Posts Tagged ‘affordable’

postheadericon Microsoft offers grants to organizations working to improve affordable internet access

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 1, 2016 — On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. renewed its Affordable Access Initiative grant fund for a second year. The fund assists companies working to bring internet access and new technologies, services and models to underserved markets. The application process is now open for a new set of partners.

“The social enterprises we support have inspired us with practical, high-impact and scalable approaches to help close the digital divide,” said Microsoft Affordable Access Initiatives Director Paul Garnett, writing in NextBillion. “It’s a privilege to see these solutions take shape, and to play a role in helping local entrepreneurs spur job creation and economic growth.”

In the fund’s first round of investments, Microsoft awarded grants to 12 businesses offering affordable internet access or cloud-based services in fields such as power generation, health, education, finance and agriculture.

AirJaldi, a 2016 grant recipient, provides high-quality Wi-Fi broadband connectivity at reasonable rates to more than 90,000 public- and private-sector clients in rural India. Vista Africa, another recipient from last year, is a cloud-based software platform that helps healthcare providers more easily screen, track and treat patients’ health in areas where connectivity is limited.

In addition to receiving funding and software to help power and develop their businesses, grant recipients will join a growing ecosystem of other grantees and funders to further increase their impact.

This initiative is also connected to the work of Microsoft Philanthropies, which is helping to bring technology’s benefits to those who need them most. Microsoft Philanthropies is making its digital literacy, online safety and computer science education programs available to grant recipients and the communities they serve.

“Too many people around the world lack internet connectivity and the educational, commercial and economic benefits of cloud-based services,” said Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies. “Affordable Access Initiative grants, and the technology ecosystems they help support, empower entrepreneurs to provide connectivity, which then enables the creation of critical services for those who need it most.”

How to apply

Applicants must be commercial organizations with two or more full-time employees and have a prototype of a working solution and preferably paying customers. Such products and business models might combine new cloud services and applications, low-cost forms of internet connectivity, and new payment mechanisms designed for consumers and smaller businesses in underserved markets. A list of criteria, and the application, can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/affordable-access-initiative/home. Applications will be accepted until midnight PST on Jan. 31, 2017.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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postheadericon Microsoft offers grants to organizations working to improve affordable internet access

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 1, 2016 — On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. renewed its Affordable Access Initiative grant fund for a second year. The fund assists companies working to bring internet access and new technologies, services and models to underserved markets. The application process is now open for a new set of partners.

“The social enterprises we support have inspired us with practical, high-impact and scalable approaches to help close the digital divide,” said Microsoft Affordable Access Initiatives Director Paul Garnett, writing in NextBillion. “It’s a privilege to see these solutions take shape, and to play a role in helping local entrepreneurs spur job creation and economic growth.”

In the fund’s first round of investments, Microsoft awarded grants to 12 businesses offering affordable internet access or cloud-based services in fields such as power generation, health, education, finance and agriculture.

AirJaldi, a 2016 grant recipient, provides high-quality Wi-Fi broadband connectivity at reasonable rates to more than 90,000 public- and private-sector clients in rural India. Vista Africa, another recipient from last year, is a cloud-based software platform that helps healthcare providers more easily screen, track and treat patients’ health in areas where connectivity is limited.

In addition to receiving funding and software to help power and develop their businesses, grant recipients will join a growing ecosystem of other grantees and funders to further increase their impact.

This initiative is also connected to the work of Microsoft Philanthropies, which is helping to bring technology’s benefits to those who need them most. Microsoft Philanthropies is making its digital literacy, online safety and computer science education programs available to grant recipients and the communities they serve.

“Too many people around the world lack internet connectivity and the educational, commercial and economic benefits of cloud-based services,” said Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies. “Affordable Access Initiative grants, and the technology ecosystems they help support, empower entrepreneurs to provide connectivity, which then enables the creation of critical services for those who need it most.”

How to apply

Applicants must be commercial organizations with two or more full-time employees and have a prototype of a working solution and preferably paying customers. Such products and business models might combine new cloud services and applications, low-cost forms of internet connectivity, and new payment mechanisms designed for consumers and smaller businesses in underserved markets. A list of criteria, and the application, can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/affordable-access-initiative/home. Applications will be accepted until midnight PST on Jan. 31, 2017.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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postheadericon Microsoft provides grants to accelerate the delivery of affordable Internet access

REDMOND, Wash. — May 23, 2016 — Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced it has awarded Affordable Access Initiative grants to 12 entrepreneurial businesses to help scale their solutions and business models to increase affordable Internet access in communities around the world. Each company will receive seed grants and resources including BizSpark tools such as free software, services and technology support to help extend the reach of their hardware, applications, connectivity and power solutions. Today’s news marks progress on the commitments Microsoft made earlier this year to invest $ 1 billion to bring the power of cloud technology to serve the public good, including through expanding the availability of affordable broadband services, new commercial partnerships and expanded philanthropic programs.

