Tag Archives: Microsoft Malaysia

2020 Surface Laptop Go : Price + Availability In Malaysia!

Microsoft just announced the official price list and availability of the 2020 Surface Laptop Go in Malaysia! Check them out!

 

2020 Surface Laptop Go : What Is It?

The Surface Laptop Go is Microsoft’s lightest and most affordable laptop option for both business and home users.

The 2020 Surface Laptop Go boasts a 12.4-inch PixelSense touchscreen display, a large precision trackpad and a full-sized keyboard with 1.3 mm key travel.

It is built around the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 quad-core processor, and comes with up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of SSD storage.

They also come with a built-in 720p HD camera with Studio Microphones and Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Audio support.

For a quick and secure sign-in, select 2020 Surface Laptop Go models have a Fingerprint Power Button with One Touch sign-in through Windows Hello.

They all have a long battery life of up to 13 hours, with Fast Charging capability, to let users keep working all day.

Finally, they all have both USB Type A and USB Type C ports, an 3.5 mm radio jack and the Surface connector.

 

2020 Surface Laptop Go : Price + Availability In Malaysia!

The 2020 Surface Laptop Go is available in Malaysia, starting 24 November 2020, at these price points :

2020 Surface Laptop Go Consumers Business
Core i5, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC RM 2,758
Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD RM 3,388 RM 3,780
Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD RM 4,288 RM 4,561
Core i5, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD RM 5,416

Here are some online purchase options :

Surface for Business devices provides specific experiences and features built especially for commercial customers including :

  • enterprise-grade security, and leading modern management with Autopilot,
  • Surface Enterprise Management Mode (SEMM) and Microsoft Intune.
  • Windows 10 Pro comes standard on Surface for Business devices
  • In addition to the standard hardware warranty, Surface for Business customers get free Advanced Exchange – a warranty service with expedited device replacement, at no additional cost.

 

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2020 Microsoft Digital Civility Index : Some Surprises!

The 2020 Microsoft Digital Civility Index was just released in conjunction with Safer Internet Day, their fourth report on the state of online civility worldwide.

Here is a quick summary of what Microsoft revealed in their 2020 Digital Civility Index, including some surprises!

 

2020 Microsoft Digital Civility Index : What Is It?

The 2020 Microsoft Digital Civility Index is a survey of 12,520 adults and teenagers across 25 countries around the world.

  • There were approximately 500 participants per country.
  • The interviews were conducted through a 14-minute online survey.
  • The adults were between 18 and 74 years of age.
  • The teenagers were between 13 and 17 years of age.

 

2020 Microsoft Digital Civility Index : Key Findings

Top 5 + Bottom 5 Countries

First, let’s start with the Top 5 and Bottom 5 countries ranked by the 2020 Microsoft Digital Civility Index.

Top 5 Countries : United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, USA

Bottom 5 Countries : Vietnam, Russia, Colombia, Peru, South Africa

Not bad! Malaysia is in the top 5! What a nice surprise!

But it is sobering to see that even in the “most digitally civil” country – the United Kingdom, more than half reported uncivil online behaviour.

The Most Common Risks

The most common uncivil behaviour encountered online were :

  • Unwanted sexting : 25%
  • Online harassment : 24%
  • Hoaxes, scams and fraud : 20%
  • Trolling : 19%
  • Hate speech : 18%

The 5 Most Painful Online Risks

There were some significant year-on-year changes on the 5 most painful online risks they faced in 2019 :

  • Damage to personal reputation : 95% (up 14%)
  • Misogyny : 91% (up 16%)
  • Sexual solicitation : 87% (up 32%)
  • Cyberbullying : 86% (up 21%)
  • Damage to professional reputation : 85% (up 10%)

Other Interesting Findings Summarised

Here is a quick summary of other interesting findings from the 2020 Microsoft Digital Civility Index report :

  • Topics that drive uncivil behaviour : Religion (45%), Politics (39%), Sexual Orientation (37%), Race (37%)
  • Most common place for uncivil behaviour : Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  • 49% have had contact with the perpetrator in real life
  • Risks and consequences are significantly higher if the perpetrator has had contact with the victim in real life
  • Millennials (66%) and Boomers (62%) are the most at-risk adult groups

 

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Microsoft + IDC : APAC Higher Education Can Double Innovation With AI!

Microsoft Asia and IDC Asia Pacific just released findings of a study which suggests that higher education institutions in APAC can double their rate of innovation with AI (artificial intelligence)!

 

APAC Higher Education Can Double Innovation With AI!

The Microsoft-IDC study – Future Ready Skills : Assessing APAC Education Sector’s Use of AI – found that AI (artificial intelligence) will help double the rate of innovation for higher education institutions.

This involves using AI to better manage student performance and enhance student engagements, while optimising operations to reduce work amongst the faculty and administrative staff.

Based on the study, the top business drivers to adopt AI in higher education include better student engagement, higher funding, and accelerated innovation.

Institutions that have already adopted AI say that they are seeing improvements in the rate of 11% to 28% in those areas.

By 2021, Microsoft and IDC predict that institutions using AI will experience the biggest jump in funding – 3.7X, which is higher than most industry sectors in Asia Pacific.

 

AI In Higher Education Case Study

Developing a globally engaged citizenry is one of Japan’s key priorities. However, many students avoid studying or going abroad, as doing so can delay them from taking classes they need to graduate.

The Faculty of Engineering at Hokkaido University, for example, has chosen to implement AI as part of its mission to encourage students to study abroad.

They developed a Microsoft Azure-based e-learning system that leverages AI and automation capabilities. This system lets students keep up with coursework back home, with course preparation streamlined from days to mere hours.

 

AI Skills Required For The Future Of Higher Education

Both education leaders and their staff are equally positive about the impact of AI on higher education jobs.

A large majority (61%) of both segments believe that AI will either help them do their jobs better, or reduce repetitive tasks.

21% of education leaders, and 13% of their staff also agree that AI will help create new jobs in higher education.

However, the requisite skills for an AI future are currently in shortage. The top three skills that education leaders believe will face a shortage in the next three years include :

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  • IT skills and programming
  • Digital skills
  • Quantitative, analytical and statistical skills

The Study also noted a disconnect with the perception of education leaders of their staff’s willingness to reskill to adapt to an AI future.

26% of education leaders believe that their staff have no interest to reskill, but in reality, only 11% of their staff had no interest to reskill.

 

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World’s Oldest PM Learns Coding From Two 10 Year Old Girls!

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the world’s oldest PM, just showed the world that you are never too young or too old to learn coding, when he got a lesson in coding by two 10-year old girls!

 

The Importance Of Learning To Code

Businesses all over the world are racing to digitally transform into intelligent organisations.

In the digital economy of the future, digital skills and STEM will become the new passport to success for the individual as well as the nation.

Here in Malaysia, the government already understands the importance of coding and STEM skills, launching the STEM4All campaign with Microsoft Malaysia.

 

But Coding Is Not Just For The Young…

However, while coding and STEM skills will be critical to the future of our students, they are already very important in the world place today.

The digital transformation of businesses and organisations depends on the coding skills of their employees today.

Therefore, it is also critical for the employees of today to learn how to code. Coding is not just for the young…

 

As World’s Oldest PM Learns Coding From Two 10 Year Old Girls!

The world’s oldest Prime Minister – Dr. Mahathir Mohamad – at 94 years and counting, recently sat down for a coding session with two 10 year old girls.

These girls, who are Microsoft Malaysia Ambassadors, are part of the new generation of children who are as comfortable coding, as they are playing with Legos.

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In their exclusive coding session, Chloe Soh Ke Er and Serena Zara Taufiq taught Dr. Mahathir how to code, proving that everyone can learn to code!

“As Malaysia continues its digital transformation journey, technology plays an important role. Mobility, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (or AI), and Big Data Analytics are among the most important drivers of digital transformation.

With that, STEM needs to be democratized in order to develop Future Ready Malaysian Talent,” said Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad

The video was released by the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia, as part of the Malaysian government’s effort to break down barriers to STEM education and digital literacy amongst Malaysians.

 

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Microsoft Malaysia Rated Top 10 Tech Employer In 2018!

Microsoft Malaysia was just announced as a top 10 tech employer in the 2018 Graduates Choice Award! Here are the full details!

 

Microsoft Malaysia Rated Top 10 Tech Employer In 2018

Microsoft Malaysia was just ranked as a top 10 tech employer in the 2018 Graduates Choice Award.

Organised by HRINCAMPUS and supported by various University Board Members such as Taylor’s University, Sunway University and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, the 2018 Graduates Choice Award features more than 360 nominees in total, as nominated by Universities nationwide.

The award also received the support of the Ministry of Education, MDEC and Career Development Centre Club Malaysia (CDCC).

Undergraduates from across Malaysia were then given the opportunity to vote for their favorite graduate employer brands. With 10 winners per contesting category, and 10 contesting categories in total, only 100 brands emerged at the top and were declared as the recipients of the Graduates Choice Award.

 

Microsoft Malaysia’s Record As A Tech Employer

With over 44 years of experience in the industry and 25 years in Malaysia, Microsoft Malaysia has long invested in the development of talent in Malaysia, with education-linked initiatives as one of its top priorities.

Events such as the Imagine Cup, which was hosted in Kuala Lumpur in April this year, provides an avenue for Microsoft to reach out to students who are keen to dive deeper into the tech industry.

Microsoft has also partnered with educational institutions, as well as the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports for the introduction of Digital ILKBS and the Ministry of Education to launch the STEM4ALL campaign.

These initiatives allow students to witness the work that is being done by Microsoft in Malaysia, inspiring them to join the company upon graduation.

The work culture in Microsoft has also evolved over the years, providing its employees with an inclusive and diverse work environment.

 

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Industrial Revolution 4.0 – Turbocharging Malaysia’s Journey!

YES sponsored an expert panel discussion on turbocharging Malaysia’s journey towards Industrial Revolution 4.0, as part of Malaysia Tech Week 2019.

Hear from industry leaders like Microsoft, Qualcomm, NEC, DXC and YTL on what they are doing to accelerate Malaysia towards IR 4.0!

