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JamesU on Microsoft's commitment to create sustainedsocial and economic opportunity for the next 5 billion
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MultiPoint and the Simplicity of Sharing
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones. In emerging market education, there has been so much energy and discussion spent on attempts to make computers affordable enough so that every kid can get their own computer. But for 99% of students in the world, is this ever going to happen in their lifetimes...
25 Mar 2009
iCafés in China
I spent the last week in China learning more about Internet Cafés (or iCafés) , which are becoming a key area of focus for the Unlimited Potential Group. This is part of our “shared access”strategy, where we are developing solutions for computers that are shared by a large number of people throughout...
25 Feb 2009
Gladys Kenfack is a pretty remarkable person. She works on the UPG team where she owns our strategy for web and digital marketing. She owns more than just the strategy because she does the actual work as well. She grew up in Cameroon, went to college in the US, and then worked as a software test engineer...
9 Feb 2009
“Phone First” in Boston
Last month I had the opportunity to attend NextLab 2008: Designing Mobile Technologies for the Next Billion Users . It was a one-day conference at the MIT Media Lab involving projects from an interdisciplinary class there focused on how to apply cell phone technology to help create social and economic...
25 Jan 2009
Innovative Teachers, This Time in Hong Kong
It’s time again for Microsoft’s Innovative Teacher’s Forum (ITF), an annual event where we celebrate the 100 or so coolest teachers from around the world, all who are doing great things in terms of integrating technology into their classrooms. This year the event is taking place in Hong Kong. You can...
7 Nov 2008
The Real Problem With Windows AND Linux In Emerging Market Education
The Ecosystem Impact of Affordable Computing This is a post I've been meaning to write for a while. This past spring Microsoft hired Vital Wave Consulting to create a five year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model to help us and our customers better understand the true cost structure for deploying...
23 Sep 2008
The Delightful People from Aga Khan
I had the opportunity to participate in a signing ceremony today between Microsoft and the Aga Khan Development Network , a group of agencies administering a broad set of programs in education, health, and social development. Shown here is a photo of Iqbal Noor Ali from Aga Khan along with my UPG colleague...
13 Aug 2008
ICT4D, or "Information and Communication Technologies for Development" is the name for the multidisciplinary academic approach involving the application of high tech to address international development problems. Kentaro Toyama - who leads Microsoft Research's Technology for Emerging Markets...
12 Aug 2008
How to Build Solutions for MOP and BOP
Channel 9 is running an interview with with Tara Prakriya, a solutions architect here in the Unlimited Potential Group, as their featured video right now. Tara focuses on designing education solutions for poor schools and has some interesting ideas on the challenges we face in adapting a Windows-based...
23 Jul 2008
Recent Recap (Rural)
I was out of the office over the last 5 weeks, and during that time we had a lot going on in the Unlimited Potential Group, especially around some of our efforts involving rural computing. For starters, we have posted a video and have engaged in a public discussion around Digital Green , an agriculture...
16 Jul 2008
Western China Project
A group of people from Microsoft's Unlimited Potential team are heading out to Western China next week to raise awareness on a firsthand basis around issues involving the digital divide for rural communities in emerging market countries. You can learn more about the project on the UP home page . The...
31 May 2008
Look! Windows on the OLPC XO!
Today Microsoft and the OLPC are announcing support for Windows on the OLPC XO computer. The two organizations will work together on several pilot programs in emerging market countries starting next month, and the offering will RTM in August or September. Initially it will only be available in emerging...
16 May 2008
We Have a Name: "Creative Capitalism"
Bill Gates gave a great speech at Davos this week around the concept of Creative Capitalism , an approach where governments, businesses, and non-profits work together to stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or gain recognition, doing work that eases the world's inequities...
26 Jan 2008
OLPC in the News (Part 2)
Well, I will be flying out to Cambridge next week for my first meeting with some of the people at the OLPC , and I have to say I am looking forward to it. Some of my UPG co-workers from Microsoft have been meeting with the OLPC team for about a year now, but since I am a relative newcomer to our group...
6 Dec 2007
Yesterday I attended AMD's 50x15 partner summit in Sunnyvale, California. 50x15 is AMD's equivalent to Microsoft's Unlimited Potential, with the idea that 50% of the world's population can achieve access to the Internet and computers by the year 2015. In attendance were representatives from technology...
15 Nov 2007
It has been over a week since I returned from my trip to Helsinki , which makes it three out of the last five weeks that I have been on the road outside of the US. While I was in Finland, some of my colleagues in the Unlimited Potential Group were scattered to other parts of the globe. Orlando Ayala...
9 Nov 2007
Hanging With the APMs
Academic Program Managers (APMs) are the people at Microsoft responsible for implementing the Partners in Learning program I wrote about yesterday . We have about a hundred APMs around the world, working with local schools and education ministries on various types of education projects. APMs are the...
30 Oct 2007
3.6 Million Innovative Teachers Can't Be Wrong
Helsinki, October 29, 2007 I am attending the Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum, a "Celebration/Competition" that Microsoft is holding in Helsinki as part of our Innovative Teachers Network , a grassroots community around the world that promotes and celebrates cool uses of technology in the...
29 Oct 2007
Will the Digital Divide Widen Before it Narrows?
October 19, 2007 I had a scary thought in Budapest today. What if the digital divide widens before it narrows? The thought occurred to me on Day 2 of our launch event here. I was attending a meeting of an informal group working on a program called "EUGA", or "EU Grants Advisor." This...
20 Oct 2007
UPG Launch in Budapest
October 18, 2007 We held our big press event in Budapest on Thursday and Friday this week. With most Microsoft events, we try to hold on to some important piece of "news" that we unveil at the show in order to make it easier for journalists to write a story. In this case we did indeed have...
20 Oct 2007
October 17, 2007 I began the morning in Bucharest today by going for a run and getting terribly and completely lost. I mean 45 minutes of " Do you speak English -- do you know where the Howard Johnson's Hotel is? " lost. The team ended the day having to cross a highway and walk along...
18 Oct 2007
Snowing in Moscow
A group of us are in Central and Eastern Europe this week, starting with two days in Moscow. It's snowing. The highlight of our day yesterday was the official opening of an IDEA Center, a community-based computer center targeting unemployed, seniors, and people with disabilities. IDEA stands for "Information...
16 Oct 2007
Will Poole on CNET
CNET ran a nice interview with Will Poole today. It was based on a series of meetings we did down in the Bay Area a few weeks ago. Will is one of the VPs who runs the Unlimited Potential Group here at Microsoft. The interview includes a video clip of our MultiPoint technology, which is designed to let...
10 Oct 2007
What Do We Mean By "Sustained"?
Friday, October 5th. I went on my first "Unlimited Potential" school visit today. It was a moving experience, but it also gave me a good example of what we mean by "S ustained Social and Economic Opportunity." (Photographs coming). The school is called Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta...
5 Oct 2007
Fundacion Omar Dengo
Tuesday, October 2nd. While I was in Costa Rica I had the opportunity to visit with Eduardo Monge and Clotilde Fonseca at the Fundacion Omar Dengo , an NGO focused on discovering new ways to use technology to improve education. They've been doing this for 20 years and have built up quite a legacy and...
5 Oct 2007
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