March, 2013

  • Office 365 Home Premium Giveaway

    By: Marc Israel, Office Division Group Lead for Microsoft West, East and Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands

    To celebrate the availability of Office 2013 in Microsoft West, East, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, Microsoft is giving away 12-month Office 365 Home Premium subscriptions.

    Office 365 Home Premium, one of the offerings within Office 2013, is a cloud service designed for busy households and people juggling ever-increasing work and family responsibilities. The new offering includes the latest and most complete set of Office applications; works across up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs and Macs; and comes with extra SkyDrive storage and Skype calling — all for US$79.00 for an annual subscription, the equivalent of less than US$7.00 per month.

    To enter, simply follow @MicrosoftAfrica on Twitter, tell us what you can buy for $7 per month and stand to win a 12-month license key for Microsoft’s #Office365 Home Premium – Office for your whole household, across the devices you love.

    Terms and conditions below.

    Terms and Conditions

    By participating in our Twitter Competition, you fully agree and accept the Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium Competition Terms and Conditions ("Terms and Conditions") and you agree to be bound by them. You also agree to abide by the terms and conditions of any third party website or service where the competition is hosted, if any. In these Terms and Conditions, "Microsoft", "we", "our", and "us" refer to Microsoft Nigeria Limited. "You," "yourself" refers to an eligible Twitter competition entrant. “The Promoter” is Microsoft Nigeria Limited, For the purposes hereof, “Territory” shall mean:  Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti , Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, French Polynesia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, New Caledonia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, St. Helena, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    1. The Competition is only open to Twitter users aged 18 years and over, residing in the Territory.
    2. Prize will be distributed via email in a non-editable Microsoft document.
    3. The Competition starts on Monday 25th of March 2013 and closes at 12:00 GMT +2 on Friday 19th April 2013. Entries received outside of the Promotional Period will not be considered.
    4. To enter the Competition, entrants must have access to a computer, the internet and have a Twitter account.
    5. The prize is 1 of 35 Office 365 Home Premium license keys
    6. To enter, entrants must follow @MicrosoftAfrica and tweet what they can purchase for $7 to @MicrosoftAfrica using the #Office365 hash tag. The entrants should re-tweet “@MicrosoftAfrica For $7 I can buy........ #Office365. Terms and Conditions”.
    7. Winners will be drawn at random from all complete Tweets & followers logged during the promotional period. No purchase necessary. Entries are only valid if the entry is completed correctly in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
    8. Only 1 entry per person.
    9. This competition is not open to employees of Microsoft, their families or agencies.
    10. You hereby grant Microsoft Corporation and its affiliates the right to publish your twitter username in online and offline media for this Competition, in the event you are a winner.
    11. The winners will be notified by Twitter Direct Message within 48 hours of the Competition closing date.
    12. In order to receive their prize, the winners are required to provide Microsoft with their full name and email address. Should a winner not acknowledge receipt of their win, and provide their full name and email address, within 7 days of receiving notice from Microsoft that they have won a prize, we reserve the right to redraw or not fulfill the prize.
    13. The prizes will be sent out within 7 days of the winners notifying Microsoft of their full name and email address pursuant to clause 14 and 15 of these Terms and Conditions.
    14. If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize, if any;
    15. The Promoter will not be liable for any delays in the receipt of entries. The Promoter does not accept responsibility for entries which are not received or delivered.
    16. In the event the Promoter believes that an entry contravenes these Terms and Conditions, it reserves all rights to delete the entry at its absolute and sole discretion.
    17. The prizes are non-transferable and cannot be substituted with a cash alternative.
    18. The prize draw decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.  In the event of a dispute, the Promoter’s decision shall be final in all respects on all entrants. The Promoter reserves the right to amend, modify, cancel or withdraw this Prize Draw and to amend these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice. The Promoter cannot guarantee the performance of any third party and shall not be liable for any act or default by a third
    19. These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by the laws of Nigeria and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Nigerian courts.
    20. AMENDMENT To the extent permitted by applicable law, the Promoter reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions at any time. If cheating, a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and /or integrity of this Competition, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Competition. This      right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Competition, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Competition. If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Competition by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek compensation from you for any losses that we incur as a result of your actions to the fullest extent permitted by law. Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future Competitions, so please play fairly.
    21. LIABILITY Microsoft cannot guarantee the performance of any third party and shall not be liable for any act or default by a third party. Participants in this Competition agree that Microsoft will have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, costs, damage or disappointment of any kind resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly from acceptance, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in this Competition. The foregoing shall      apply in the event your data is not received or lost by Microsoft. Nothing in this clause shall limit Microsoft’s liability in respect of death or personal injury arising out of its own negligence or arising out of fraud. The provisions of this Section shall apply to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law
    22. DATA Any personal data relating to entrants will be used solely in accordance with current data protection legislation applicable in your country of residence and in the country where the data controller is located. Entrants to the Competition will not be added to any database list. They will however be contacted on the email address or phone number supplied to be advised if they were successful. Microsoft’s Privacy Statement located at will apply to this Prize Draw and to all information that we receive from your entry. Please read the Privacy Statement before accepting these Terms and
      Conditions and submitting your entry. Please note that by accepting these Terms and Conditions you are also accepting the terms of the Privacy Statement.