 

What Is Industrial Revolution 4.0?

Industrial Revolution 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, is a term that is applied towards the current trend of intelligent automation that is enabled by information technology, interconnectivity and data analytics.

 

Industry 4.0 employs a wide range of technologies to achieve those aims, such as mobile devices, Internet of Things, smart sensors, big data analytics, augmented reality, cloud computing, and more.

Countries and corporations that successfully make use of these technologies will greatly improve their productivity. Hence, there is great interest by governments and companies to develop and accelerate their IR 4.0 capabilities.

 

Industrial Revolution 4.0 – Turbocharging Malaysia’s Journey!

Before the expert panel discussion kicked off, let’s get a short update on Industrial Revolution 4.0 from MDEC COO Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group Ong Ching-Fong, and Wing K. Lee, CEO of YTL Communications.

 

Industrial Revolution 4.0 Panel Discussion

Joining Wing K. Lee for the expert panel on IR 4.0 were industry leaders from Microsoft, Qualcomm, NEC and DXC :

  • ST Liew, President of Qualcomm Taiwan and Southeast Asia
  • Datin Lim Bee Wah, Enterprise Commercial Lead, Microsoft Malaysia
  • Chong Kai Wooi, Managing Director, NEC Malaysia
  • Chong Fook Hing, Managing Director, DXC Malaysia

 

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Microsoft Build 2019 : New Azure Technologies Unveiled!

A host of new Microsoft Azure technologies for developers have been announced at the Microsoft Build 2019 conference, which took place in Seattle. Here is a primer on what they announced!

 

Microsoft Build 2019 : New Azure Technologies Unveiled!

With nearly 6,000 developers and content creators attending Microsoft Build 2019 in Seattle, Microsoft announced a series of new Azure services like hybrid loud and edge computing to support them. They include advanced technologies such as,

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Mixed reality
  • IoT (Internet of Things)
  • Blockchain

 

Microsoft Build 2019 : New Azure AI Technologies

First of all, they unveiled a new set of Microsoft Azure AI technologies to help developers and data scientists utilize AI as a solution :

  • Azure Cognitive Services, which iwll enable applications to see, hear, respond, translate, reason and more.
  • Microsoft will add the “Decision” function to Cognitive Services to help users make decisions through highly specific and customized recommendations.
  • Azure Search will also be further enhanced with an AI feature.

 

Microsoft Build 2019 : New Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Innovations

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning has been enhanced with new machine learning innovations designed to simplify the building, training and deployment of machine learning models. They include :

  • MLOps capabilities with Azure DevOps
  • Automated ML advancements
  • Visual machine learning interface

Microsoft Build 2019 : New Edge Computing Solutions

Microsoft also aims to boost edge computing by introducing these new solutions:

  • Azure SQL Database Edge
  • IoT Plug and Play
  • HoloLens 2 Developer Bundle
  • Unreal Engine 4

Microsoft Build 2019 : Azure Blockchain Service

The Azure Blockchain Workbench, which Microsoft released last year to support development of blockchain applications, has been further enhanced this year with the Azure Blockchain Service.

Azure Blockchain Service is a tool that simplifies the formation and management of consortium blockchain networks so companies only need to focus on app development.

J.P Morgan’s Ethereum platform was introduced by Microsoft as the first ledger available in the Azure Blockchain Service.

 

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The Microsoft-IDC Report On AI Growth Potential For Malaysia

Microsoft and IDC Asia Pacific just unveiled the results of their latest study of the AI growth potential for Malaysia. Here is a video of their briefing, and a summary of their key findings!

 

The Microsoft-IDC Report On AI Growth Potential For Malaysia

The Microsoft-IDC report on AI growth potential for Malaysia is based on their 2018 survey of 100 business leaders and 100 workers in Malaysia.

Presenting the key findings were K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia, and Jun-Fwu Chin, Research Director for IDC Asia Pacific Datacenter Group.

Increased Innovation + Productivity

Titled “Future Reader Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI“, it revealed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will almost double the rate of innovation, and boost employee productivity by 60% by 2021.

Low Uptake Of AI So Far

Even though 70% of the business leaders surveyed believe that AI is instrumental for their organisation’s competitiveness, only 26% of organisations in Malaysia have begun their AI initiatives.

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The Top 5 Reasons For Adopting AI

For those companies who have already started their AI initiatives, these are their top 5 reasons :

  • Better customer engagements (31%)
  • Higher competitiveness (31%)
  • Accelerated innovation (12%)
  • Improved efficiency (12%)
  • More productive employees (8%)

Initial Results Of AI Initiatives

For those companies, their AI initiatives have resulted in some tangible improvements of between 17% to 34% in those 5 areas. They forecast a further boost of 60% to 130%  over a three-year horizon.

Malaysia Not Prepared

The study also evaluated the six dimensions critical to developing Malaysia’s AI growth potential, and found them wanting. In particular, Malaysia is weak in data and investments.

Top Three Challenges

Business leaders who are already adopting AI cited these three top challenges in realising their companies’ AI growth potential :

  • Lack of thought leadership and commitment to invest in AI
  • Lack of skills, resources and continuous learning programs
  • Lack of advanced analytics or infrastructure and tools to develop actionable insights

Leaders + Workers Are Positive About AI

The study also found that 67% of business leaders and 64% of workers in Malaysia are positive about AI’s impact on the future of jobs.

In addition, the study claims that workers are MORE optimistic about AI creating jobs than replacing them, than business leaders!

 

Editor’s Note : We find the high favourability by workers to be highly questionable, and have requested more information about the type of workers surveyed by IDC.

It is possible that the workers they surveyed are high-level executives who see AI as a useful tool that will enhance their jobs, rather than the job killers that many low-level executives and blue-collar workers are worried about.

 

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Price + Pre-Order Details Revealed!

Microsoft Malaysia just announced that the Surface Pro 6 is available for pre-order in Malaysia. Here are the full Surface Pro 6 price, availability and pre-order details!

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The new Surface Pro 6 retains the familiar exterior but is far more powerful inside. With a quad-core 8th Generation Intel Core processor, it is 50% faster than its predecessor, while offering the same battery life.

Surface Pro 6 has a 12.3-inch PixelSense display with digital inking capabilities using the Surface Pen and Office 365. it also has a 165-degree kickstand, and weighs just 770 grams.

For greater comfort and productivity, you can attach the Signature Type Cover and Surface Mouse, to immediately transform the Surface Pro 6 into a laptop.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Price + Availability

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is available in three colour options globally –Platinum, Burgundy and Cobalt Blue. In Malaysia, Microsoft will only offer them in the Platinum colour, from 15 January 2019 onwards.

There are currently four configurations :

Together with these Microsoft Surface accessories :

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Pre-Order In Malaysia

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is available for ore-order starting 3 January 2019 via authorised Microsoft retailers like All IT, Harvey Norman, and the Lazada Microsoft Flagship Store.

On top of that, Microsoft is offering a 50% discount code MSFTCNY for Microsoft Office and accessories when you purchase them with a new Surface Pro 6 at these links :

  • Intel Core i7 + 16 GB RAM + 512 GB SSD : RM 8,999
  • Intel Core i7 + 8 GB RAM + 256 GB SSD : RM 7,079
  • Intel Core i5 + 8 GB RAM + 256 GB SSD : RM 5,799
  • Intel Core i5 + 8 GB RAM + 128 GB SSD : RM 4,399

Note : The MSFTCNY discount code is only valid from 16-18 January 2019.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Price + Pre-Order Details!

Microsoft Malaysia just announced that the Surface Laptop 2 is available for pre-order in Malaysia. Here are the full Surface Laptop 2 price, availability and pre-order details!

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

The new Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 are powered by the latest quad-core 8th Generation Intel Core processor, delivering 85% more performance than its predecessor.

The Surface Laptop 2 boasts up to 14.5 hours of battery life, a premium design, PixelSense Touch Display, and best-in-class keyboard and trackpad. A pair of OmniSonic speakers are hidden below the keyboard, discreetly delivering powerful audio.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Price + Availability

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 will be available only in the Platinum colour, from 15 January 2019 onwards. Microsoft Malaysia will offer two configurations :

  • Intel Core i5 + 8 GB RAM + 256 GB SSD : RM 6,199 / ~US$ 1,179 / ~£ 916
  • Intel Core i5 + 8 GB RAM + 128 GB SSD : RM 4,829 / ~US$ 1,512 / ~£ 1,176

In the US and UK, Microsoft is offering a higher-end configuration :

Here are some direct purchase links for readers in the US and UK :

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Pre-Order In Malaysia

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is available for ore-order starting 3 January 2019 via authorised Microsoft retailers like All IT, Harvey Norman, and the Lazada Microsoft Flagship Store.

On top of that, Microsoft is offering a 50% discount code MSFTCNY for Microsoft Office and accessories when you purchase them with a new Surface Laptop 2 at these links :

  • Intel Core i5 + 8 GB RAM + 128 GB SSD : RM 4,829
  • Intel Core i5 + 8 GB RAM + 256 GB SSD : RM 6,199

Note : The MSFTCNY discount code is only valid from 16-18 January 2019.

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The Kroger Microsoft RaaS Collaboration Revealed!

Kroger and Microsoft just announced a collaboration to redefine the customer experience using Kroger Technology products powered by Microsoft Azure. Here is a look at the new Kroger Microsoft RaaS collaboration!

The Kroger-Microsoft RaaS Collaboration Revealed!

As part of the Kroger-Microsoft RaaS (Retail as a Service) collaboration, Kroger and Microsoft will jointly market a commercial RaaS product to the industry, as well as pilot a connected store experience.

This partnership brings together Kroger’s expertise in the grocery industry with the power of Microsoft Azure and Azure AI.

Retail as a Service (RaaS)

The Kroger-Microsoft RaaS product is enablement software built by a retailer for retailers, supporting modern retail experiences and harmonizing customers’ digital and physical shopping experiences.

The new Kroger-Microsoft RaaS solution is a Kroger product powered by Microsoft Azure. It offers a suite of capabilities to support KPIs and merchandising plans, collect customer insights, enhance employee productivity, improve out-of-stocks, better the customer experience, and allow for hyper personalisation using proprietary technology.

