Microsoft launches Office 365 in Kenya
SOFTWARE| June 27, 2012, 12:43 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Software maker Microsoft will on Thursday launch its newest Windows operating system, Office 365, in Kenya.
Office 365 is cloud-based, meaning that it can be accessed remotely. It brings together Windows operating systems such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online, all of which enable computer users to use enterprise email, shared documents, instant messaging, video and web conferencing, portals and more within a short time.
The firm will, however, slap a monthly fee on the new system in line with what it is doing in other parts of the world.
Microsoft says this fee will mainly be determined by use. In other markets, such as the US where the service has been launched, the monthly subscription fees ranges between Sh168 (USD2) and Sh2, 268 (USD27) per user.
Louis Otieno, Microsoft’s general manager for East and Southern Africa, said with Office 365 businesses will not need to invest in internal servers or data storage facilities thereby reducing their IT costs by up to an estimated 50% while boosting productivity.
“With Office 365, businesses or even the government can work on files and documents at the same time and share ideas as easily as they can share calendars it also gives people new ways to work together with ease, on virtually any device,” said Mr Otieno.
Microsoft is targeting, government, corporate and small medium business with this latest product.
“With this product it will be possible for the government to issue its entire staff across the country with e-mail accounts in less than an hour,” said Otieno. Retail prices for Microsoft traditional software are pegged on the user groups, for example students, home users, and NGOs that pay lower amounts compared to enterprise users.
Two weeks ago, Kenya’s Finance Minister, Njeru Githae, removed import duty on software, a move aimed at making it cheaper for users and also to attract foreign investors into the IT industry.
Vendors sell their software either by loading them onto CDs or offering a user licence. Software loaded on CDs attracts a 25% import duty and 16% value added tax (VAT). Customers who buy the user license only pay the VAT.
The Microsoft launch will also include the Nigerian and South African markets, where the firm says this has been made possible by the improved telecoms infrastructure.
Kenya has four undersea cables: Seacom, Essay, TEAMs, and LION, which connect the country to the rest of the world and vast inland fibre optic infrastructure across the country.
This has allowed telecommunication firms such as Kenya Data Networks, Safaricom and Dimension Data to launch storage facilities for electronic documents (data centres) which was not possible before.
MORE SOFTWARE NEWS
SystemSpecs begins Remita Corporate Champions CupNigeria’s leading information communication technology (ICT) power house, SystemSpecs, has flagged off this year’s edition of its sporting event, Remita Corporate Champions Cup. Read More
Sage ERP Africa partners with Datalinx to offer embedded warehouse management solutionSage ERP Africa has signed a distribution agreement with Datalinx, offering customers in Africa and the Middle East access to a range of integrated warehousing solutions. Read More
ICT skills in Kenya to grow as ICT Authority and Microsoft sign MOUKenya’s ICT Authority and Microsoft have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will, among other things, see Microsoft offer support in providing a platform that will enable ICT skills training for up to 300 000 teachers. Read More
Mark Bannerman named Country Manager for Red Hat in Sub-Saharan AfricaRed Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the appointment of Mark Bannerman to country manager for Red Hat in sub-Saharan Africa. Read More
VMware unveils next wave of innovation for applications and desktop virtualization in Horizon 6VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, has announced a new release of VMware Horizon 6. Read More
Westcon only Symantec distributor in SADCWestcon has announced that long-time vendor partner Symantec has extended the value-added distributor’s footprint in the SADC region. Read More
Sage One Accounting, MTN Business to storm African cloud marketThe Sage One Accounting cloud accounting software is now available in a number of major markets throughout sub Saharan Africa, following a partnership between Sage Pastel Accounting and MTN Business. Read More
Introducing VMware vSphere 6 – The foundation for the hybrid cloudVMware has announced VMware vSphere 6, the newest edition of the industry-defining virtualisation solution for the hybrid cloud and foundation for the software-defined data centre. Read More
4 Signs that it is time to replace your ERP systemIt is a good idea to do a frequent gap analysis to see whether your ERP system still meets your needs. Read More
Sage ERP X3 helps Brent Oil keep pace with volatile industryBrent Oil, South Africa's largest and fastest-growing non-refining fuel wholesaler, has implemented the Sage ERP X3 enterprise application suite to tighten financial controls, improve efficiencies, and streamline its business processes. Read More
FEATURED STORYThe transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in Ghana
Smartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief
NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.