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Announcing Windows 10

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It’s a humbling and amazing thing to work on Windows, which is used by over 1.5 billion people in every country of the world. From kids playing with computers for the first time, to writers and journalists, to engineers, to gamers, to CEOs, at some point Windows has empowered all of us.

In the Windows team, we’re proud of this – but we also know that the world today is very different from the one in which Windows grew up. Today, devices outnumber people. Connectivity is like oxygen. The tension between the desire for agility versus stability poses a huge challenge for IT Pros. Experiences – no matter what device you’re on – just need to work. The only thing that hasn’t really changed is the situation for developers – still too much to do, and not enough time.

One way to look at it is that Windows is at a threshold :-). It’s time for a new Windows. This new Windows must be built from the ground-up for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. This new Windows must help our customers be productive in both their digital work and their digital life. This new Windows must empower people and organizations to do great things.

That new Windows is Windows 10.

Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows. Windows 10 unlocks new experiences for customers to work, play and connect. Windows 10 embodies what our customers (both consumers and enterprises) demand and what we will deliver.

Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices – from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some of these devices have 4 inch screens – some have 80 inch screens – and some don’t have screens at all. Some of these devices you hold in your hand, others are ten feet away. Some of these devices you primarily use touch/pen, others mouse/keyboard, others controller/gesture – and some devices can switch between input types.

We’re not talking about one UI to rule them all – we’re talking about one product family, with a tailored experience for each device.

And across this breadth of devices, we are delivering one application platform for our developers. Whether you’re building a game or a line of business application, there will be one way to write a universal app that targets the entire family. There will be one store, one way for applications to be discovered, purchased and updated across all of these devices.

Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time. It will be our most comprehensive platform ever.

Now, during the design of a new Windows, we spend time with many diverse customers. One of the most important of these customers is the enterprise. In the past year I’ve talked to dozens of enterprise customers and listened to how they are using and deploying Windows, and what they need from us.

These customers are betting their businesses on Windows – in the first half of this year, shipments of enterprise PCs grew 14%. In that same time period, shipments of Windows enterprise tablets grew 33%.

These customers have a need to evaluate Windows early, so we are starting our dialog with them today. For more details about what Windows 10 will have for these customers, check out this blog post on the Windows for your Business blog.

Tomorrow, we are excited to announce the Windows Insider Program, where PC experts and IT Pros can get access to a technical preview of Windows 10 for desktops and laptops. Soon after, we’ll also be releasing technical previews of Windows Server and our management tools.

With the Insider program, we’re inviting our most enthusiastic Windows customers to shape Windows 10 with us. We know they’re a vocal bunch – and we’re looking forward to hearing from them.

The Windows Insider Program is intended for PC experts and IT pros who are comfortable using pre-release software with variable quality. Insiders will receive a steady stream of early builds from us with the latest features we’re experimenting with.

This week’s announcements are just the first chapter of our conversation with customers about Windows 10 – with a focus on enterprise features (because enterprises have a need to evaluate software early on) and the desktop/laptop experiences. Early in 2015 we’ll introduce the consumer chapter and talk much more about other device types and more consumer features. We’ll then continue the conversation with the developer chapter at our Build conference, and later in the year we’ll release Windows 10 and look forward to some amazing new devices.

Today was an important beginning for our customers and partners as we embark on the Windows 10 journey together. I encourage everyone reading this to sign up for the Windows Insider Program, download the technical preview, and let us know what you think. Check here tomorrow for specific details – but in the meantime, here’s a peek at some of the new features you can test drive once you become an Insider:

Tech Preview_Start menu

Start menu: The familiar Start menu is back, but it brings with it a new customizable space for your favorite apps and Live Tiles.

App_Commands

Everything runs in a window: Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop apps do and can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing for maximize, minimize, and close with a click.

Tech Preview_Three program snap and suggestions

Snap enhancements: You can now have four apps snapped on the same screen with a new quadrant layout. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping and even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.

Tech Preview_Task view

New task view button: There’s a new task-view button on the taskbar for quick switching between open files and quick access to any desktops you create.

Tech Preview_Virtual desktop

Multiple desktops: Create desktops for different purposes and projects and switch between these desktops easily and pick up where you left off on each desktop.

Find files faster: File Explorer now displays your recent files and frequently visited folders making for finding files you’ve worked on is easier.

