in Nigeria

Microsoft is set to officially launch Windows Phone 8 in the Nigerian market on Christmas Day, December 25, 2012, with its partners device makers, HTC, Nokia and Samsung, tipped to debut the software maker’s updated mobile operating system.
Emmanuel Onyeje, General Manager, West and Central Africa, Microsoft, disclosed this yesterday in Lagos to attendees at the September edition of the Developers Parapo, a networking forum for the developer community organised by social innovation centre, Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) of Nigeria.
Microsoft’s planned launch of the mobile operating system eyes stakes in Nigeria’s telecoms market counting over 102 million actives phone lines with more than 90 per cent of them being mobile phones.
Onyeje says that Windows Phone 8 has clearly emerged as one of the top mobile platforms in the ecosystem and with its planned entry into Nigeria, it is hoped to unleash a new wave of features for consumers, developers and businesses.
He adds that the reason why Microsoft is taking its time to unveil new products in Nigeria is to ensure local relevance for users before they are launched into the country.
“To support some value add, Microsoft is saying let’s try and get the Nigerian system to be more automated and more IT focus. That’s what we trying to do with Windows Phone 8 instead of just taking products from outside and dumping them here. Let’s add value with our local partners and developers to make our devices really rich for Nigerians,” he adds.
According to him, “with Microsoft Phone 8 we are bringing in banking applications, entertainment applications, lifestyle applications, gaming applications and some other content that we trying to work with our partners around.”
He says that when the devices comes into Nigerians, users will see it as work and play scenario as consumers will be able to browse and download apps while developers will also be able to submit applications via Microsoft app stores to the global market.
Talking about the pricing of the phones, Onyeje says that“our partners Nokia, HTC, Samsung are going to determine the price of the phones and not Microsoft. The partners determine the pricing strategy. There is also an opportunity where the telcos like MTN, Glo, Airtel, Etisalat and others also have a strategy around those handsets. Our private partners and the telcos are the ones who will really decide how they want to have the price range in the end.”
Also commenting on the new Windows 8, he adds every single part of the operating system was completely redesigned from end to end underscoring that that Microsoft designed it to work on any kind of platform including mobile devices, high end desktops , gaming laptops, personalized slates and tablets.
“No matter what you want to use interactively, mouse, keyboard, pen, you can use all those things to interact with PC or the device. On top of that we have also made sure that you can get content form the App Store. With the Windows 8 finding contents will not be difficult,’ he adds.
To address the Developers Pararo attendees’ curiosity about new Microsoft products, Onyeje said Microsoft platform will allow developers to easily build apps for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 and port apps from one to the other.
“Our new vision in Microsoft is to provide every business and everybody on the planet a cloud system,” he adds.
Talking about apps opportunity, Onyeje who started programming at the age of 13 said told the participants that there is a whole lot of opportunity in creating enterprise apps, entertainment and gaming apps among others.
According to him, the world is turning into app, businesses, consumers, individuals are turning to apps to interact their customers and partners, there is huge opportunity for developers in Nigeria to actually write apps from Windows 8 platform and sell their services globally.
He told the community of Nigerian developers’ attendees at the event that, “business wants to connect to consumer and if an app is the way to connect businesses to consumers, then people will go for it. Don’t limit yourself to 169 Nigerians, make the application global.”
Developers Parapo event takes place monthly at the CcHub in Lagos, Nigeria’s first open living lab. It a platform that brings together Nigerian web and mobile application developers to network, share and gain knowledge required to start and grow viable businesses.
CcHub bring industry experts from Nigeria and across the world to the event to share key insights that will grow the Nigerian application development ecosystem.



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