Future commercial products include: Scan, Bag, Go; Virtual Store Manager; sensor network; and connectors to corporate systems like point-of-sale, and inventory management, tag and merchandising systems.

Connected Store Experience Pilot

The Kroger Technology team has developed a smart technology system, powered by Microsoft Azure and connected by IoT sensors, to transform two pilot stores.

They will leverage RaaS, establishing a way to quickly add innovations to create new customer experiences, enable higher levels of personalisation through insights and enhance store associate productivity.

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Microsoft : Digital Transformation Will Boost APAC Retail By $272 Billion!

A new Microsoft study predicts that the APAC retail industry is expected to add $272 billion to the region’s GDP by 2021. The caveat – retail organisations need to embrace digital transformation initiatives.

Digital Transformation Will Boost APAC Retail By $272 Billion!

The new Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific study by Microsoft predicts that the APAC retail industry is expected to add $272 billion or 1.5% CAGR to the region’s GDP by 2021, should retail organisations embrace digital transformation initiatives.

The study, which polled 240 business leaders in the APAC retail industry, found that half the respondents will focus on digitally-transforming customer service and support.

Respondents will also focus on digitally-transforming sales and IT operations in 2019.

Capitalising on customer data, organisations can accelerate their digital transformation journey via a three-step process:

  1. Collection of data to improve decision-making processes
    Retail organizations need to have a data strategy in place in order to manage the streams of data available.
    By doing so, and applying big data analytics, they will be able to develop real-time insights that can deliver personalized experiences while simplifying the decision-making process for employees.
  2. Optimizing existing products and services with data
    Data can be used as an asset to optimize existing processes and for developing predictive analytics to improve delivery of services and products across channels.
    Retailers can also tap on artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver personalized experiences, while reducing time spent on menial work.
  3. Creating new business models with data
    Data can also be used to develop new products, services and experiences, as well as new business models, like the new Kroger-Microsoft RaaS product.

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Microsoft Imagine Cup 2018 APAC Winner : Team PINE!

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5 April 2018 – Microsoft today crowned Team PINE from Malaysia as the winner of the Imagine Cup 2018 Asia Pacific Regional Finals, after a nail-biting finale against 14 other teams from across the region. Six other teams were also selected to continue their journey at the Imagine Cup 2018 World Finals which will be held in Seattle in July.

 

Microsoft Imagine Cup 2018 APAC Winner : Team PINE!

Team PINE developed a handheld sensing device that can help pineapple farmers efficiently and effectively evaluate optimal levels of ripeness prior to harvest, and in a non-intrusive manner.

According to Tan Yit Peng, a member of Team Pine, “Pineapples are the second most exported tropical fruit in Malaysia. Currently, a conventional method is used to determine the quality of a pineapple (Brix value) and this is done intrusively using a refractometer which leads to a lot of wastage. Our device will allow farmers to check the internal quality of the pineapples in order to ensure that the quality is optimum before harvest. It is a quick and easy solution that these farmers can use.”

When asked about the team’s feelings about being crowned the champions, she had this to say,” We are overjoyed about winning the regional finals and we look forward to waving the Malaysian flag proudly during the finals in Seattle!”

Congratulating the team, K Raman, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia said, “We are delighted that Malaysia has bagged the top spot in the regional finals of this prestigious Imagine Cup. It gives us immense pride and joy to see them take our flag to the global finals. With Imagine Cup, we continue to build on our goal to empower students and prepare the future workforce. To the fifteen teams from across Asia Pacific that gathered for the competition, I hope you feel proud of what you have accomplished thus far. Simply being here is deserving of congratulations.”

The first runner-up and second runner-up places were awarded to Team BeeConnex from Thailand, and Team 7x from Singapore, respectively.

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Team BeeConnex from Thailand came up with the Smart Hive; an IoT device that enables beekeepers to track and monitor the health of a beehive. The device is also able to alert beekeepers when potential issues are detected within the hive.

Singapore’s Team 7x created ProCubeX, an interactive smart-learning cube designed as an early intervention tool for children with dyslexia. The cube will intelligently generate an individualized education plan for dyslexic children, triggering multisensory stimulation as well as the parts of the brain responsible for language learning.

In all, seven teams from the Imagine Cup APAC Regional Finals were selected to continue their innovation journey to the next level at the Imagine Cup World Finals. The seven teams are:

Team Name Market Prize
Team PINE Malaysia Champion
Team BeeConnex Thailand 1st Runner-Up
Team 7x Singapore 2nd Runner-Up
Team Beehive Drone Indonesia *Worldwide Finalist
Team Classum Korea *Worldwide Finalist
Team En#22.45km Korea *Worldwide Finalist
Team SochWare Nepal *Worldwide Finalist

* In no particular order of merit

The student teams will take their innovation journey to the next level at the Imagine Cup 2018 World Finals. Held in Seattle this July, the World Finals will gather more than 50 student teams from all over the world, all vying for the top prize of up to US$100,000, mentorship opportunities with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as Azure grants and credits to bring their winning solution to the market.

The 15 finalist teams which participated in the regional finals came from nine countries, including Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. These teams were selected from local finals that were held in each country earlier this year.

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Microsoft : We Rock The Spectrum With An Hour Of Code!

To commemorate World Autism Awareness Day 2018, Microsoft organised an Hour of Code with We Rock The Spectrum gym. Participants from the Imagine Cup 2018 Regional Finals, Microsoft employees and volunteers from the National Autism Society of Malaysia came together to guide children on the autism spectrum through an Hour of Code Minecraft tutorial.

 

We Rock The Spectrum Gym

Initially founded in Tarzana, Los Angeles by Dina Kimmel, We Rock the Spectrum Gym has expanded across the United States. In December 2016, Nori Abdullah – the wife of Youth and Sports Minister YB Brig Jen Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar – Hana Jamaluddin and Rahmah Mahmood decided to bring the Gym to Ara Damansara, Malaysia.

“As we approach an age where technology is all around us and as the nation braces itself for the 4th Industrial Revolution, we are constantly seeking methods to educate our young ones to be ready for a digital future,” said Nori Abdullah, Co-owner, We Rock the Spectrum Gym Malaysia.

“With that in mind, it warms my heart to see Microsoft bring digital skills to the children here at We Rock the Spectrum Gym, enabling them to learn through the Hour of Code. Children with disabilities are less likely to complete primary school and more likely to be marginalized or denied access to education. This is even more true for girls and women with disabilities. With the partnership of Microsoft, we intend to shatter this stereotype and show the world how inclusion, diversity, and equal opportunity, can truly make a difference.”

 

Microsoft Rocks The Spectrum With An Hour Of Code

Combining World Autism Awareness Day 2018, with the effort to create STEM learning opportunities for children with different abilities, Microsoft organised an Hour of Code tutorial at We Rock The Spectrum gym. This is an autism-focused, indoor playground and kid’s gym that prides itself in being a sensory-safe environment.

Marking the occasion, K. Raman, Microsoft Malaysia’s Managing Director said, “We are proud to be partnering We Rock the Spectrum Gym in observing World Autism Awareness Day as we work to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our long-term partnership with the Gym to include the Hour of Code as part of their program is in line with Microsoft’s efforts to democratise technology and bridge the opportunity divide. Empowerment begins with inclusion, and we firmly believe that the joys of technology should be shared with everyone, especially youth, as today’s digital natives are tomorrow’s digital workforce. Our efforts are also in line with Malaysia’s Year for Women Empowerment, as we try to tackle the challenges faced by women with disabilities.”

Also present during the event was Microsoft’s M-Powered ambassador, advocate for the autism cause, and founder of Serena’s Secret, Serena Zara Taufiq. Alongside Serena was Dr Wan Himratul Azliza, accessibility advocate, internal medicine consultant and lifestyle physician, and mother to Serena.

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An Hour of Code @ We Rock The Spectrum Gym

In addition to hosting the event, We Rock the Spectrum Gym announced a partnership with Microsoft Malaysia. The partnership will see the inclusion of Hour of Code as part of the Gym’s program, thus enabling children who play at the gym to get a chance to learn and experience coding.

To ensure that the children receive proper guidance, Microsoft will work closely with the gym trainers to ensure they are well equipped to conduct the Hour of Code sessions independently in the future.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2 + Surface Laptop Revealed!

Microsoft just made available the entire range of Microsoft Surface products, with the official launch of the Microsoft Surface Book 2, and the belated launch of the Surface Laptop. Let’s check out their presentations, and our very own video tour of the two new Surface Book 2 models, and the Surface Laptop!

 

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Revealed!

First revealed in May 2017, the Microsoft Surface Laptop elevates design and performance in a sleek, elegant clamshell device.

More than a traditional laptop, is engineered to start fast and stay fast with a 7th Generation Intel Core processor and up to 14.5 hours of battery life to last through the day.

Weighing at just 1.25 kilograms, and less than 14.5mm thin, the Surface Laptop will fit nicely into your favorite bag, and is lightweight to bring everywhere.

The Surface Laptop features a signature keyboard, with a quiet and responsive keyset, and large precision trackpad. It also comes with a palm rest covered in soft, luxurious Alcantara clothfor a new level of typing comfort.

 

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 Revealed!

Removing the barrier between a conventional desktop and laptop, the Surface Book 2 features the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processors and the latest NVIDIA GeForce GPUs. This makes the new Surface Book 2 up to five times more powerful than its predecessor!

For those seeking flexibility in the way they use their device, the Surface Book 2 supports four different modes, including Studio Mode, Laptop Mode, View Mode, or even Tablet mode by simply detaching the screen.

The Surface Book 2 is available in 13.5” or 15” options, and boasts an impressive 17-hour battery life for marathon productivity sessions. It is powerful enough to run software such as Adobe Creative Cloud and Autodesk, and great games such as Forza Motorsport 7 or Gears of War at 1080p, 60fps!