  • Partnering to accelerate innovation in East Africa

    Posted by Fernando De Sousa, general manager, Africa Initiatives at Microsoft

    Over the last few years, the East African ICT industry has experienced explosive development and has seen the growth of a thriving developer community. It is also home to the renowned ‘iHub’ – an open space made available for technologists, investors, and tech companies in Kenya. One of iHub’s initiatives, m:lab aims to be a leader in identifying, nurturing and helping to build sustainable enterprises in the knowledge economy. I believe that these kinds of inspiring collaborative projects are incredibly effective in kick-starting the momentum needed for emerging local economies to take off and become globally competitive. And that’s why I’m so excited about the announcement we made today at the Innovation Africa Digital Summit in Ethiopia: Microsoft will be collaborating with iHub and m:lab to help fuel African innovation.

    Towards a common vision

    Self-starters, creative thinkers and entrepreneurs are vital to the progress of developing economies. If you’ve been keeping abreast our activities in Africa, you’ll know how invested we are in supporting developers and aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and opportunities they need to reach their full potential. Last month, we launched the 4Afrika Initiative, focused on accelerating adoption of smart-devices, empowering small- and medium-sized businesses, and raising skills development to ignite African innovation for the continent and for the world. Our strategic cooperation with iHub and m:lab is a new example of one of the many ways we are going to achieve this.

    Our involvement

    Our collaboration with iHub and m:lab will see the start-up community benefit from our global BizSpark programme,  and see us partner on events, research, and consulting projects. We’ll also be establishing a physical presence at iHub, making Microsoft devices like Windows Phones and Windows slates available for testing application and software. Developers hold the key to bringing our technologies ‘to life’ in Africa by making them locally relevant, and there’s no better way to ensure we are supporting them than by talking to and listening to them in person in the places they like to be.

    For more information, see the official press release, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.


  • The new Office – helping you save time for the important things in life

    By: Marc Israel, Office Division Group Lead for Microsoft West, East and Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands

    Life is getting busier and people are continuously looking for a way to get more out of the time they have at their disposal.

    The availability of Office 2013 is a step in that direction. Office 2013 makes the end user more productive in both a work and home environment. With Office you can continue working offline, while the integration with cloud technologies allows you to sync your documents seamlessly allowing you to be far more productive.

    Office 365 Home Premium, one of the offerings within Office 2013, is a cloud service designed for busy households and people juggling ever-increasing work and family responsibilities. In a recent global survey,1 nearly 60 percent of people said they don’t have the time to do the things they want to do, and more than 80 percent said they could save one or more hours a day if they were better organized. Office 365 Home Premium is designed to help people be more productive from virtually anywhere and find the flexibility to do the things they want.

    To help people find more time to do the things they want, we are introducing Time to 365 (, a new crowd-sourced website where people can find and share tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration from around the world. Contributors include experts such as “techorating” pro Janna Robinson ( and everyday working parents who have found ways to simplify their lives. Tips on the site include, for example,
    an idea for organizing your grocery list with OneNote on your phone, a pointer on how to pick the right-sized TV for your living room, and ways to use Office applications to help plan a child’s birthday party.

    What are the top 10 features of the new Office, you may ask?

