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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)

Next Story

People of Lao Find Social Media For News Most Trustworthy

The number of the country’s social media users is now projected to reach 2.7 million or 39 percent of the population this year, according to the report.

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“The stories broadcast on TV aren’t clear, and are screened ahead of time by the authorities,” the man said, adding, “The internet is not restricted, and the authorities can’t control the information we find on it.” Pixabay

Lao residents are increasingly abandoning state-controlled news sources and turning more to the internet and social media to get news they can trust, sources in the communist Southeast Asian country say.

Facebook and the internet also provide news more quickly and feature live videos, a young woman living in Xayaburi province in the country’s north told RFA’s Lao Service on April 23.

“Lao TV just reads the news and doesn’t show the real thing,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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“Increasingly aware of the restrictions imposed on the official media, Laotians are turning to the Internet and social media,” RSF said in its report. 
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“For example, when there was a flood in Attapeu province, social media very quickly reported the number of deaths,” the young woman said. “But the Lao government was not really open about any of this,” she said.

Also speaking to RFA, a man in Savannakhet province in the south of Laos said he now reads Facebook to get news not previously screened by authorities.

“[Lao] TV provides only restricted news and information, for example news about drug trafficking and other news about the country,” the man said, also speaking on condition he not be named.

“The stories broadcast on TV aren’t clear, and are screened ahead of time by the authorities,” the man said, adding, “The internet is not restricted, and the authorities can’t control the information we find on it.”

Both sources told RFA that they frequently check their smart phones when looking for news and other updated information whenever they can get a clear signal, looking also at the social media platforms Line, WhatsApp, and WeChat.

‘Absolute control’

In an annual report released earlier this month, Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) gave Laos a ranking of 171, close to the bottom of a 180-country survey of press freedoms worldwide, saying that the country’s ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) “exercises absolute control over the media.”

“Increasingly aware of the restrictions imposed on the official media, Laotians are turning to the Internet and social media,” RSF said in its report.

“But use of online news and information platforms is held back by a 2014 decree under which Internet users who criticize the government and the Marxist-Leninist LPRP can be jailed,” the press freedoms group said.

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“Lao TV just reads the news and doesn’t show the real thing,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Pixabay

Speaking to RFA, a Lao government official dismissed the RSF report, saying, “We have a socialist media, and we serve a socialist regime, the Party and the government.  I don’t believe in their ranking.”

“Our government doesn’t force us to do anything,” he said. “For example, if the government tells us not to publish a story, we simply don’t do it.”

Also Read: Xiaomi Launches 2 Budget Smartphones in India

The number of people using social media in Laos is expected to surge this year, as telecom operators compete with each other to offer better services, a report released at the beginning of April by the state-controlled Lao National Internet Centre shows.

The number of the country’s social media users is now projected to reach 2.7 million or 39 percent of the population this year, according to the report. (RFA)