Windows 8 launches globally today and that’s exciting news. Microsoft has a lot of innovation in the desktop space and they have blurred the line between desktops and tablets. They have also gone against the grain of making software very expensive to acquire for consumers. If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Windows, you can get Windows 8 PRO for only USD .99 at www.windowsupgradeoffer.com. That’s roughly PHP 600.00 for an original copy of Windows 8. This offer will last until January 31 2013. By itself, Windows 8 PRO will sell commercially for USD $39.99.
Earlier today Michael Josh of Rapper asked me if I wanted to do a live blog of the Windows 8 launch in Singapore. I had no problem with that as it also made my live coverage so much easier with ScribbleLive. You can view the feed here for a detailed account of what went on earlier this afternoon.
The much awaited Surface tablet will not be making a coming in the Philippines and other parts of Asia except Australia. ‘Surface’ is a Microsoft-made hybrid tablet running Windows 8. This was confirmed earlier by Ms Tracy Fellows, VP for Microsoft Asia Pacific. The main reason (I surmise) is two fold:
a. In the Philippines, Microsoft is not a hardware company. There is no support system for Surface in terms of warranty. If it breaks, who will fix it? The case is similar for the XBOX 360 which is not officially an effort of Microsoft Philippines, but of 3rd party vendors like DataBlitz.
b. Releasing Surface in APAC can curb relationships with the big manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Lenovo, and ACER — all very strong players in the Asean market.
On another note, Christian Bautista is the new brand ambassador for Windows 8. He was chosen for being an all around “Windows guy” and avid gamer. As of this writing he is currently engrossed in Mass Effect 3.
On the XBOX front, the new Windows 8 will have seamless integration with XBOX and the GamerTag. XBOX will now include Music, Video, Games and Smart Glass, which is a technology that gives you added in-game information on your tablet while playing games on your PC / XBOX 360.
So last month, Microsoft PH hopped onto a Ford Ranger (from Aracama at the Fort) to travel around the Philippines to showcase their latest tech around the country. This isn’t your typical “Windows and Microsoft Office” tech — they’re more software and infrastructure related. Here’s a quick list of some of the stuff they’re working on:
Last week I asked Nokia if I could have a look at their drool-worthy Lumia 900. As a former Windows Phone user (I had not yet upgraded to the latest Mango 7.5), I was curious to know why the 900 series had won so many industry awards and, after finally getting to hold one in my hands I knew what all the praise was all about. In a nutshell, the Nokia Lumia 900 is the best Windows Phone to date. Not only is it top of its class, it readily competes with the top tier smartphones running Android and iOS in terms of speed and power.
It could purely be coincidence that the Microsoft Booth is located adjacent to the Nokia booth (which was promoting MeeGo by the way). On display were several HTC devices (the HTC Trophy feels just like the Mozart) and the new Sasung OMNIA with a big ass screen.
The Nokia booth focused more on developers and had nothing about the partnership between Microsoft and Nokia to produce smartphones running Windows Phone 7. Quite understandable as this announcement was made a day before MWC 2011. What is interesting to note is Nokia’s push for MeeGo as a platform being ‘currently developed’ as a long term open source project. Does this mean Windows Phone 7 is a filler? Only time will tell!