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IT news roundup

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Some interesting stories caught my eye this week. Firstly, on Windows 10. Currently the adoption of the new operating system is around 150 percent faster than Win 7 – despite and slowing desktop sales environment. Current figures are 400 million users – with Microsofts stated target of 1 billion users by the summer of 2018.

This figure is helped by corporates and large organisations now confident enough to roll it out across their organisation – although many of them are happy to focus on migrating to cloud services as a first priority, safe in the knowledge that support for Win7 will only expire in 2020.

The US Department for Defence, for example, is planning to roll this out to 4 million devices by next year. However, Microsoft does not expect any help from Russia who is currently planning a migration from Microsoft email products to a Russian built product.

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One of the reasons for this is political –they say it is to minimise the risks associated with using a foreign development platform.

This follows the introduction of a law earlier this year that prohibits government departments from buying software and services from foreign providers when there is a viable Russian alternative available. Investment in the country’s economy or political brinkmanship? Take your pick.

Closer to home, Nigeria brings mixed news on the IT front. On the positive side, President Buhari has championed the digital economy and the opportunities to all aspects of the economy to the country.

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With more than 150 million active mobile phone users, he is putting the governments full commitment behind international investors – such as Facebook – who recently invested over $20million in a Nigerian startup – to young Nigerians, who he recognises are increasingly demonstrating that they have the talent and the passion to leverage the digital economy for solving the country’s most pressing challenges.

However, some of those innovative skills are not necessarily benefitting society, with Nigeria also acknowledged in 2015- 2016 as the third most frequently identified country as a cybercrimehotspot.

This came from Europol which is the European Union’s (EU) law enforcement agency that identified this perception in 11 European countries.

In Zimbabwe, mobile data prices have been highlighted as the 3rd highest in the continent, after South Sudan and Swaziland. Cheapest comparative data services are to be found in Mozambique and Tanzania.

In Zambia, a couple of areas of interest. The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (Zicta) has requested Samsung Electronics to withdraw Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from the local market.

The devices have not yet been officially launched in Zambia, Zicta said a number of local consumers have already acquired the phones from other markets and there is a need to take this course of action. Wonder how that will affect all those product Samsung owners who brought them into the country?

Good news though for the country is that Huawei Technologies Zambia has said that the country’s datacentre will be commercialised soon after its completion early next year, meaning it will be in a position to charge for storing data for private companies and institutions.

The datacenter is being constructed by Huawei Technologies and is part of the Smart Zambia phase project one that will also see the construction of a computer assembly plant at the same site in Lusaka.

The US$75 million project is being implemented by the Zambian government, with funds provided by the Chinese government through a concessional loan.

Anyone heard of 5g mobile technology? Even I – in the IT industry – find it very hard to keep up with these advances. Well, what I understand it to be is the convergence of IP-based networking technologiesenable major increases in LTE capacity, coverage and speed where and when they are needed, delivering up to ten times the speeds of initial 4G networks.

This will enable digital health, automated driving and machine to machine functionality amongst other areas. This will revolutionalise industry such as manufacturing. However, with increased costs in Africa and low rural penetration, the continent may not yet be ready for this leap yet – but we are quick learners, with the right support

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