“With more than half of the world’s population lacking access to the Internet, connectivity is a global challenge that demands creative problem solving,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft. “By using technology that’s available now and partnering with local entrepreneurs who understand the needs of their communities, our hope is to create sustainable solutions that will not only have impact today but also in the years to come.”

Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative aims to democratize access to the Internet through grants, commercial partnerships, connecting new leaders and community engagement. Grant recipients are already addressing a range of challenges that take advantage of last-mile access technologies such as TV white spaces, and their business models also demonstrate the ability to scale up and be market-sustained. Grant recipients are based across five continents in 11 countries: Argentina, Botswana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition to financial support, grant recipients will have access to the following:

  • A global network connecting social enterprises with peers and mentors to develop and share best practices
  • Participation in annual immersive summits and monthly virtual touchpoints, alongside ongoing support from Microsoft’s Research and Development team.

And, to further empower people and organization in communities benefitting from the Affordable Access Initiative, Microsoft Philanthropies will make digital literacy, online safety and computer science education programs available through its global YouthSpark initiative, as well as cloud product donations and training for nonprofits.

Below is a complete list of the Affordable Access Initiative grant recipients. You can learn more about their solutions and Microsoft’s commitment to affordable access at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/affordable-access-initiative/home.

Power Solutions

  • African Renewable Energy Distributor (Rwanda)
  • New Sun Road (Uganda)

Hardware Solutions

  • Zaya Learning Labs (India)

Connectivity Solutions

  • AirJaldi (India)
  • Axiom Technologies (United States)
  • C3: Communications Consulting Centre (Malawi)
  • Ekovolt (Nigeria)
  • Wi-Fi Interactive Network (Philippines)

Application Solutions

  • Kelase (Indonesia)
  • Movivo (United Kingdom)
  • Tambero.com (Argentina)
  • VistaBotswana (Botswana)

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

 

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postheadericon Microsoft introduces Lumia 430: The most affordable Lumia smartphone

March 19, 2015: This press release was updated post-publication to include Ukraine in the group of select markets to where the Lumia 430 will begin rolling out in April 2015.

REDMOND, Wash. — March 19, 2015 — Microsoft Corp. on Thursday unlocked the promise of smartphone ownership for many more people with the introduction of Lumia 430 Dual SIM, the latest addition to its affordable range of Lumia smartphones. Built with the latest Windows Phone 8.1 software, a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor featuring a dual-core CPU running at 1.2GHz, and with Microsoft Office, Skype and OneDrive pre-loaded, the Lumia 430 Dual SIM was designed to help people achieve more at work, at play and on the go. With an estimated retail price of $ 70,1 it is also the most affordably priced Lumia that will be able to upgrade to Windows 10.2

Microsoft continues to expand its affordable smartphone portfolio, which now spans a diverse range of price points and capabilities, from the super-affordable Lumia 435 with Lumia Camera to the recently announced Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, which come with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal. People can have their choice of Lumia device to suit their everyday needs and budget. Windows Phone 8.1 devices like the Lumia 430 Dual SIM will benefit from further innovation, with the ability to upgrade them to Windows 10 when the service debuts later this year.2

The Lumia 430 Dual SIM features a compact, durable and colorful design with a vivid 4-inch WVGA display that brings all the latest apps, games and videos to life. With Lumia 430, people can instantly achieve more every day, and they can use Microsoft Office and Outlook for work and personal productivity. They can access up to 30 GB of free cloud storage on OneDrive for safekeeping important content. People can experience the fun of video calls with Skype-integrated calling and a front-facing camera. Smart Dual SIM allows people to assign unique profiles to their SIM cards, such as “work” or “family,” to help them better manage daily communication. Favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Candy Crush Saga and Instagram are available, with more apps and entertainment just a click away on the Windows Phone Store.

“People around the world have responded enthusiastically to our affordable Lumia range. We continue to invest in this segment to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy signature Microsoft experiences, regardless of budget,” said Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for Phones at Microsoft. “The Lumia 430 Dual SIM continues our commitment to combining the right hardware, software, services and apps with the right price to give people a smartphone they can afford and be proud to use.”

The Lumia 430 Dual SIM will begin rolling out in select markets in the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus starting in April 2015, and in India toward the end of April 2015. Pricing for Lumia 430 is $ 70.1 It will be available in two colors: bright orange and black.3

About Microsoft Devices

The Microsoft Devices Group includes award-winning hardware used by over a billion people around the world, including Lumia smartphones, Nokia ultra-affordable feature phones, Xbox hardware, Surface and Surface Hub, Microsoft Band, and HoloLens.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Before local taxes and subsidiaries. Actual pricing may vary by market.

