Updated: 5/16/2006; 4:12:48 PM.

Digital Development
Communications and info tech in developing countries, especially wireless broadband and high-value applications

daily link  Friday, March 19, 2004

Microsoft goes even more global: "The latest versions of the company's dominant Windows computer operating system and popular Office software will soon be available in languages ranging from Ethiopia's Amharic to Inuktitut of the Arctic's Inuit, under a project between Microsoft and various local governments and universities.  The Local Language Program has already resulted in a Hindi version of Microsoft's software, and there are plans to make Windows and Office available in a total of nine languages spoken in India by the end of the year.  The software maker hopes the program will soon double the roster of languages available for Microsoft products, from 40 to 80. Hundreds of millions of people speak the languages that will be offered, but it's unclear how many of them have access to computers right now."  2:45:43 AM  permalink  

WiFi paid hotspots disappoint:  Hotspots worldwide generate $80m/yr, in the US $28m -- "what Verizon Wireless generates every 12 hours" with cell phones.  Analysts expect that no hotspot provider will make money before the end of 2005.  Cometa has built only 230 hotspots and won't say how many of the original 20,000 planned will actually get built. 

In Asia, providers are selling access at lower prices.  In S Korea, one provider offers unlimted wifi for $13/mo, or only $1/mo additional for home broadband subscribers. They have 360,000 subcribers.  Similar Hong Kong providers have 40,000. Last year, 4.7m Asians used a hotspot, compared to 2.7m Americans and 1.7m Europeans.  Resistance to $6/hr or $10/rates is high.

  2:17:21 AM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 4:12:48 PM.