Microsoft relooking Surface Pro, Xbox Music for SA

Microsoft is looking at launching hardware such as its Surface Pro tablet and online services such as Xbox Music and Video in SA.

That’s the word from the managing director of Microsoft South Africa, Zoaib Hoosen, who was speaking to journalists at Microsoft’s offices in Johannesburg.

Hoosen said there has been a major shift in the attitude of the corporation in the past year, and he expects to see more aggressive roll-outs of Microsoft’s online service to new markets.

“It’s an active conversation,” Hoosen said. However, to launch services in a particular market it must make sense for Microsoft to do so.

Distribution and logistics channels for the products and services need to be set up, and such costs need to be weighed against the demand for a product in a region.

This update from Hoosen comes after Microsoft said at the 2012 launch of Windows 8 in South Africa that it would be launching Xbox Music soon.

At the time, Microsoft brand ambassadors such as Chad le Clos, as well as staff, were said to be testing Xbox Music in South Africa for its imminent launch.

Hoosen was asked what held up the launch, and although he didn’t directly answer the question he suggested that Microsoft didn’t believe it made financial sense at the time.

South Africa has also missed out on three generations of Microsoft’s Surface tablet PCs since they first launched in February 2013.

Asked about local support for Microsoft’s voice assistant and natural language processing service Cortana, a spokesperson encouraged users to participate in the Windows Insider Program.

The programme lets users download and test early builds of Windows 10, which sends data about how the operating system is being used back to Microsoft. Participants are also able to file bug reports and make feature suggestions.

Microsoft said the more people from South Africa who participate and provide feedback, the better demand can be gauged and support for our English dialects and other languages can be provided.

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Microsoft relooking Surface Pro, Xbox Music for SA