Free WiFi at Microsoft Africa Tech-Ed 2010

Free WiFi for Tech-Ed Africa? You’d better believe it, thanks to an agreement between Microsoft and MTN Business that will effectively see a 50Mbps international pipe being bolted onto the side of Durban’s ICC for the duration of the event later this month in South Africa.

Tech-Ed Africa 2010, Microsoft’s premier event for IT professionals and developers, runs from 17-20 October at Durban’s iconic International Conference Centre (ICC) – and is expected to attract 2 500 hard-core geeks for three days of in-depth workshops, demos and insights from an array of top local and international speakers.

MTN Business’ participation means users will be able to access Web sites and applications using the WiFi provided, as well as take part in presentations that will be done using videoconferencing. Microsoft will be splitting the connectivity between free browsing and streaming international presentations.

“We’re proud to demonstrate our highly resilient, low latency technology capabilities to such a tech-savvy audience,” says Angela Gahagan, managing executive at MTN Business. “We look forward to making their experience at Tech-Ed a fantastic one.”

This year’s Tech-Ed delegates will also get the unique opportunity to get hands-on and personal with the two jewels in Microsoft’s consumer crown, the upcoming Windows Phone 7 and the controller-free Kinect gaming system.

Katrien De Graeve, a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft BeLux, will be showcasing the Windows Phone 7 platform for developers. She plans to make her sessions interesting, practical and, above all, hands-on.

“I want to show all the capabilities of the phone. In these sessions, we will actually build sample applications end-to-end. After all, Tech-Ed is as much about fun as it is about learning,” says De Graeve.

Windows Phone 7 is a completely new offering when compared to Windows Mobile 6.5: the new device offers a music player, social network integration, Xbox Live games, Office applications, as well as the typical e-mail and contacts integration.

The highly anticipated Kinect brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways, with full body play – no controllers. Microsoft believes the natural, intuitive interface will herald a new era in how people interact with devices in the future.