Watch the below video from Joe Belfiore to see many of these features in action. Immediately you’ll see how Windows 10 carries forward a sense of familiarity, while providing new capabilities to help you way the work you want to and be more productive.

Today was an important beginning for our customers and partners as we embark on the Windows 10 journey together. While it’s early and things are bound to change as we collaborate together in the months ahead, this should give a strong sense of where we’re going not only with the desktop experience, but in general overall. We’re looking forward to getting your feedback on Windows 10, as well as continuing this conversation in the weeks and months to come.

source:http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2014/09/30/announcing-windows-10/

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Nokia awarded contract to build 4G network on the moon

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Nokia has been awarded a contract to establish a 4G network on the moon. The contract is one of several that NASA is awarding to companies as it plans a return to the moon.

The $14.1 million contract was given to Nokia’s US subsidiary and is a small part of the $370 million total awarded to companies such as SpaceX. The cellular service will allow astronauts, rovers, lunar landers, and habitats to communicate with one another according to Jim Reuter, the Associate Administrator for NASA’s Space.

Nokia Logo

The 4G network that Nokia will build will be miles superior to the form of communication that was used during the early missions to the moon.

This is not Nokia’s first attempt to launch an LTE network on the moon. It planned to do so in 2018 in collaboration with PTScientists, a German space firm, and Vodafone UK to launch an LTE network at the site of the Apollo 17 landing but the plan never came to fruition.

Source: https://www.gizmochina.com/2020/10/18/nokia-awarded-contract-to-build-4g-network-on-the-moon/

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Stripe acquires Nigeria’s Paystack for $200M+ to expand into the African continent

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When Stripe  announced earlier this year that it had picked up another $600 million in funding, it said one big reason for the funding was to expand its API-based payments services into more geographies. Today the company is coming good on that plan in the form of some M&A.

Stripe is acquiring Paystack, a startup out of Lagos, Nigeria that, like Stripe, provides a quick way to integrate payments services into an online or offline transaction by way of an API. (We and others have referred to it in the past as “the Stripe of Africa.”)

Paystack  currently has around 60,000 customers, including small businesses, larger corporates, fintechs, educational institutions and online betting companies, and the plan will be for it to continue operating independently, the companies said.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but sources close to it confirm that it’s over $200 million. That makes this the biggest startup acquisition to date to come out of Nigeria, as well as Stripe’s biggest acquisition to date anywhere. (Sendwave, acquired by WorldRemit in a $500 million deal in August, is based out of Kenya.)

It’s also a notable shift in Stripe’s strategy as it continues to mature: Typically, it has only acquired smaller companies to expand its technology stack, rather than its global footprint.

The deal underscores two interesting points about Stripe, now valued at $36 billion and regularly tipped as an IPO candidate. (Note: It has never commented on those plans up to now.) First is how it is doubling down on geographic expansion: Even before this news, it had added 17 countries to its platform in the last 18 months, along with progressive feature expansion. And second is how Stripe is putting a bet on the emerging markets of Africa specifically in the future of its own growth.

“There is enormous opportunity,” said Patrick Collison, Stripe’s co-founder and CEO, in an interview with TechCrunch. “In absolute numbers, Africa may be smaller right now than other regions, but online commerce will grow about 30% every year. And even with wider global declines, online shoppers are growing twice as fast. Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”

For Paystack, the deal will give the company a lot more fuel (that is, investment) to build out further in Nigeria and expand to other markets, CEO Shola Akinlade said in an interview.

“Paystack was not for sale when Stripe approached us,” said Akinlade, who co-founded the company with Ezra Olubi (who is the CTO). “For us, it’s about the mission. I’m driven by the mission to accelerate payments on the continent, and I am convinced that Stripe will help us get there faster. It is a very natural move.”

Paystack had been on Stripe’s radar for some time prior to acquiring it. Like its U.S. counterpart, the Nigerian startup went through Y Combinator — that was in 2016, and it was actually the first-ever startup out of Nigeria to get into the world-famous incubator. Then, in 2018, Stripe led an $8 million funding round for Paystack, with others participating, including Visa and Tencent. (And for the record, Akinlade said that Visa and Tencent had not approached it for acquisition. Both have been regular investors in startups on the continent.)

In the last several years, Stripe has made a number of investments into startups building technology or businesses in areas where Stripe has yet to move. This year, those investments have included backing an investment in universal checkout service Fast, and backing the Philippines-based payment platform PayMongo.

