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Microsoft changing Pakistani’s lives – One Click at a time

Microsoft changing Pakistani’s lives – One Click at a time

Primary school enrollment in Pakistan is on a shocking low at 56% of the overall population. Approximately 20 million school age children are out of school, for every 10 kids out of school around the world, one is Pakistani. – Source: British High Commissioner to Pakistan. This certainly, is an education emergency. Whilst politicians are busy in blame games, the current government seems to focus the budget solely on military purposes; demeaning the importance of the education sector.  As officials fail to deliver on a consistent basis, fortunately there are organizations and people who are cutting on their own bread for the better future of the nation. One such organization is The Garage School (TGS); an educational shrine for the underprivileged children as well as adults of Pakistan. “My basic aim is not just to give them education but to make sure they stand on their feet.” says Shabina Mustafa, the founder and driving force of The Garage School (TGS); providing free education, health care and vocational training for the past 15 years.  Whilst Shabina has been the spearhead behind the initiative, she was lucky enough to be supported by generous individuals and socially responsible corporations; this has helped her leverage TGS to greater heights. One such corporation is Microsoft Devices Pakistan, which recently donated 10 computers to aid the IT-based education of TGS’s students in Karachi. In a period where technology has become a necessity and a regular part of our lives, I was thrilled to see the children so excited about using their new computers – that for most of them was a new discovery; a device that might change their lives for the betterment of their future. “TGS has given me a new hope. When I go home, I feel a sense of achievement in me; a drive to wake up each morning and make my parents proud. Using the computer really excites me; it motivates me to attend school. I watch cartoons, play games, read poems – it feels as if the entire class room is stored in the device, it is incredible” says Abdul Raheem, a student of TGS. “I ate all the biscuits!” he exclaimed jubilantly as he finished playing Pacman on his new computer. The Garage School is a beam of inspiration for those who dare to dream. A place that started off with planks of wood and blocks of cement – now has a second school, a three storey premises, in the heart of Neelum Colony; the locality where most students reside. The learning center now provides academic classes as well as vocational training classes such as carpentry, computers, cutting, sewing and embroidery. It is also...

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Microsoft Devices Pakistan Donates PCs to the Garage School

Microsoft Devices Pakistan Donates PCs to the Garage School

When it comes to doing philanthropic work, one of the very first names that pop in mind are Mr and Mrs Bill Gates. Microsoft’s power couple have throughout the years donated millions of dollars not only for various charitable organizations but also for helping their fellow humanity in all ways poossible. Throwing light on the aforementioned subject, Microsoft Devices Pakistan made a donation of 10 fully functional PCs to The Garage School (TGS). The school, which currently enrolls more than 400 under-privileged students, will now be able to provide free quality IT education and impart modern tutoring to its students, which will help them in developing a sound future. The computers are fully equipped with the latest software and hardware components which will help the students learn and hone their computer skills on the most recent technology. The field of information technology is swiftly developing and as Pakistan is emerging on the map of technology savvy countries, it is pertinent that our younger generations are fully equipped with IT-based knowledge and information. Microsoft is focused towards opening various fronts for the promotion of digital education in the country and this donation is a step in that direction.  Speaking at the juncture, Kamran Masood Niazi, Communications Manager, Microsoft Devices Pakistan said: “Information technology is rapidly advancing and IT-based education is the need of the hour. With this donation to The Garage School, we at Microsoft pledge our support to the cause of promoting education in our younger generations. I would like to salute the tenacity and efforts of Ms. Shabina Mustafa in opening The Garage School, which provides quality education to the most under-privileged students of the society. The school is a beacon of hope for these students and Microsoft aims to further brighten and fill the lives of these students with modern IT education.” Commenting on the occasion, Shabina Mustafa, Founder, The Garage School said: “I would like to thank Microsoft for their generosity and noble donation which they have given to The Garage School. Their commitment for providing IT-based education and knowledge at the grass root level is commendable. We, at TGS aim to provide the best quality education to the under-privileged children of society to give them an equal chance at leading a successful life. The donation of these wonderful machines will help our students develop their computer knowledge from an early age and excel in the field of IT in the future. I believe that education is the most effective tool to put a nation on the road to prosperity and Microsoft is doing a great job in furthering the cause of education in Pakistan.” Similar thoughts were shared by Rizwan Rangoonwala,...

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Microsoft to bring Cortana on Android and iOS devices as well

Microsoft to bring Cortana on Android and iOS devices as well

Voice controlled personal assistants seem to be the so called “in-thing” these days with Apple’s Siri being the lead protagonist followed by Google Voice and now Microsoft’s very own voice controlled assistant for Windows Phone devices, Cortana which is scheduled to arrive later this year bundled along with the highly anticipated Windows Phone 8.1 update. From the look of things little Miss Cortana seems to have all the firepower to finally dethrone Miss Siri once it starts rolling out on a vast scale. When it comes to updates related to sports, latest news, stock exchange or whatever you are interested in, there are plenty of third party apps for that purpose with Google Now being on top of the list these days. Even though the apps along with Google Now are definitely useful, people still prefer using voice controlled personal assistants especially under those conditions where one doesn’t feel comfortable typing. Coming back to Cortana, we did manage to try it out recently on the newly launched Lumia 630 and the results were nothing but impressive. The responses were not only accurate but also at the same time the app worked flawlessly. For you all Android and iOS users who probably want to give it a try on their respective devices, Microsoft have got some good news even though it did startle us a bit considering the fact that both Siri and Google Voice are both exclusively for Android and iOS devices, Cortana on the other hand would be available on all three platforms once Microsoft officially starts rolling out the WP 8.1 update later this fall. Speaking on this regard, Windows Phone Group Program Manager Marcus Ash had this to say; “We want to scale Cortana internationally and across devices. The Android/iOS question is interesting. We’re asking, would Cortana be as effective if she didn’t have access to the details on your phone? We’re still trying to get Cortana adopted on Windows Phone and figure out what it wants to become there. But we’re actively talking about this.”   There are also rumors suggesting that Cortana could also make its way on to desktops as well as in vehicles for navigation purposes but we don’t have a possible time frame on exactly when that would happen. For now let us just stick to using Cortana on our handheld devices and with competition on an all time high, this does seem to be a healthy competitor. Stick around for more...