    1. If you are reading, not writing or editing, click or tap View, then Read Mode in Word to hide the writing tools and menus.
    2. Re-open a document or presentation, and keep reading right where you left off with Resume reading in Word and PowerPoint.
    3. Like a data assistant that finishes your work for you, Flash Fill in Excel detects what you want to do and enters the rest of your data in one fell swoop, following patterns in your data.
    4. Dress up your data with conditional formatting such as bars and color scales through the Quick Analysis Lens in Excel.
    5. Tired of trying to precisely match the colors of shapes and pictures in PowerPoint? Let Eyedropper in PowerPoint do the work for you.
    6. With an improved Presenter View in PowerPoint, the audience views your slides on a main screen, while you control the show on another screen that only you can see.
    7. Inline replies in Outlook allow you to reply with one click by typing your response right in the Reading Pane.
    8. Grab a quick glance at your schedule, an appointment or your to-do list with peeks in Outlook, without having to switch from email to calendar or other modes.
    9. If the sound of typing is distracting, you can handwrite notes in OneNote instead of typing them. This is also useful if you’re faster at writing than at typing.
    10. Instead of re-typing information or relying on links to documents, feel free to embed files in OneNote to keep them handy online or offline.

    And a bonus one:

    Seamlessly integrated with SkyDrive, you can save your Office documents to the cloud in one click, or work offline with your synchronized documents on your computer. A great way to keep your documents secured, while allowing you to stay productive when Internet is not available.



    1 Microsoft surveyed more than 10,000 people in over 20 countries.

  • Women: Talent and Potential are Boundless, Opportunity Should be Too…

    Posted by Orlando Ayala, Chairman of Emerging Markets, Microsoft

    Orlando Ayala, Chairman of Emerging Markets, MicrosoftIn celebration of International Women’s Day, Microsoft is proud to join United Nations Women (UN Women) and artists from around the world to launch a moving and inspiring song and music video, “One Woman.” It celebrates what we all know: to enable the future we want, we must recognize the enormous potential of half of the world’s population – women. To truly unleash that potential, women must be free from discrimination, including the gender-based violence which is the focus of this year’s International Women’s Day. Up to seven in 10 women will experience some form of violence in their lifetimes. This violence causes more death and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined in women ages 15 to 44. Violence against women also comes at a high economic cost, ranging from an estimated US $11.28 billion annually in Australia, to US $32.9 billion annually in England and Wales.

    The “One Woman” song aims to galvanize support and raise awareness for this issue. We encourage you to take action and share the song because together we can make a difference by saying no to violence and yes to gender equality.

    As a company, Microsoft fully embraces and supports the notion of unleashing the power of women. We know we must level the playing field and open opportunities for all – these are concepts deeply rooted in our core corporate philosophy. When women are fully engaged in our workforce and society at large, they bring great ideas and drive great innovation. This is why Microsoft very much values its partnership with UN Women, a global champion for women and girls. UN Women is a vital force for advancing gender equality, tackling key issues such as ending violence against women and promoting women’s political, social and economic empowerment. By combining efforts, we are able to harness the power of technology to both empower and protect women.

    Technology can be a real catalyst for improving the lives of women. This is why we jointly launched the Women’s Empowerment Award to encourage and reward students of any gender to create  technology solutions that address the world’s most pressing gender challenges. The team from Uganda who won the Imagine Cup Grant in 2012 is a great example of what’s possible. The team created WinSenga, a mobile application that allows caregivers to monitor pregnancies and save lives for less than 2 percent of the cost of an ultrasound.

    Together, we are also working to make cities safer through mobile technology and to increase the number of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Microsoft’s YouthSpark through the DigiGirlz program and its partnership with the Global Give Back Circle have demonstrated that technology training and mentoring are an effective way to help transform the lives of young women (meet Mary Mwende), and Microsoft is soon expanding this model with the launch of a new site as part of our 4Afrika Initiative.

    Empowering women is not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. It has been shown that nations with greater gender equality and higher proportions of educated females have more robust economies. In 2012, the World Bank found that eliminating all forms of discrimination against women in employment could increase productivity per worker by up to 40 percent. The under-utilization of female talent and perspectives not only dampens productivity and IT innovation, it slows economic development. If womens’ paid employment rates rose to those of men, gross domestic product would increase by up to 14 percent by 2020.

    And studies show that women invest an average of 90 percent of their income back into their families and communities, which reduces poverty and improves health and education. There is a positive ripple effect of this investment as their children receive improved nutrition, education, and their communities are healthier and safer – saving money on government services and fueling economic growth.

    It is undeniable that after the economic crisis of the last decade, the world is desperately searching for a more sustainable and inclusive economic model that enables broader and lasting opportunity. We are convinced that women are and need to be an essential element to chart this critical path forward. Everyone is watching the emerging markets of the world like China, India, Brazil and others, but we believe the most exciting new emerging market for the world will be women and their capability to add tremendous economic value and social growth.