Collison said that while acquiring Paystack after investing in it was a big move for the company, people also shouldn’t read too much into it in terms of Stripe’s bigger acquisition policy.

“When we invest in startups we’re not trying to tie them up with complicated strategic investments,” Collison said. “We try to understand the broader ecosystem, and keep our eyes pointed outwards and see where we can help.”

That is to say, there are no plans to acquire other regional companies or other operations simply to expand Stripe’s footprint, with the interest in Paystack being about how well they’d built the company, not just where they are located.

“A lot of companies have been, let’s say, heavily influenced by Stripe,” Collison said, raising his eyebrows a little. “But with Paystack, clearly they’ve put a lot of original thinking into how to do things better. There are some details of Stripe that we consider mistakes, but we can see that Paystack ‘gets it,’ it’s clear from the site and from the product sensibilities, and that has nothing to do with them being in Africa or African.”

Stripe, with its business firmly in the world of digital transactions, already has a strong line in the detection and prevention of fraud and other financial crimes. It has developed an extensive platform of fraud protection tools, but even with that, incidents can slip through the cracks. Just last month, Stripe was ordered to pay $120,000 in a case in Massachusetts after failing to protect users in a $15 million cryptocurrency scam.

Now, bringing on a business from Nigeria could give the company a different kind of risk exposure. Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa, but it is also one of the more corrupt on the continent, according to research from Transparency International.

And related to that, it also has a very contentious approach to law and order. Nigeria has been embroiled in protests in the last week with demonstrators calling for the disbanding of the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad, after multiple accusations of brutality, including extrajudicial killings, extortion and torture. In fact, Stripe and Paystack postponed the original announcement in part because of the current situation in the country.

But while those troubles continue to be worked through (and hopefully eventually resolved, by way of government reform in response to demonstrators’ demands), Paystack’s acquisition is a notable foil to those themes. It points to how talented people in the region are identifying problems in the market and building technology to help fix them, as a way of improving how people can transact, and in turn, economic outcomes more generally.

The company got its start back when Akinlade, for fun (!) built a quick way of integrating a card transaction into a web page, and it was the simplicity of how it worked that spurred him and his co-founder to think of how to develop that into something others could use. That became the germination of the idea that eventually landed them at YC and in the scope of Stripe.

“We’re still very early in the Paystack payments ecosystem, which is super broken,” said Akinlade. The company today provides a payments API, and it makes revenue every time a transaction is made using it. He wouldn’t talk about what else is on Paystack’s radar, but when you consider Stripe’s own product trajectory as a template, there is a wide range of accounting, fraud, card, cash advance and other services to meet business needs that could be built around that to expand the business. “Most of what we will be building in Africa has not been built yet.”

Last month, at Disrupt, we interviewed another successful entrepreneur in the country, Tunde Kehinde, who wisely noted that more exits of promising startups — either by going public or getting acquired — will help lift up the whole ecosystem. In that regard, Stripe’s move is a vote of confidence not just for the potential of the region, but for those putting in the efforts to build tech and continue improving outcomes for everyone.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/15/stripe-acquires-nigerias-paystack-for-200m-to-expand-into-the-african-continent/?tpcc=ECTW2020

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#EndSARS Twitter’s Jack Dorsey seeks support with Bitcoin

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Billionaire boss of the leading social media platform Twitter, and payments company Square, Jack Dorsey, has joined in support of the #EndSARS protest that has overtaken Nigeria.

A few hours ago, Dorsey took to his Twitter handle to solicit support for Nigerian protesters seeking an end to Police brutality and calling for reforms.

He tweeted, “Donate via Bitcoin to help #EndSARS,” while also retweeting a tweet from the Feminist Coalition informing people of the modes by which contributions can be made.

 

Twitter CEO has been a longstanding Bitcoin supporter. In the past, he has said Bitcoin is “probably the best” native currency of the internet due to it being “consensus-driven” and “built by everyone.”

Recall, some days ago, Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) led by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey on October 8th disclosed that it purchased, 4,709 bitcoins at an estimated worth of $50 million.
Square added it invested in cryptos because it saw it as a tool for economic enhancement via participation in the future of payment systems, which aligns with Square’s objectives.

Source: https://nairametrics.com/2020/10/14/breaking-endsars-twitters-jack-dorsey-seeks-support-with-bitcoin/

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