 

Quick Tour Of Surface Book 2 + Surface Laptop

 

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Price & Availability

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is available starting 15 March 2018, with the following configurations :

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Price & Availability

The Microsoft Surface Laptop is available right now, with the following configurations :

Microsoft Surface Accessories Price List

  • Microsoft Surface Pen (Black, Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue) : RM 299 | US$ 99
  • Microsoft Surface Arc Mouse (Light Gray, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue) : RM 459 | US$ 64
  • [adrotate group=”2″]Microsoft Surface Dock : RM 789 | US$ 135
  • Microsoft Surface Keyboard (Silver) : RM 519 | US$ 79
  • Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse (Light Gray) : RM 399 | US$ 73
  • Microsoft Surface Mouse (Silver) : RM 249 | US$ 35
  • Microsoft Surface Ethernet Adaptor : RM 179 | US$ 32
  • Microsoft Surface VGA Adaptor : RM 179 | US$ 20
  • Microsoft Surface HDMI Adaptor : RM 179 | US$ 39
  • Microsoft Surface USB-C to HDMI Adaptor : RM 158 | US$ 37
  • Microsoft Surface USB-C to VGA Adaptor : RM 158 | US$ 36.50

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Minecraft Education Edition Celebrates First Anniversary!

In conjunction with its first anniversary of Minecraft Education Edition, Microsoft today announced that a new Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorial, Hero’s Journey, which has been released as part of its ongoing support for Hour of Code. This is the third consecutive year that Microsoft is supporting this global movement, held between 4 to 10 December, to help students learn the basics of coding.

 

New Minecraft Education Edition Tutorial

Working with Minecraft game designers, computer science educators, and Code.org’s learning designers, the new Minecraft tutorial introduces coding concepts using the popular video game that millions of players around the world are already exploring, teaching, and learning with every day. To date, nearly 70 million people around the world are using Minecraft tutorials to learn about the basics of coding.

 

New Minecraft Education Edition Character

A new character, Minecraft Agent will be introduced in the tutorial, along over 10 new challenges that teach core coding concepts like loops, debugging, and functions. Upon completing the tutorial, students can import their code into Minecraft Education Edition for the first time ever, bringing their work to life in the game, or share their work via email, text message or social media. The tutorial will be available for free and is playable across iOS, Android and Windows platform.

 

More Than 2 Million Users!

Microsoft also announced that the Minecraft Education Edition has crossed over 2 million licensed users in 115 countries within a year of its launch, and more than 250 educator-created lesson plans have been developed in the community.

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The First Malaysian School To Adopt Minecraft Education Edition

Locally, the Tun Mohammad Fuad Stephen – Mara Junior Science College, Sandakan is the first school in Malaysia to adopt the Minecraft Education Edition. The Microsoft showcase school which has close to 1000 students and more than 60 students is using this platform to make learning more enjoyable and as a teaching aid for its educators.

Aliff Othman, Educator, Tun Mohammad Fuad Stephen – Mara Junior Science College, Sandakan said “Our students are engaged and excited to learn in the fun familiar Minecraft environment, and they have learnt a number of skills in the process – things like computational thinking, digital citizenship and of course, creativity.   We saw the potential to take this work to a new scale we as educators can use Minecraft in our classrooms.”

 

Coding Is Essential In 4th Industrial Revolution

The World Economic Forum has highlighted the importance of complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity as skills required for individuals to thrive in the 4th industrial revolution. As such, developing computation thinking is a key priority for education institutions today. One way to develop students’ computational thinking capabilities is through the introduction of computer sciences education, including coding classes.

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 Hands-On Preview

The fifth-generation Microsoft Surface Pro, the Surface Pro 2017, was announced on 23 May 2017 with availability starting 15 June 2017. Yesterday, we finally had the opportunity to get our hands on the Surface Pro 2017 for a short time, as part of the official launch here in Malaysia. Check it out!

 

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 Hands-On Preview

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 features the 7th Generation Intel Core processors, with Core m3, Core i5 and Core i7 options. It is available with a variety of memory (4 GB to 16 GB) and storage options (128 GB to 1 TB SSD).

The new Surface Pro looks almost exactly like the previous generation Surface Pro 4. In fact, it has the same 12.3″ PixelSense display with 2736 x 1824 pixels with a similar size and weight. The only significant form factor difference is the new kickstand, which now opens out to 165° – the flatter Studio Mode.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 retains the same full-sized USB 3.0 port, 3.5 mm audio port, Mini DisplayPort and SurfaceConnect port from the Surface Pro 4. If you’re wondering why not the newer USB 3.1 Type C port, well, it’s really quite simple.

The new Surface Pro is mainly targeted at the corporate market, where the vast majority of users are still using USB 3.0 devices. It makes sense to retain compatibility with their existing devices. Companies don’t fancy replacing their existing USB 3.0 devices that are working just fine.

Microsoft is also introducing a new Surface Pen that has a tilt sensor, and supports 4,096 levels of pressure. They also have a new Signature Pro Type Cover with Alcantara fabric to pair with the new Surface Pro.

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 Photos

Here are some photos of the Microsoft Surface Pro 2017.

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 Is Now Available In Malaysia!

17 July 2017 – Microsoft today announced that the new Surface Pro 2017 and Surface Pro Signature Type Cover are now available for pre-orders in Malaysia from local Surface authorized retailers which include top retailers and Microsoft store-in-store in Lazada. Starting from RM 3,699 / ~US$ 879, the new Surface Pro 2017 will officially be available on 15 August 2017.

Don’t forget to check out our Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 Hands-On Preview!

 

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2017

Unveiled earlier in May, the new Surface Pro 2017 has been redesigned from the inside out to give people more performance with improved battery life. Everything has been streamlined and refined — from softer, rounded edges to cameras built to fade into the bezel. At just 8.5mm thin and starting at 767 grams, the new Surface Pro 2017 packs the power of a 7th generation Intel Core processor into a new fanless, whisper-quiet design.

The Surface Pro 2017 delivers the most performance and battery life in a laptop that is this thin, light and quiet. It features up to 13.5 hours of battery life. Compared to its predecessors, Surface Pro 2017 boasts 50% longer battery life than Surface Pro 4 and delivers performance 2.5 times more than Surface Pro 3 – providing unmatched versatility and mobility in a lighter, more refined design.

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The Surface Pro 2017 is not only a powerhouse laptop, but also a mobile creative studio with a high-resolution 12.3” PixelSense touch display that supports the new Surface Pen, the fastest pen ever, both on- and off-screen. The Surface Pro takes the immersive experience of creating on Surface Studio and brings it to life in a highly portable form factor.

With a new hinge that adjusts to 165 degrees, people can now put Surface Pro into Studio Mode, creating the optimal position to write or sketch. Inking in applications across Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365, including the new Microsoft Whiteboard app, will unlock ways for people to use digital ink to be more creative, collaborative and productive.

The new Surface Pro Signature Type Cover delivers a high-quality scissor mechanism and 1.3 mm of key travel for faster and more accurate typing. A full-size glass trackpad with five-finger multi-touch capabilities allows for ultimate precision, and the entire keyboard is wrapped in soft yet durable Alcantara material, creating a comfortable palm rest and beautiful aesthetic. The Signature Type Cover will be available in Platinum, Burgundy and Cobalt Blue to match your personal style.

 

The Surface Pro 2017 & Surface Pro Signature Pricing

You can pre-order these models from the Microsoft store in Lazada. Overseas, you can also buy them at Amazon – here are the current lowest prices.

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Wise Pad W7 Windows 10 4G LTE Phablet Review Rev. 3.0

There are many phablets in the market, but most of them are based on the Android operating system. So when a Windows 10 phablet hit the market recently, everyone took note. The Windows 10 phablet in question is the new Wise Pad W7. You will find it marketed as the Microsoft Wise Pad W7.

People immediately asked us to review it, and as if they were reading our minds, they sent us one! So today, we present to you, our review of the Wise Pad W7 Windows 10 phablet!

Updated @ 2017-06-23 : Updated the links in the review. Added more information on the included software. Reworked the Verdict.

Updated @ 2016-09-04 : Added new information on its manufacturer. Made various improvements and corrections to the review.

Originally posted @ 2016-08-18


 

Wise Pad W7 Specifications

SpecificationsWise Pad W7
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 Mobile
Display7" IPS display (540 x 960 pixels)
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 212 (MSM8909 v2)
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A7 cores (1.3 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 304 (400 MHz)
Memory2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Storage16 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 64 GB)
Front Camera1.9 MP sensor (720p video recording)
Rear Camera5.0 MP sensor (720p video recording) with single LED flash and f/2.4 lens
Connectivity4G : LTE Cat4 (150 Mbps / 50 Mbps)
WiFi : 810.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth : 4.1 LE
USB : Micro USB 2.0
GPSYes, A-GPS
FM RadioYes, but lacks antenna (earphones)
Battery3,200 mAh lithium-ion battery (11,840 mWh)
Dimensions13 cm wide x 21 cm tall x 5 mm thick

 

Phablet, Not Tablet

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There was some confusion about whether the Wise Pad W7 is a phablet or a tablet. Partly because the advertisement calls it a “tab“. Let us clarify this once and for all.

The Wise Pad W7 is a phablet, not a tablet. There are tablets of the same size, like the ASUS ZenPad 7.0, but tablets do not have telecommunication capabilities. They cannot make calls like smartphones or phablets can.

The Wise Pad W7, on the other hand, is a 4G LTE phablet. You can make calls on it, like any other smartphone or phablet. It’s called a phablet because it is a smartphone that’s the size of a small tablet.

 

Designed & Made By Microsoft?

What attracted people the most was the claim that the Wise Pad W7 was designed, made and sold by Microsoft. Perhaps it had to do with the product descriptions in the advertisement :

Microsoft has truly outdone themselves with this creation, introducing innovative features and designs that are sure to impress.

Microsoft has engineered a unique design that showcases the tab’s 7-inch display screen in the slimmest form.

We reached out to Microsoft for clarification. They informed us that the Wise Pad W7 is not an official Microsoft product, but an OEM product running on Windows 10. Of course, Wise Pad may have cooperated with Microsoft, or received their assistance, in developing this phablet.

Our further investigations revealed that the Wise Pad W7 is actually made by Meizu, and marketed in Malaysia by Blue Kor (also known as Meizu Malaysia).