2 Like any upgrade to a new operating system, not every phone will support all possible Windows 10 features. Certain features and experiences will require more advanced future hardware.

3 Device color varies by market.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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postheadericon Microsoft Lumia 435 and Lumia 532: the most affordable Lumia devices to date

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 14, 2015 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced the Microsoft Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 smartphones, the most affordable Lumia devices to date. Offering the latest Windows Phone 8.1 capabilities at an incredible price, both Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 deliver smartphone experiences that help people do more on the go.

With many people looking to upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone for the first time, Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 provide a balance of features and power, while also bringing Windows Phone 8.1 experiences to new price points. Lumia 435 is the first 400 series Lumia and the most affordable Lumia yet. With core smartphone features, incredible Windows Phone experiences and access to the latest apps, it opens up the Lumia Windows Phone experience to even more people. Lumia 532 is a powerful quad-core smartphone that builds on the success of the Lumia 530. With a premium layered design, Glance Screen, front-facing camera and more memory than the Lumia 530, Lumia 532 enables people to achieve their goals with Microsoft experiences:

  • Switch effortlessly between voice and video calls with built-in Skype integration and a front-facing camera.
  • Read, review, edit and share on the go with the full suite of Microsoft Office on Windows Phone preinstalled.
  • Keep your photos, videos and Office documents safely backed up with 30 GB of free* OneDrive cloud storage.
  • Meet Cortana, the most personal of virtual assistants, who anticipates your needs and makes tailored suggestions as a result.
  • Easily manage work and personal correspondence on the fly, with Microsoft Outlook straight out of the box.
  • Capture photos quickly and easily with Lumia Camera right out of the box, and take, edit and share great selfies with the front-facing camera and Lumia Selfie app.
  • Have your home screen your way with the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1 and the Lumia Denim update, complete with one-swipe Action Center, Word Flow and Live Folders.
  • Stay up-to-date with the best new features through regular Windows updates too.

“When we launched the first Lumia devices over three years ago, we said we were committed to bringing devices to as many people and price points as possible,” said Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for Phones at Microsoft. “With the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532, we’ve realized our goal of creating the most affordable Lumia devices to date, opening up the opportunity to reach those people who are buying a smartphone for the very first time. Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 deliver competitive hardware alongside innovative software that will continue to receive the very latest updates and enhancements, keeping users up-to-date with the best new features.”

Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 will begin rolling out to key markets in Europe, APAC and IMEA in February. Both devices will be available in bright green, bright orange, white and black, and will be available in single- and dual-SIM variants, with the latter SIM setup also coming equipped with Smart Dual SIM to easily manage calls and texts to either number in use. Pricing will vary by market and operator, but is estimated to be around 69 euros before taxes and subsidies for Lumia 435 and around 79 euros before taxes and subsidies for Lumia 532.

About Microsoft Devices

The Microsoft Devices Group includes award-winning hardware used by over a billion people around the world, including Lumia smartphones and tablets, Nokia mobile phones, Xbox hardware, Surface, Perceptive Pixel products, and accessories.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Up to 30GB free when camera backup is activated

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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postheadericon Microsoft Lumia 535: “5x5x5” innovation with an affordable price tag

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 10, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. announced on Monday the Microsoft Lumia 535 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM smartphones running the latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, bringing the latest Microsoft experiences to more affordable price levels.

Offering five great included Microsoft experiences, a wide-angle 5 megapixel front-facing camera, and a spacious 5-inch display — all for an affordable price — Lumia 535 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM help people do more of what they want, for less:

  • Make memorable Skype video calls, and seamlessly switch between voice and video with built-in Skype integration.
  • Access, edit and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and OneNote notebooks wherever you are, with the pre-installed Office suite.
  • Save and sync photos, videos and Office documents securely with 15 GB of free OneDrive cloud storage.
  • Experience Cortana, a truly personal virtual assistant that anticipates people’s needs and makes tailored suggestions.
  • Connect with work and personal e-mail while on the go, with Microsoft Outlook built in.
  • Showcase photos and videos, or get even more productive with Office on the large, 5-inch qHD display.
  • Fit more memorable backgrounds or add more friends into Skype video calls and selfies with the 5MP wide-angle front-facing camera.
  • Never miss a call or text, and be reachable on both SIM cards at any time with Smart Dual SIM for maximum flexibility.