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The Nokia X Family getting a new member soon [Rumor]

The Nokia X Family getting a new member soon [Rumor]

News of The Nokia X family expecting a sibling in a few weeks time is going pretty wild lately. Microsoft seem to have continued with their Android smartphone venture according to news coming from our sources.  After acquiring  Nokia, Microsoft has shifted its main focus to Windows Phone devices, but it also has Android powered Nokias as well. Not to long ago Nokia now owned by Microsoft had launched the Nokia X , Nokia X+ and Nokia XL smartphones. Now, Microsoft are getting ready to launch the second generation of their Android powered device rumored to be called the “Nokia X2”. The Nokia X2 are rumored to have almost similar hardware specs to its predecessor, expect for a few differences. The main one being the bump in the RAM from 512Mb to 1GB. The screen size also increases to 4.3 inches and you get a VGA front facing camera as well. Other specs include a 5MP camera at the back and is powered by a Dual-Core Snapdragon 1.2 GHz processor.  As Microsoft tend to cover up their android device with their Windows Phone like theme, so not sure as to what version of Android this device will be running on. The Nokia X2 will not have the Google Play Store like its predecessor , but like with any Android device, it can always be rooted! According to Microsoft the next gen Android powered Nokia will be unveiled in a few weeks time, so we might probably see it by end of June or beginning of...

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Microsoft to finalize takeover deal with Nokia on April 25th – Future phones to be called Microsoft Mobile

Microsoft to finalize takeover deal with Nokia on April 25th – Future phones to be called Microsoft Mobile

Not so long ago we heard news (rumors) about Microsoft’s acquisition of the Finnish Cellular giants Nokia in the near future. Well that news is now most certainly official. The mega takeover deal amounting to $7.2 billion is scheduled to take place onFriday April 25th. In another blockbuster announcement, Microsoft has decided to drop the Nokia brand name and instead rename all their future devices simply “Microsoft Mobiles Oy”. According to a leaked letter in Finland, Nokia Oyj will be soon renamed as Microsoft Mobile Oy. “Please note that upon the close of the transaction between Microsoft and Nokia, the name of Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy. Microsoft Mobile Oy is the legal entity name that should be used for VAT IDs and for the issuance of invoices,” the company reportedly said in the leaked letter. Oyj is a Finnish abbreviation for a “public stock company” while the Oy is a term for a “corporation”. The closure of the deal doesn’t really mean the end of Nokia. Instead, it means an end to Nokia as the world knows it. Microsoft is buying Nokia’s mobile phones division, including the teams that make feature phones. But it is not buying the divisions that are responsible for network equipment business and Here maps. The company left behind by Microsoft will also keep rights to its name Nokia though Microsoft has bought the licence to use the Nokia brand name for 10 years as part of its $7.2 billion deal. Additionally, Microsoft has bought rights to use Lumia and Asha brand names. As part of the deal, Nokia has also agreed to not make a smartphone or phone using Nokia brand before the end of 2015. While the name Nokia will be replaced by Microsoft Mobile in the coming days in Finland  and possibly in other countries not much will change for Nokia’s business partners in the immediate future. “Under the terms of the sale, Microsoft will assume all rights, benefits and obligations of the Nokia Devices and Services business, including Nokia’s agreements with suppliers, customers and partners which pertain to the Devices and Services business. Therefore, the purpose of this letter is to update you that the current terms and conditions that you have with the Devices and Services business will not change,” Nokia notes in the leaked letter. Originally, Nokia’s deal with Microsoft was supposed to close before the end of March. But the regulatory approval from Chinese authorities was received just several days ago. Nokia’s problems with Indian tax authorities over the manufacturing plant in Chennai have also reportedly delayed the deal. But there are reports that Nokia and Microsoft may agree to leave the...

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HTC One M8 blowing the competition away in a screen latency test

HTC One M8 blowing the competition away in a screen latency test

During this fast paced war of  smartphones, facing each other in the epic of battles, be it processor power or how many more mega pixels your camera smartphone has etc. It is the little things which most people tend to over look until they have bought the product and then they realize it. Did my phone just lag? That is one thing which is crucial for any user to get the best experience he/she can have of his/her mobile device. You may have heard some people around you, or you might have experienced it yourself, that how iOS is so smooth and is the best when it comes to a lag free experience. They were probably right, until last year when Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 3 (67ms) and beat the latency score of Apple’s iPhone 5/5s (75ms). This year, it may be a bit hard to believe but, the all new HTC One (M8) has shattered all the previous records and according to French tech blog Lesnumeriques,  the M8 scored 46ms screen latency. Well as the competition gets hotter, we will be seeing devices with a better score and giving us users a much smoother experience.  Microsoft is one company which is working on a Zero latency program, so if you think the HTC One M8 is smooth, then you can not even begin to imagine what that would be. Well the future seems to be really bright in this domain and congratulations seem to be in order for the HTC team as well. So, is that one more reason to get the new HTC One...

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