Office 365 launched in Botswana

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

Microsoft has launched its newest Windows operating system, Office 365, in Botswana. Microsoft says Office 365 is cloud-based, which means that it can be tapped wirelessly. In addition, this new operating system delivers the complete suite of Office applications which include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook in the cloud.

The new offering from Microsoft means documents can be easily shared and edited by simply sharing them over the Internet. In addition so says a company statement, besides Botswana, these world-class cloud services have also been made available in six new territories across sub-Saharan Africa including Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, bringing the total number of sub-Saharan African countries with access to the suite to 18.

Speaking to the media on the side-lines of the launch Bryan Wesonga, spokesperson for Microsoft East and Southern Africa explained that customers in Botswana are now able to sign up for a 30-day trial to sample various versions of Office 365 including Office 365 Enterprise suites, as well as the new Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials as well as the Office 365 Business Premium, all through the Office website.

He added that being cloud based means that Office 365 was available in a pay-as-you-go monthly subscription for both businesses and individuals.

“Office 365 helps improve productivity whether at home, in the office or on the go – perfect for the needs of modern consumers, businesses, public sector professionals and educational institutions.”

A statement said the Office 365 was designed for companies with between one and 10 employees. Office 365 Small Business Premium gives organisations access to the richness of Office applications of up to 20 percent of an SME’s software budget, without them having to compromise on the technology. 

“Office 365 is more affordable and less complex – within 15 minutes a company can be up and running with a domain, website, email addresses and the other functionality they require to function.”

Pundits in the local technology industry expressed their reservation about the new cloud based product from Microsoft. The president of the Botswana Information Technology Society (BITS), Pontsho Pusoetsile said this will not benefit many locals.  “This suite is predominantly about online presence. My worry is whether Batswana will benefit fully from this, considering that not many of them have Internet connection or constant online access.” 

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