“Lumia 535 comes with our ‘5x5x5’ proposition,” said Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for Phones at Microsoft. “Innovation should be available to everyone, and we are doing this through the very best integrated Microsoft services included and out of the box, a 5MP wide-angle front-facing camera, and a spacious 5-inch qHD screen — all at an affordable price.”

Lumia 535 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM will begin rolling out to key markets in November and will be available in bright green, bright orange, white, dark grey, cyan and black. Pricing for Lumia 535 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM will vary by market and operator, but the estimated retail price will be around 110 euros before taxes and subsidies.

About Microsoft Devices

The Microsoft Devices Group includes award-winning hardware used by over a billion people around the world, including Lumia smartphones and tablets, Nokia mobile phones, Xbox hardware, Surface, Perceptive Pixel products, and accessories.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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postheadericon Microsoft Devices Group expands affordable smartphone portfolio with the Nokia X2

REDMOND, Wash. — June 24, 2014 On Tuesday, Microsoft Devices Group unveiled the Nokia X2, the newest addition to the expanding Nokia X family of affordable smartphones designed to introduce the “next billion” people to the mobile Internet and cloud services. The Nokia X2 represents the rapid evolution of the Nokia X family, delivering an enhanced experience across apps, hardware and the user interface. The Nokia X2 offers stunning design, a more visually striking Fastlane, more Microsoft services, and upgraded specifications including a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display and 5MP rear camera with autofocus and flash. At a suggested retail price of just 99 euros,[1] the Nokia X2 is a compelling choice for a new generation of smartphone buyers.


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Like the Nokia X, the new Nokia X2 provides access to a world of Android apps and popular Microsoft services, while allowing people to switch between their favorite apps with the Fastlane feature. The Nokia X2 delivers an even more intuitive, smoother user experience powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 200 processor featuring a dual core 1.2Ghz CPU and 1 GB of RAM. The Nokia X2 debuts the next-generation Nokia X Software Platform 2.0 and major enhancements to the user interface. People can choose between three types of screens to facilitate navigation: the colorful “home” with resizable tiles; Fastlane to access recent apps and future calendar items; and a new Lumia-inspired apps list, from which people can pin items to the home screen. A pull-down notifications tab also allows people to glance at connectivity options as well as actionable items, such as software updates available for download. A new home key and visual multitasking complete the experience.

Microsoft continues to invest in services for the Nokia X family

As a gateway to Microsoft services, the Nokia X family is driving strong uptake of services such as Skype and OneDrive, while complementing the Lumia family of smartphones. The Nokia X2 will debut with Outlook.com, Skype and OneDrive pre-loaded, with more available from the Nokia Store, including the Bing Search app.

New-to-the-lineup services including OneNote and Yammer are also available to download free[2] from the Nokia Store. OneNote allows people to create notes and save them to the cloud through OneDrive, while Yammer makes collaborating with people online as easy as posting to a social network. The option to automatically back up the camera roll to OneDrive takes full advantage of 15 GB of free cloud storage now available through the service, for safeguarding photos, videos, documents and more.

The Nokia X2 will also introduce new third-party titles such as LINE Ranger, Brewster and Findery. Instagram, WeChat, Skype, Benji Bananas Adventures and many more are already available on the redesigned, easy-to-navigate Nokia Store — the place for finding the highest-quality Android apps for the Nokia X family.

Stunning , distinctive design

The Nokia X2 features a seamless monobody and showcases a new approach to the design of the exchangeable back covers that fuses a brightly colored core with a translucent outer layer. The overall result is a durable device that appears lit from within.

The Nokia X2 will be available at launch in glossy orange, black and green, with glossy yellow, white and matte dark grey coming later to the lineup.

“The Nokia X family is going from strength to strength, with the Nokia X smartphone achieving top-selling status in Pakistan, Russia, Kenya and Nigeria,[3] while earning the third-best-selling smartphone spot in India,” said Timo Toikkanen, head of Mobile Phones, Microsoft Devices Group. “The Nokia X2 elevates the Nokia X experience with a stellar new design, ease of use and new Microsoft experiences. We’re proud to continue to bring smartphone innovation to lower and lower price points.”

The Nokia X2 will be available initially as a dual-SIM device and will begin rolling out globally in July 2014 for 99 euros.[4]

Nokia X2: S pecifications at a glance

About Microsoft Devices

Microsoft Devices Group is responsible for the company’s devices strategy, including Lumia smartphones and tablets, Nokia mobile phones, Xbox hardware, Surface, Perceptive Pixel products, and accessories.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

[1] Suggested retail price before local taxes and subsidies.

[2] Carrier fees may apply.

[3] No. 1 in its price point in Russia, Kenya, Nigeria; No.1 overall in Pakistan (all rankings Gfk).

[4] Suggested retail price before local taxes and subsidies.

Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

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Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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