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Windows 8 helping companies improve the way they do business

Dubai was the last destination of the corporate launch tour

Gulf News

Dubai: Microsoft officially showcased the next-generation operating system to customers and partners as part of the corporate launch tour of its Windows 8 on Monday evening.

Dubai was one of the six cities in the world to have the privilege of launching Microsoft’s new operating system — Windows 8 — on October 26.

The other five cities were Paris, Shanghai, New Delhi, New York and Hong Kong. Dubai was the sixth and final destination.

“Number 8 is considered among many cultures around the world as a lucky symbol that drives in wealth. For Microsoft, symbol 8 is a game-changing name for new Windows platform that raises today’s world of mobile and convertible devices and emerging technologies like cloud computing,” Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade, said in a keynote speech.

Microsoft highlighted early deployment customers, including British Telecom, Emirates airlines and UAE Smart Learning, that are already taking advantage of enterprise benefits — from enhanced fundamentals with security, performance and manageability to new features like Windows To Go that offer new possibilities in mobile productivity.

“Just a few weeks after its global launch, Windows 8 is already transforming the lives of consumers, businesses and economies through a set of amazing new devices and rich apps. UAE Smart Learning is a great example of how technology is helping to make the region more competitive internationally by equipping students with access to latest technology,” Ali Faramawy, Corporate Vice-President Microsoft Corporation and President — Microsoft Middle East and Africa, said.

Now more than 1,000 certified PCs and tablets on a wide variety of screen sizes, configurations, and designs support Windows 8.

“This will be a breakthrough for Windows as well as for the technology sector. New features and strong customer base of Windows globally is a huge success. The business model of Windows has changed drastically in the last few years, so I think it will be a huge success,” Ahmad Abdul Karim Julfar, Group CEO of etisalat, told Gulf News.

Fathima Ali, deputy director general of UAE smart learning and head of IT department, Ministry of Education, was in all praise for Microsoft’s new platform for its simplicity, fast and fluid.

She said, eight out of the 400 plus schools are currently testing Windows 8 tablets from September and by January, 15 schools will be running on Windows 8 tablets.

“The Ruler of Dubai has given the MOE five years for schools to completely move to tablets. Already one year has passed. But it will not only be on Windows, it can be on Apple or Android also,” she said.

“We have developed a Smart Learning app by local partners for the students and in that single app it covers more features for teachers, students and classmates. It is like one umbrella,” Khalid Ahmad, development director, UAE smart learning, said.

According to Samer Abu Latif, regional general manager of Microsoft Gulf, Windows 8 is coming to address the change in the consumerisation of IT. Now they can have the same interface across all platforms. This will also help convergence of data among various devices.

The adoption of Windows 7 across enterprises crossed 700 million globally.