This makes no difference to our review process though. However, we will refer to it as the Wise Pad W7, instead of the Microsoft Wise Pad W7.

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Unboxing The Wise Pad W7 Phablet

The Wise Pad W7 comes in a nice, shrink-wrapped box with the Microsoft logo prominently printed on the upper left corner. Let’s take a look inside!

The Wise Pad W7 is a low-cost phablet, so you only get the bare essentials :

  • One Wise Pad W7 phablet with a screen protector
  • One Wise Pad W7 user manual
  • One 10 W charger with one micro USB cable

Unfortunately, the Wise Pad W7 does not come with any earphones, even though it has a built-in FM radio. The FM radio requires a pair of earphones to be attached, to serve as its antenna.

Next Page > Wise Pad W7 Overview, Setup, Windows 10 Mobile & Apps

 

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Overview Of The Wise Pad W7

Now that it’s out of the box, let’s take a quick tour of the Wise Pad W7 phablet!

The 7″ IPS display is bright and vivid, but has a low resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. It lacks an oleophobic coating, so it smears very easily. However, it should not matter too much since you will likely install the provided screen protector.

The Wise Pad W7 comes with a 2 MP front camera that is okay for video chats, but takes noisy, low-resolution selfies. You will most likely rely exclusively on the 5 MP main camera at the back, which is supported by an LED flash.

The only physical buttons are located along the right side – a Power button and two Volume buttons. The micro USB 2.0 port is located at the top, together with the earphone port, and a compartment for the microSD and micro SIM cards.

 

Setting Up The Wise Pad W7

Let’s show you how the Wise Pad W7‘s initial setup process is like.

Unfortunately, the Windows 10 Mobile setup process is rather protracted. Android Marshmallow devices take no more than 5 minutes to boot and setup. The Wise Pad W7, on the other hand, took a whooping 82 seconds to start-up for the first time. Then after selecting the country of choice, it had to reboot, taking up an additional 53 seconds.

That’s not the worst of it though. After we set-up the Wise Pad W7, Windows 10 Mobile took an additional 2.5 minutes to decompress and install its apps. Generally, it will take you about 10-15 minutes to setup the Wise Pad W7.

 

Windows 10 Mobile

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Another point of confusion for many potential users is the fact that they marketed it as a Windows 10 tablet. It gave the impression that the Wise Pad W7 is a smaller and far more affordable version of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

The Wise Pad W7 actually runs on Windows 10 Mobile. This is the mobile version of Windows 10, that is designed to look and feel like Windows 10. However, unlike devices running on actual Windows 10, it is not capable of running Windows desktop applications.

Think of the Wise Pad W7 as a larger version of the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones. It will run Windows Mobile or Windows Phone applications, and comes bundled with Office for Windows 10, and Microsoft Edge.

 

Built-In Microsoft Apps

What’s advantageous is the fact that the Wise Pad W7 comes with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, the Microsoft Edge browser and even Skype pre-installed. That takes care of the productivity requirements for most users.

You can literally start using it to do your work right out of the box. And the tight integration between those Microsoft apps allow you to sync your files and switch between your desktop and the Wise Pad W7 very easily.

Next Page > Wise Pad W7 Camera Performance – Photo & Video

 

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Camera Performance – Photo

The Wise Pad W7 has a 5 MP main camera, with f/2.4 lens and an LED flash. It takes photos with a resolution of 2592 x 1456, with file sizes ranging from 650 KB to 1 MB. Here are some photo samples from the 5MP main camera.

The photos taken appear washed out, unless HDR is enabled. But because the lens is relatively slow, using HDR may result in blurry pictures. The highlights are also easily blown-out when HDR is enabled.

Generally, the pictures are okay for viewing on the Wise Pad W7 itself, or posting on social media. However, the camera’s limitations are very apparent when viewed on a high-resolution computer display.

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Camera Performance – Video

The Wise Pad W7‘s 5 MP camera sensor is capable of recording 1080p videos. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor powering the Wise Pad W7 is only powerful enough to handle 720p video recording. So you are limited to recording 720p videos. Here is a sample of the 720p video recording by the main camera.

Immediately, we can tell that the camera lacks optical image stabilisation. It supports electronic image stabilisation, but it does not help much in stabilising the image. You can see that the handshake is quite noticeable, even though we recorded this sample using two hands.

What is most distracting though is the camera’s inability to maintain focus. You can see the camera losing focus and seeking very often. The audio quality was also terrible, sounding really muffled and monotonous.

Next Page > Memory & Storage Capacity, Display Problems, Performance, Verdict

 

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Memory & Storage Capacity

The Wise Pad W7 comes with 2 GB of memory, and 16 GB of internal flash storage. Unfortunately, we cannot find out how much free memory is available for your apps to use. But we can tell you that out of the 16 GB of internal flash storage, you will have at least 10.75 GB of free storage space.

You can top up the storage capacity with a microSD card (up to 64 GB), which should be plenty enough for most users. The Wise Pad W7 also supports OTG drives, so you can easily transfer data.

 

Problems With The Display

The automatic brightness feature in the Wise Pad W7 does not seem to be working at all. Even though its light sensor is working (we checked), the Wise Pad W7 maintains the same brightness level whether it’s in the shade or in direct sunlight. Hence, the display was completely useless in bright sunlight. The workaround? Disable the automatic brightness feature and set the brightness manually.

The other issue we noticed was its improperly calibrated digitiser (touch panel). It appears to register our touches a few millimetres lower than expected. Unfortunately, there is no option to recalibrate the digitiser, so if you face this issue, you will need to learn to touch a few millimetres higher on the display.

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Performance

We tested the Wise Pad W7‘s performance using the AnTuTu benchmark, comparing it against the honor 5C and ASUS ZenFone Zoom smartphones.

Wise Pad W7 honor 5C ASUS ZenFone Zoom
TOTAL SCORE 31570 53417 65914
3D SCORE 1629 9842 16839
– 3D (Marooned) 1306 5795 9863
– 3D (Garden) 323 4047 6976
UX SCORE 14151 19297 21371
– UX Data Secure 9262 5577 5896
– UX Data Process 1202 2706 4353
– UX Strategy Games 2328 4109 4118
– UX Image Process 196 3144 2926
– UX I/O Performance 1163 3761 4078
CPU SCORE 11833 19254 23110
– CPU Mathematics 4385 4198 5196
– CPU Common Use 2763 5947 8699
– CPU Multi-Core 4685 9109 9215
RAM 3957 5024 4594

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 is slow, period. It may have four cores, but they are the slower ARM Cortex-A7 cores. It was particularly poor at graphics, due to its slow Adreno 510 graphics processor.

 

Verdict

The Wise Pad W7 is an interesting phablet. Mainly because it runs on Windows 10 Mobile. This can be a boon or a bane, depending on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a ton of games and apps, then you are going to be disappointed with the limited choices in the Windows Store. But if you are only interested in using Microsoft applications like Word or Excel, then you will love the tight integration of those Microsoft apps into Windows 10 Mobile.

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The Wise Pad W7 was definitely not designed or manufactured by Microsoft though. The design and build quality is far from what you would expect from Microsoft. It is certainly very cheap, but it is a mixed bag of hits and misses. You will have to compromise with its limitations.

The Wise Pad W7 has a decent polycarbonate chassis with a matte metallic finish, but the display and the camera lens cover lack oleophobic coatings and are very easily smeared. The 7″ display has a lot more screen space than a smartphone, but it is limited by its low resolution of 540 x 960.

What really concerned us the most was the non-functioning auto-brightness feature and improperly-calibrated digitiser. We have no idea how it could have passed quality control checks at the factory. It also has a relatively small 3,200 mAh battery for its size. The much smaller ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom, for example, boasts a 5,000 mAh battery!

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor is just fast enough for work applications, but do not expect to play 3D games on the Wise Pad W7. The good news is that it sips power, so the Wise Pad W7 putters on longer than we would expect for its small battery.

 

Pros & Cons

To summarise, here are the pros and cons of the Wise Pad W7 phablet :

Pros Cons
  • Comes with Microsoft Office apps pre-installed and integrated
  • Decent polycarbonate chassis
  • Relatively decent battery life
  • Comes with a free screen protector
  • Very low cost Windows 10 option
  • No oleophobic coating on display and camera cover
  • Relatively low resolution display
  • Auto-brightness does not work
  • Improperly calibrated digitiser
  • Relatively slow processor
  • Relatively poor front and rear cameras
  • Relatively small 3,200 mAh battery

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The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study Unveiled!

Microsoft today unveiled findings of its Asia Workplace 2020 Study, where it found that employees in Malaysia do not feel empowered to embrace the demands of the digital workplace.

 

The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study Summarised

While 70% of Malaysian respondents consider themselves to be mobile workers and spend at least 20% of their time working outside of their offices, only 41% feel empowered by their organization’s culture and managers to be able to work together productively and collaboratively.

Here is an infographic that summarises the key findings of the Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study.

For the key findings of the study, please head over to the next page.

After the launch of its Workplace 2020 study, Microsoft hosted an experiential event for its customers to test their collaborative skills using Microsoft Teams. The Amazing Teams Challenge was organized at Botanical Gardens and saw participants complete challenges across 4 pit stops located at different parts of the Gardens.

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What Is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a new chat-based platform that was launched in November 2016 as part of Office 365. It supports multiple devices and operating systems, and serves as a collaborative workspace for geographically-dispersed teams.

Here is a demo of Microsoft Teams. Please forgive the bad audio, courtesy of a huge fan blowing nearby!

You can read more about Microsoft Teams in the article on its inclusion into Microsoft Office 365.

Next Page > The Key Findings Of The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study

 

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The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study Key Findings

Microsoft’s Asia Workplace 2020 Study[1] found that employees in Malaysia do not feel empowered to embrace the demands of the digital workplace.

  • 70% of Malaysia respondents consider themselves to be mobile workers and spend at least 20% of their time working outside of their offices
  • Only 41% feel empowered by their organization’s culture and managers to be able to work together productively and collaboratively.
  • In addition, only 32% of respondents agree that their organization is committed at a leadership level to ensure every employee is included in closing the digital skills gaps within the workforce.

