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Microsoft to offer cloud services to Indian start-ups

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Bengaluru: Microsoft will offer free its Azure cloud services to start-ups in India for speeding up the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India, the global software major said on Tuesday.

“Our Azure cloud services, valued at $120,000 will be given free to qualified start-ups under the ‘BizSpark plus programme’ for building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country,” the company’s Indian subsidiary said in a statement here.

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Cloud services
such as software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service are provided by vendors over the internet to enterprises across verticals to drive their businesses.

“Startups need all the help they can to get access to the right tools, technology and guidance. At Microsoft, we are committed to supporting these startups and through the BizSpark Plus program we want to support India’s upcoming entrepreneurs,” said Microsoft Ventures India director Rajinish Menon.

Qualifying startups must be privately held, below five years old with sub $1 million revenue annually and be a member of select accelerator or venture capital firm, Microsoft added in the statement.

Microsoft BizSpark is a worldwide programme which gives wings to startup dreams by offering free Microsoft software development tools, connecting startups with key industry players, investors and giving marketing visibility.

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Image Source: blogs.technet.com


Startups will also receive the full suite of development and test software and Visual Studio, Windows and Office tools in this latest offering, Microsoft added.

In India, Microsoft is partnering 13 startup accelerators to roll-out the offering. They include 91Springboard, Reliance GenNext, Zone Startups, Pitney Bowes and others.

“The BizSpark Plus programme is a unique opportunity for startups who want to leverage the power of the Cloud and give a boost to their product development lifecycle,” the statement quoted 91Springboard partner Pranay Gupta as saying.

Internationally, Microsoft partners 150 startup accelerators in 47 countries.

Microsoft is also participating in the ‘Digital India’ programme initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by organising hackathons in 17 college campuses across India targeting 4,000 students, the statement added. (IANS)

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Cuba Gets Nationwide Internet For A Day

“We need to be able to put the content of the revolution online,” he told parliament in July, adding that Cubans could thus “counter the avalanche of pseudo-cultural, banal and vulgar content” on the internet.

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Cubans check their phones at an internet hotspot in Havana, Cuba, Aug. 10, 2018. A day of free, expanded internet was provided by the state-run telecommunications company
Cubans check their phones at an internet hotspot in Havana, Cuba, Aug. 10, 2018. A day of free, expanded internet was provided by the state-run telecommunications company. VOA

Cuba’s government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island’s more than 5 million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere’s least connected countries. State-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA announced the trial, with Tuesday marking the first time internet services were available nationwide.

There are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration.

Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, considered the country’s social media pioneer, raved that she had directly sent a tweet from her mobile. In another tweet, she called the test a “citizen’s victory.”

A young Cuban checks his phone at an internet hotspot next to a picture of late revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Havana
A young Cuban checks his phone at an internet hotspot next to a picture of late revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Havana. VOA

On the streets of Havana, mobile users said they were happy about the day of free internet, even as some complained that connectivity was notably slower than usual.

“This is marvelous news because we can talk with family abroad without going to specific WiFi spots, there is more intimacy,” said taxi driver Andres Peraza.

Forty percent of Cubans have relatives living abroad.

Leinier Valdez, one of a group of young people trying to connect, said, “this is great. Its better and more so when you can connect for free.”

Hotspots currently charge about $1 an hour although monthly wages in Cuba average just $30.

The government has not yet said how much most Cubans would pay for mobile internet, or when exactly sales of the service will begin. But ETECSA is already charging companies and embassies $45 a month for four gigabytes.

Analysts have said broader Web access will ultimately weaken government control over what information reaches people in a country where the state has a monopoly on the media.

Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access.
Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access.

Whether because of a lack of cash, a long-running U.S. trade embargo or concerns about the flow of information, Cuba has lagged far behind most countries in Web access. Until 2013, internet was largely only available to the public at tourist hotels on the island.

But the government has since made boosting connectivity a priority, introducing cybercafes and outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots and slowly starting to hook up homes to the Web.

Long before he took office from Raul Castro in April, 58-year-old President Miguel Diaz-Canel championed the cause.

Also Read: Android Development and Data Analysis- Bloodlines of The Internet Industry

“We need to be able to put the content of the revolution online,” he told parliament in July, adding that Cubans could thus “counter the avalanche of pseudo-cultural, banal and vulgar content” on the internet. VOA