    Knowing that women are key to our future, it is critical that we work together to improve their lives and demolish the restrictions they face – whether those are barriers to work or political leadership, more access to enabling technologies to foster entrepreneurship and economic independence, or the toll of gender-based violence. This is why it is so important that we’re here today to spread the message that progress for women is progress for every society. We hope you join us.

  • The hidden cost of counterfeit software

    Posted by Marius Haman Corporate Attorney, Anti-Piracy, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Middle East & Africa

    Counterfeit software has been around for almost as long as computers themselves. It’s a serious problem for the global economy, and for software developers both large and small. Last year, we touched on how weak intellectual property (IP) rights protection in Africa  contribute to the current struggles of markets across the continent, as it stifles innovation if inventions aren’t adequately protected by law. And this year, on 6 March, we launched our ‘Play It Safe’ campaign, a global initiative to bring awareness to issues specifically related to software piracy.

    There’s no denying that many of us now live in a hyper-connected world. We shop online, bank online, video chat with our friends online and store personal documents online such as bills, photos and contacts. The internet has given us freedom of choice, movement and accessibility. With such a large proportion of our lives now being conducted via the internet, the need for security is clear. But an IDC study, titled “The Dangerous World of Counterfeit and Pirated Software Study 2013” predicts that 2 billion counterfeit programs will be installed on PC’s in 2013. What most users don’t realise is how vulnerable their online lives become when using counterfeit software.

    In 2013, one-in-three consumer PCs using counterfeit software will be infected with malware, the malicious code often hidden deep within fake software. The purpose of malware is to steal personal data and send it back to a remote computer, where it is often used by cybercriminals. The effort to combat malware is on-going: in 2013 alone, removing malware from consumer PCs will waste USD $11 billion and consume 1.5 billion hours. I’m sure we can all think of better ways to spend that time and money.

    The most effective way to combat malware is to ensure the software you purchase and use is legitimate. The criminal networks that produce and sell counterfeit software go to great effort to ensure their products appear legitimate, making the identification of counterfeit software difficult for consumers.

    How to Tell is a Microsoft resource that provides customers with advice on spotting the signs of counterfeit software and how to verify their software is genuine. The site features information on Microsoft’s various security measures and outlines details of what you can do if you have been the victim of counterfeit software.

    I urge you to check your PC for counterfeit software because if you’re running fake programs, you could be putting your online life in harm’s way.

  • Guest Post: My top 5 features of Windows Server 2012

    Posted by Niyi Omotoyinbo
    Chief Consultant for 1st Intellit Solutions Limited in Nigeria
    Directory Services MVP

    The sixth release of Windows Server offers a complete platform for building a private cloud. Having worked on Windows Server and Active Directory since the first version, I can say that Windows Server 2012 is the best Microsoft Server Platform so far. From my point of view, the latest version of the Windows Server operating system offers businesses and hosting providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware infrastructure that is optimized for the cloud.


    But what features make Windows Server 2012 the best?

    1. Server Manager, which allows users to view and manage virtually all of the information and tools that affect your server’s productivity, is for me one of the exciting and revolutionary features in Windows Server 2012. The ability to manage and view the state of your servers from a single dashboard is just amazing. I am really yet to get over this feature!

    2. Windows Server 2012 PowerShell ISE 3.0, which enables users to write, run and test scripts and modules in a graphical and intuitive environment, is also another great innovation for me. I would say this is PowerShell made easy. Just write it the way you think it, and PowerShell will complete the code for you. You do not have to be an expert… just think it!

    3. With the new Virtualization in Windows Server 2012, customers can easily migrate without having to change their current network architecture. The new Visualization enables the migration of a virtual machine from a server running Hyper-V to another one without the need for both of them to be in the same cluster or to share storage. It basically helps you to keep living your life while in the Cloud.

    4. High Availability for Network with NIC Teaming, which allows multiple network adapters on a computer to be placed into a team, is another great feature of Windows Server 2012. Up to 32 NICs can be teamed and you can always be assured of uptime.

    5. With DCHP Server Failover, I do not have to worry about IP leases if my local DCHP is down. This feature allows users to have two servers serve IP addresses and option configuration to the same subnet. Thanks to DCHP Server Failover, I have got my DHCP back covered!