The Study involved 319 working professionals from Malaysia. It sought to understand shifting employee behaviours and gaps in the workplace when it came to productivity, collaboration and flexi-work practices.

A Digitally Savvy Workforce is Key to Digital Transformation

An earlier version of the Study conducted in 2015 found that 41 out of 100 respondents in Malaysia were ready for the New World of Work, whereby organizations had the right People, Place and Technology principles in place to enable a productive, collaborative and innovative workforce. This year, 48 out of 100 respondents felt so, indicating that organizations in the market are slightly more equipped, although more can be done to move the needle.

But beyond People, Place and Technology factors, the rise of the 4th industrial revolution has also accelerated the pace of transformation. A recent Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study[2] conducted in late 2016 found that ‘Empowering Employees’ number two digital transformation priority among Malaysia’s business leaders. On the other hand, having a digital skilled workforce was one of the top barriers in their digital transformation journey.

New Work Styles and Organizational Conflicts Need to Be Addressed

It is evident that mobile professionals in the market are embracing flexi-work today, and organizations should look at new workplace practices, especially with the impeding influx of digital natives (born after 2000) entering the workforce for the first time.

More than half of the respondents (71%) value work-life integration today, where the boundaries of work and life have blurred, but have enabled mobile professionals to be able to collaborate and work virtually.

The Study also found that organizations need to address several structural challenges within the workplace to ready themselves for the digital age, as well as flexi-work practices:

  1. Organization’s Leaders are a key enabler to drive flexi-work practices in the workplace: Only 32% agree that their organization’s leadership is committed in bridging the digital skills gap in the workplace.
  2. Organizational culture is important: Only 26% agree that their organization has invested in culture development through training and development led by HR
  3. Access to newer, data-centric technologies to enhance collaboration and productivity: Only 27% feel that their organization has invested in analytics and data tools to help them make informed and timely decisions; only 28% agree that their organization has given them tools to simplify workflows

New World of Teams Requires New Approaches

Workplace shifts have undeniably resulted in new ways of work, where technologies have enabled increased collaboration between individuals and teams across geographies and groups. However, the Study found that there were certain gaps today that hindered collaborative and productive outcomes from teams.

The top five challenges included:

  1. Too many face to face meetings that are taking up productive time (34%);
  2. Teams are not open to new initiatives to improve processes (26%);
  3. Teams take too long to respond to internal issues (25%);
  4. Teams are too rigid and not open to new ways of work (24%)
  5. Team members are not accommodating with flexi-work schedules (20%)

However, respondents feel that strong leadership and vision (50%), access to technology tools for collaboration (48%), as well as an diverse team members across job functions (40%) can help build more collaborative teams.

Access to Newer, Collaborative Technologies will Enhance Productivity

The Study also found that respondents are seeking better devices to help them become more productive at work. Beyond hardware requirements, 33% hope to have access to information and data on mobile devices, 31% wish for cloud-based productivity tools and 24% hope for real-time collaboration capabilities.

When asked about emerging technologies that will help build better work environments by 2020:

  • 45% think real-time intelligences will help them make informed decisions at work
  • 45% believe Artificial Intelligence will be able to help perform tasks independently
  • 37% look forward to virtual workspaces that support instant messaging and document sharing

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The recently announced Microsoft Teams brings together people, conversations and content, along with the tools that teams need. It’s integrated with familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on Office 365 and Microsoft’s global, secured cloud.

Microsoft Teams is built on four core promises:

  • Chat for today’s teams. Microsoft Teams provides a modern conversations experience, with threaded, persistent chat to keep everyone engaged. Team conversations can be either private or visible to the entire team, and users can access multiple teams, making it easy to switch between projects.
  • A hub for teamwork. The Office 365 applications and services that teams use every day — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote and PowerBI— are all built-in, so people have the information and tools they need.
  • Customization for every team. Microsoft Teams offers the ability to customize work spaces with tabs, connectors and bots from third-party partners as well as familiar Microsoft tools like Microsoft Planner and Visual Studio Team Services. Today, more than 150 integrations are available or coming soon, with companies like SAP, Trello, Hipmunk, Growbot and ModuleQ building on the platform.
  • Security teams trust. Microsoft Teams is built on the hyper-scale, enterprise-grade Office 365 cloud, delivering the advanced security and compliance capabilities our customers expect. Teams supports global standards including SOC 1, SOC 2, EU Model Clauses, ISO27001 and HIPAA.

Customers worldwide are choosing Microsoft Teams to enable collaboration within their organizations. Since announcing the preview in November, more than 50,000 organizations have started using Microsoft Teams, including Alaska Airlines, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Expedia, J.B. Hunt, J. Walter Thompson, Hendrick Motorsports, Sage, Trek Bicycle and Three UK. In Asia, customers such as Amicus, Blackmores, Graincorp, Objective Corporation, Readify and RSL Queensland have adopted Microsoft Teams for their workplace.

The tight integration of Office 365 and Microsoft Teams means that when a group is working on a project everyone is assured that the most current artefacts and content are available immediately.

[1] The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study was conducted between February and March 2017 involving 4.175 respondents in 14 Asia markets. The 14 markets include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. All respondents were pre-qualified as at least spending 30 hours per week in a full-time role, or spending at least 20 hours per week in a part time role.

[2] The Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study was conducted between October to November 2016 involving 1,494 business leaders in 13 Asia Pacific markets. The 13 markets include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. All respondents were pre-qualified as being involved in shaping their organisations’ digital strategy, and are working in firms with more than 250 employees.

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Microsoft SIR : APAC Vulnerable To Malware In 2017

7 February 2017 – Microsoft today marked “Safer Internet Day” with regional findings from the Microsoft SIR (Security Intelligence Report), Volume 21, a twice yearly report that provides unique insights into the threat landscape to help organizations learn about trend data in industry vulnerabilities, exploits, malware and web-based attacks.

The Microsoft SIR report, released in December last year, identified Asia Pacific markets, especially the emerging ones, as among those at the highest risk of cybersecurity threats. Three out of the top five global spots for rate of malware encounters in the region. Malaysia placed 11th amongst the top markets in Asia Pacific under malware threats. Furthermore, Malaysia reported a malware encounter rate of more than 27.6%, compared to the worldwide encounter rate of 20.8 percent during the same period.

Two of the top five locations across the globe most at risk of infection included neighbouring countries Vietnam and Indonesia. Other top markets under malware threats include large developing markets and Southeast Asia countries – Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and India – each with encounter rates of more than 30 percent.

However, markets in the region with higher levels of IT maturity such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore have displayed malware encounter rates that are below the worldwide average, highlighting the diverse cybersecurity landscape in the Asia Pacific.

Top Markets in the Asia Pacific under Malware Threats in the Microsoft SIR :

  1. Mongolia
  2. Vietnam
  3. PakistanIndonesia
  4. Nepal and Bangladesh
  5. Cambodia
  6. Philippines
  7. Thailand
  8. India
  9. Sri Lanka
  10. Malaysia
  11. Taiwan
  12. China
  13. Singapore
  14. Hong Kong
  15. South Korea
  16. Australia
  17. New Zealand
  18. Japan

 

Top Encountered Malware in Asia Pacific

The Microsoft SIR report showed that the top most encountered malicious software families in Malaysia include:

  • Gamarue, a worm which can give a malicious hacker control of your PC, steal information and change PC security settings;
  • Lodbak, a trojan that is usually installed on removable drives by Gamarue, and which attempts to install Gamarue when the infected removable drive is connected to a computer; and Peals is a generic detection for various threats that display trojan characteristics.

In particular, Gamarue, the most commonly encountered non-generic threat was encountered by 3.3 percent of computers. This worm is commonly distributed via exploit kits and social engineering and can also be attached to spam mails.
Gamarue’s variants, can give a malicious hacker control of the infected computers and have been observed stealing information from the devices and communicating with command-and-control (C&C) servers managed by attackers. Gamarue also makes unwanted and malicious changes to the local computer’s security settings.

Jasmine Begum, Director, Corporate External & Legal Affairs (CELA), Microsoft Malaysia said, “With increasing malware encounters and sophistication of cyberattacks, cybersecurity is becoming a mission critical priority for most organizations. It generally takes an average up to 200 days for organizations to find out that they have been breached. With no sign of abatement in the future, what companies need is a Secure Modern Enterprise posture, which involves well-integrated “Protect-Detect-Respond” investments and capabilities, with a strategic focus on the core pillars – Identity, Apps, Data, Infrastructure and Devices. Additionally, organizations should also strongly consider adopting trusted cloud-based services to enjoy the highest levels of data protection, leveraging the cloud provider’s enterprise-grade security and privacy expertise, assurances and certifications.”

Security teams should also keep abreast of changes in the threat landscape brought about by emergence of cloud computing. The latest report contains an expanded Featured Intelligence section that includes a deep dive section on Protecting cloud infrastructure: detecting and mitigating threats using Azure Security Center. This section details new threats that organizations may encounter and explains how they can use Azure Security Center to protect, detect, and respond to security threats against Azure cloud-based resources.

Some of the new cloud-targeted threats outlined in the Microsoft SIR are:

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  • Pivot back attacks, which occurs when an attacker compromises a public cloud resource to obtain information that they then use to attack the resource provider’s on-premises environment
  • “Man in the Cloud” attacks, in which an attacker induces a prospective victim to install a piece of malware using a typical mechanism, such as an email with a link to a malicious website. It then switches out the user’s cloud storage synchronization token with the attacker’s token, allowing the attacker to receive copies of each file the user places in cloud storage. This effectively makes the attacker a “man in the middle” for cloud storage.
  • Side-channel attacks, where an attacker attempts to put a virtual machine on the same physical server as the intended victim. If he succeeds, the attacker will be able to launch local attacks against the victim. These attacks might include local DDoS, network sniffing, and man-in-the-middle attacks, all of which can be used to extract information.
  • Resource ransom, where attackers hold cloud resource hostage by breaking into and controlling public cloud account, and then requiring the victim to pay a ransom to release encrypted or restricted resources.

Organizations need to ensure they have a robust cybersecurity posture to withstand and respond effectively to most cyberattacks and malware infections.

