Microsoft on Wednesday, 5 September 2012, exhibited its yet to be launched Windows 8 Tablet which marks the first time Microsoft has made its own hardware.
Microsoft met with business leaders in Blantyre where they demonstrated some of their products and services through speeches and video clips.
It was Justin Zarb, Microsoft's principal premier field engineer, who captivated the crowd who attended the event. He demonstrated why he was touting the Windows 8 as the best from Microsoft yet, when he connected his Windows 8 tablet to a projector that was showing on a big screen.
From simple slates to ultraportable laptops
Windows 8 Tablets ranges from simple slates to fully convertible ultraportable laptops and is a crucial product for Microsoft financially, as it has also committed to larger touch screen displays which will be testing the market for the first time.
Zarb explained that Windows 8 will allow interface and cross-platform applications that exist on both the desktop which will also use the touch screen facility as will be the case with the tablet.
John Nielsen, general manager of Microsoft's Europe, Middle East and Africa Customer Service and Support, said Microsoft 8 will make the world no longer the same as it will bring the kind of innovations never seen before - more so when it is considered that Windows 8 tablet will serve as a prototype for future, products of this nature.
Windows 8 includes a touch-controlled interface which is known as Metro as well as a more traditional desktop.
Zarb said this version of Office is very user-friendly, not because it can be used on a touch screen but because it lessens the hassle of looking for different pieces of devices to perform a job using a computer.
While Zarb, described Windows 8 as a kind of novelty set to revolutionise the world completely, Nielsen said they are very excited with the prospects of the release of windows 8 unto the market on October 26, 2012.
"It gives us a lot of excitement," revealed Nielsen.
"Think big, have big bold dreams..."
He said Microsoft always set what is seen as unrealistic goals.
"We spend a lot of time arguing on whether or not the innovations we are trying to come up with are possible or not," disclosed Nielsen.
"As Microsoft we think new ways, different ways to get things done. We truly believe in the principle 'Big, Bold, vicious and unrealistic goals that help us to think outside the box."
He then declared, "We love mistakes; we see mistakes as friends."
"One thing I would recommend you to think about is really to encourage people to think big, have big bold dreams and take risks to get there because all little small mistakes will make you bigger as long as you take your time to understand how did you go wrong, how would you do it differently next time," Nielsen advised the gathering.
"We think in devices, we think in software, we think in online services; Microsoft we are busy in many different business areas," he said.
Nielsen said the people were familiar with some of the products, while some products were unfamiliar because they have not been introduced to this part of Africa.
Making more products available
"But we expand every year to get more and more service and products available. We have a lot of enterprise products which are helping many big enterprises to work and operate in a very efficient and successful way," he said.
Nielsen said since a few years ago they have been really fast growing their own online service businesses. Nielsen shared a clip that explained that Microsoft looks at Africa not as a hoard of poverty but as untapped potential.
"Africa is a big continent for us: we have to prioritize our presence in some of the countries where we have employees. And we also do not have subsidiaries and large offices in every country," he said.
He said this is why they decided to come to Malawi as they felt that Microsoft is not present in the country with an office and they could make a difference in making their contributions to some African countries to realize their vision.
Gregory Gondwe is a Malawian journalist who started writing in 1993. He is also a media consultant assisting several international journalists pursuing assignments in Malawi. He holds a Diploma and an Intermediate Certificate in Journalism among other media-related certificates. He can be contacted on . Follow him on Twitter at @Kalipochi.
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