Five best practices for improving defence against cybersecurity threats are:

  • Ensure strong fundamentals: Use only genuine, current and updated software. The usage of IT assets which are old, unprotected, or are non-genuine in nature, substantially increase the chances for a cyberattack. For example, pirated and counterfeit software are known to come with embedded malware infections.
  • Focus on cyber hygiene: Poor cyber hygiene of IT users, negligent employee behaviour or weak credentials/password protection within an organization, adds a high degree of vulnerability for system compromise. With more and more personal devices being used at the workplace, the higher the chance they are infected.
  • Have a data culture: Develop a big data analytics culture involving data classification, multifactor authentication, encryption, rights management, machine learning for behavioural analytics and log analytics to spot user anomalies and irregular or suspicious patterns, which could provide potential clues in advance to prevent impending or ongoing security breaches.
  • Invest in a robust cyber defence ecosystem and monitor all systems in real time: Invest in trusted security solutions and modern threat protection technologies to monitor, detect and remove common and advanced cyber threats in real time, while developing in-house expertise to undertake threat analytics.
  • Regular assessment, review and audit: Be comprehensive on all aspects of cybersecurity, not just technology. Have a IT trusted supply chain across cloud, software, hardware, Internet of Things, BYOD (bring your own device) and regularly review and assess cybersecurity investments and performance of both software and hardware deployment, including customer and vendor access to the corporate network.

Resources like the Microsoft SIR (Security Intelligence Report) are just one aspect of the Microsoft comprehensive approach to security – including a holistic platform, unique intelligence and broad partnerships – which is critical to enabling the digital transformation of leading organizations in Asia.

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to building trust in technology in the region, it launched its first combined Transparency Center and Cybersecurity Center in October 2016. Located in Singapore, the joint facility brings together Microsoft capabilities in a single location in Asia Pacific, to serve the security needs of the public and private sector and foster the building of a trusted and secure computing environment.

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US-ASEAN Business Council Digital Economy Report Launched!

Kuala Lumpur, 18 January 2017 – The US-ASEAN Business Council and Deloitte today presented a new report, The Digital Economy and the Free Flow of Data: Advancing the ASEAN Economic Community, to the Malaysian government and business community. The report highlights how ASEAN Member States can advance their digital economies and the ASEAN Economic Community through pro-growth digital data management policies.

 

US-ASEAN Business Council: Digital Economy Report

“The digital economy plays a strategic role as a critical enabler for deepening ASEAN regional integration and as well as helping drive next generation domestic demand led growth for startups and SME’s,” said Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “We encourage Malaysia to lead in ASEAN by supporting policies on data management that allow member economies to benefit from greater efficiency, extended reach and lower costs.”

“Regional integration and the digital economy are both big opportunities in what is one of the world’s fastest growing regions. All manner of business, from the start-up to the regional champion as well as the multinational, will benefit if the AEC framework puts the digital economy front & center. Now is the time to do so,” Jeff Pirie, AEC Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia, added.

In Malaysia and throughout ASEAN, these policies can support modern high-tech industries, enhance the development of e-commerce, help small and medium enterprises reach customers and optimize their businesses, enable financial inclusion, and encourage foreign investment. However, governments need to consider regulatory, legal and policy issues stemming from technology, platforms and providers.

Privacy, security, intellectual property and customer protection are some of the issues that need to be addressed if countries are to benefit from the digital economy. It is also essential to ensure that it is the risk, not the actor, that is regulated. Further, inter-agency cooperation is essential if ASEAN member states are to have effective digital laws and regulations as issues cut across many different sectors.

Amol Gupte, Citi Country Officer (CCO) for Singapore and Head of ASEAN said, “Digitization of financial services has a positive impact on ASEAN integration and the economies of Southeast Asia. To maximize the full potential of digitization across the region, there is need for a supportive policy framework. Particularly crucial is the ability to move data quickly and seamlessly across borders which will benefit trade, increase innovation and support financial inclusion. Citi is committed to helping our clients benefit from the opportunities digital networks bring such as in the area of payment innovation.”

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“In our increasingly interconnected world, the new trade routes are now digital and global businesses are increasingly relying on data flows to manage operations. With the recently announced Digital Free Trade Zone, Malaysia is well-positioned to harness the opportunities of the digital economy. As Microsoft works to empower every person and every organization to actively participate in the fourth industrial revolution, we recognize the importance of transparency, privacy, security and compliance in ensuring the smooth flow of data across borders, and are encouraged by our collective efforts to advance the ASEAN Digital Economy through inclusive people-centric enabling policies.” Jasmine Begum, Director, Corporate External & Legal Affairs (CELA) concurred.

The US- ASEAN Business Council and Deloitte forum was hosted at Microsoft’s office, and included a panel discussion on Malaysia’s digital economy and how the findings of the report can best be applied to support growth and innovation in Malaysia. The panelists included Claudia Chan, Regional Director, Government Affairs, Asia Pacific for Seagate; Jasmine Begum, Director, Legal, Corporate & Government Affairs, Microsoft Malaysia & New Markets; and Jeff Pirie, AEC Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia. The panel was moderated by Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council.

The report was developed by the US-ASEAN Business Council and Deloitte, with support from Cisco, Citi, Google, MasterCard, Microsoft, and Seagate.

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Microsoft & Intel PC Campaign – Find Your New PC Love

Kuala Lumpur, 8 December 2016Microsoft Malaysia and Intel’s joint campaign, Find Your New PC Love continues to bring new offers to help Malaysians find their ideal modern PC, powered by Windows 10 and Intel Core Processors. The PC campaign caters to the varied tastes and preferences of the modern PC user by offering a range of premium devices including innovative new 2 in 1 models.

 

Microsoft & Intel PC Campaign – Find Your New PC Love

“As we get close to the end of the year, we want to ensure that our users can avail the best deals to add cheer to their festive season. The campaign offers a perfect opportunity for all PC users to experience the latest gadgets,” said Bruce Howe, General Manager, Consumer Channel Group, Microsoft Malaysia. He added, “These devices offer a chance for users to embrace the full personal computing experience that comes with Windows 10.”

The campaign provides users varied options – whether it’s devices made for mobility, speed, touch or affordability. These modern and versatile devices include the ASUS ZenBook UX360, Acer Switch Alpha 12, Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360, and the Lenovo Miix 510.

Those looking to get their hands on these devices should take advantage of these exclusive promotions, which run until 31 December 2016:

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  • Dell – Obtain 3-X points from the Mad-X reward programme for every purchase of a XPS laptop and 2-in-1, which entitles buyers to redeem up to three prizes from a wide selection of gifts.
  • Acer – Secure your PC with McAfee Internet Security worth RM299. Additionally,
    • For products below RM 2500, AEW (Acer Extended Warranty) 1 worth RM RM198 will be up for grabs
    • For products above RM2500, AEW 2 worth RM298 will be up for grabs
  • Lenovo – Get a shopping voucher with RM 200 with the purchase of Lenovo Miix 510 i5
    Buyers of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 can avail RM 800 off on Core M & Core i5 models from 12- 14 December.

For those looking to purchase the devices online, Lazada is also offering an additional voucher worth RM300 with any purchase of Microsoft Surface as a one-time offer on 12 December, in conjunction with its Online Revolution Campaign, happening until 14th December 2016. Additional offers are also applicable to the selected models highlighted in the Find Your New PC Love campaign

 

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The New Microsoft Teams Collaborative Chat Is Now Available!

Redmond, Wash. 2 November 2016Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled Microsoft Teams, a new chat-based workspace that further enhances the collaboration capabilities in Microsoft Office 365, the cloud-based productivity offering with more than 85 million monthly active commercial users. Microsoft Teams brings together people, conversations, content and the tools teams need to collaborate.

“At Microsoft we aim to empower every person and organization with the technology to be more productive as individuals and in groups,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Office 365 is the broadest toolkit and platform for creation, communication and collaboration. Microsoft Teams adds a new experience to Office 365 as the chat-based workspace designed to empower the art of teams.”

Microsoft Teams is Built on Four Core Promises:

  • Chat for today’s teams. Microsoft Teams provides persistent, threaded chat to keep everyone engaged and informed. Team conversations are visible to the entire team by default, and the experience also offers private chat capabilities. A library of emojis, GIFs, custom stickers and memes gives people a fun way to express personality within their digital workspace.
  • A hub for teamwork. Microsoft Teams brings together the full breadth and depth of Office 365. People can start voice and video meetings, as well as work with Microsoft Office documents, directly within the Microsoft Teams experience. The Microsoft Graph enables intelligence to help with information relevance, discovery and sharing. Microsoft Teams is also built on Office 365 Groups, the cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another, preserve their sense of context and share with others.
  • Customizable for each team. Because every team is unique, Microsoft Teams offers the ability for teams to customize the experience to meet their specific needs. Team members can create channels to organize conversations by topic. They can customize channels with a feature called Tabs, which provide quick access to frequently used documents and applications. Tabs can be created for Office 365 services like OneNote, SharePoint and Planner, or third-party solutions, such as Zendesk and Asana coming soon. Microsoft Teams supports the same Connector model as Exchange to bring notifications and updates from third-party services, such as Twitter or GitHub available Wednesday, directly into the experience. In addition, it supports the Microsoft Bot Framework to bring intelligent first- and third-party services into the team environment. The preview of the Microsoft Teams Developer Preview, also announced today, gives developers the opportunity to start building integrations with Microsoft Teams right away.
  • Security that teams trust. As part of Office 365, Microsoft Teams offers the global scale and advanced security and compliance capabilities provided by the Microsoft Cloud. Data is encrypted at all times and covered by a transparent operational model with no standing access to customer data. Multifactor authentication provides enhanced identity protection to help ensure data stays safe within the team. In addition, Microsoft Teams will support key compliance and data protection standards, such as the data processing terms with European Union Model Clauses, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act business associate agreement (HIPAA BAA), ISO 27001, ISO 27018, and SSAE 16 SOC 1 and 2 report.

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Preview Availability

Starting Nov 2nd, the preview of Microsoft Teams is available to Office 365 commercial customers with Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans. The preview is available in 181 countries and 18 languages. Office 365 IT administrators can enable Microsoft Teams for their organization from the Office 365 admin center.

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Wise Pad W7 Phablet Giveaway Contest Results

We have an awesome giveaway for you guys this time. We are going to give away a 4G LTE phablet that runs on Windows 10! We present to you – the Wise Pad W7 phablet giveaway contest!

The Wise Pad W7 is a 7″ phablet that powered by a quad-core Qualcomm processor, and runs on Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile. For more details, please read our full review of the Wise Pad W7.

Don’t forget to check out our Total War : Warhammer Giveaway Contest too!

 

The Wise Pad W7 Phablet Giveaway Contest Mechanics

To win the Wise Pad W7, all you have to do is look for this contest icon that we have inserted into 5 articles we posted recently.

Once you find one, all you have to do is :

  1. Click on the Wise Pad W7 contest icon, and it will open a contest registration form
  2. Key in your name and email address
  3. Click the Send button

That’s it! That’s all you have to do! Simple, isn’t it?

You only need to submit one entry to be in the running to win the Wise Pad W7. But you can greatly increase your chances by locating more of the same contest icon to submit more entries. Each contest icon will have their own contest registration form.

Bonus : You can also increase your chances by sharing any of our Facebook posts. Each share gives you a bonus entry. However, you must key in your Facebook account in the contest registration form, so we can credit you for the shares.

 

Where Do I Find The 5 Contest Icons? Updated!

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To make it easy for you to find the 5 contest icons, here are some clues… and their answers!

  1. What Windows 10 phablet are we giving away in this contest? Answer : The Wise Pad W7 phablet.
  2. A truck with Samsung smartphones apparently exploded in Florida. Answer : No, It Didn’t.
  3. Thanks to less competition, we have better mainstream hard disk drives today. Answer : Mainstream Drives Keep Getting Better.
  4. This GeForce GTX 1070 card was designed and sold directly by NVIDIA. Answer : The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition.
  5. Apple iPhones are expensive, but not for the reasons most people believe are true. Answer : Why Apple iPhones Are So Expensive?

So simple, right? 😀

 

Winner Selection

The Wise Pad W7 phablet giveaway contest ends at midnight, October 31, 2016 (GMT+8). We will randomly select the winner from the collated results, and announce the results by November 15th.

If you are a winner, you must receive an email requesting your mailing address and contact number. You must reply within 7 days, or we will select another winner.

The Wise Pad W7 phablet giveaway contest is open internationally, but Tech ARP will only pay for basic mail delivery, and will not be responsible for any taxes that may be levied. Winners may opt to pay for expedited or courier delivery services at their own expense.

 

Contest Results!

We are very excited to announce the Wise Pad W7 Phablet Giveaway Contest results! This time, a total of 110 contestants participated. Thank you for making it such a success!

We have not only selected the winner of the Wise Pad W7, we have also pre-selected a backup winner, in case the first winner does not get back to us on time. Let’s see who won!

The winner must PM or email us with your details within 7 days of this announcement, or the prize will go to the backup winner, and so on.

  1. Full Name
  2. Mobile / Telephone Number
  3. Full Address

If you did not win this time, don’t worry – we have another contest coming right up!

 

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Microsoft System Center & Windows Server 2016 Launched

27 October 2016Microsoft today announced the launch of its latest Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016. Enterprises and businesses can now broadly acquire the server operating system that accelerates innovation and security of both traditional and cloud-native applications.

 

Windows Server 2016 – The Cloud-ready OS

As a cloud-ready OS, Windows Server 2016 inherently enables hybrid cloud. Backed by 20 years of innovation, the Windows Server 2016 offers seamless portability across datacenter, private and public cloud environments via virtual machine and new container formats that can be reliably deployed wherever the business requires.

Celebrating the 20-year milestone of Windows Server, Steven Yong, Cloud and Enterprise Business Group Lead, Microsoft Malaysia said, “It is hard to believe that two decades ago, Microsoft introduced the first OS for the masses, democratizing IT platforms and tools to help IT solutions that drive success. We are excited to finally introduce the latest milestone – Windows Server 2016.”

Windows Server 2016 delivers powerful innovation across three areas:

  • Advanced Multi-layer Security: Security attacks have become more sophisticated in an increasingly connected world. Organizations must respond with a more sophisticated environment that presents new layers of defense at every level of potential compromise.

Windows Server 2016 gives IT the power to help prevent attacks and detect suspicious activity with new features to control privileged access, protect virtual machines and harden the platform against emerging threats.

  • Software-defined Datacenter: Windows Server 2016 delivers a more flexible and cost-efficient operating system for any datacenter, using software-defined compute, storage and network features inspired by Microsoft Azure.
  • Cloud-ready Application Platform: Applications are at the heart of every organization and its ability to serve customers and compete effectively for their loyalty. As the digital transformation accelerates in every organization, nearly every application needs to transition or transform. Windows Server 2016 delivers new ways to deploy and run both existing and cloud-native applications – whether on-premises or in Microsoft Azure – using new capabilities such as Windows Server Containers and the lightweight Nano Server deployment option.

Enterprises can get started now by trying out the System Center 2016 evaluation, and tune in to the on-demand Windows Server 2016 webcast.

 

System Center 2016 – Managing the software-defined datacenter

The latest version of System Center makes it easy for organizations to deploy, configure and manage virtualized, software-defined datacenter and hybrid cloud infrastructure. It offers an array of new capabilities that amplify the ability to meet the most demanding business requirements, providing support for everything from provisioning the physical and virtual infrastructure to IT process and service management.

System Center 2016 is designed to provide:

  • Faster time to value with simple installation, in-place upgrades, and automated workflows.
  • Efficient operations with improvements in performance and usability of all System Center components.
  • Greater heterogeneity and cloud management with broader support for LAMP stack (a popular open source web platform) and VMware, including monitoring resources and services in Azure and Amazon Web Services.

 

Microsoft’s Hybrid Commitment

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“These releases reflect our deep commitment to hybrid cloud. We strongly believe that the hybrid cloud is the reality for all enterprise customers, even those with the most ambitious cloud plans. Some applications should and will move quickly to public cloud, while others face technological and regulatory obstacles. Regardless of where these applications run today or will run in the future, Windows Server 2016 is the solution – providing both a rich and secure platform,” said Yong.

“We are committed to help customers in their cloud journey and the general availability of Windows Server 2016 in Malaysia marks another important milestone in delivering the most complete hybrid cloud solutions for customers of all sizes,” he added.

Microsoft partners Citrix, Dell EMC, HPE, Intel, and Veeam were present at the launch event today and articulated why they had opted for Windows Server 2016 – in line with Microsoft’s continued commitment to security and hybrid platforms to meet modern IT needs.

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Nokia 216 Dual SIM Feature Phones Announced

20 September 2016Microsoft today introduced the Nokia 216 Dual SIM, a new feature phone that keeps you entertained with apps and games, and are great for capturing and sharing selfies and photos day or night. The Nokia 216 Dual SIM will be available in Malaysia on 21 October, with a RRP (Recommended Retail Pricing) of RM169 / ~US$42.

The Nokia 216 Dual SIM

Featuring two cameras with LED flash, the internet-enabled Nokia 216 Dual SIM is a great feature phone for capturing and sharing special moments.

For entertainment and music, the Nokia 216 Dual SIM comes with an FM Radio, MP3 and video player, and Bluetooth audio support for headsets. The phone can store up to 2,000 contacts, and have a memory card support of up to 32GB. The rear camera LED flash doubles as a built-in torchlight to light up situations where you need it most.

Available in black, grey, and blue, Nokia 216 Dual SIM has a beautifully crafted polycarbonate shell that is built to last, and outstanding battery life that keeps you connected for longer.

“Microsoft’s feature phones are a range of trusted mobile devices that empower people with mobility and the ability to connect, discover and achieve more. They are long lasting, functional, and beautifully designed – and give you more for less”, said Vijay Thangavelu, Country Sales Lead, Microsoft Mobile Device Sales. “The Nokia 216 Dual SIM is our newest addition to the Microsoft feature phone family that offer the affordable connectivity features people need, combined with the entertainment features they want.”

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Nokia 216 Dual SIM Specifications

 

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Instructure Announces Canvas Integration With Office 365

27 July 2016 — Canvas by Instructure , a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that makes software that makes people smarter, announced recently at InstructureCon the Canvas integration with Microsoft Office 365 to provide instructors and learners around the world with an improved educational experience.

“Teachers need these new capabilities for their education platforms, and we have continuously focused on providing the best technology we could design and build,” said Mitch Benson, Vice President of Canvas Product. “What happened next was that two of edtech’s most established forces connected and worked together to meet the expressed needs of these educators. We’re extremely proud of the result and can’t wait to roll it out to our robust, global list of educational institutions.”

Responding to the needs of educators, representatives from the Canvas Platform Team collaborated with Microsoft to help develop improvements to the Canvas base platform that facilitate the best integration experience possible for their millions of users. The Canvas Platform Team believes this integration will be both a model and a catalyst for change to propel greater innovation to rusty technology in edtech.

“Across the Asia Pacific region, schools rely heavily on Canvas and Microsoft for their daily educational functions, and these platforms have grown essential to the learning process of our K–12, further and higher education teachers and students,” said Troy Martin, Director, Asia Pacific, Instructure. “The integration of two of our most prominently used technologies will only help further streamline and enhance learning development within each classroom.”

Canvas has millions of active users and is employed by hundreds of universities and colleges in 40 countries. Canvas combines innovative education tools, a platform for hosting those tools and institutions using the platform to transform learning and teaching in the classroom. The Canvas integration with Microsoft follows other critical Canvas innovations, including a transformation of their user interface.

“Our relationship with Canvas helps us bring the best tools for learning into the classroom. We know teachers and students are strapped for time and we want to help them focus on what’s really important: teaching and learning,” said Eran Megiddo, Corporate Vice President of engineering, Education at Microsoft. “By integrating Office 365 with Canvas, teachers and students can now collaborate online with Office 365, including OneNote Class Notebooks, Word, Excel and PowerPoint directly within their Canvas LMS, saving valuable time so the teachers can remain focused on their students, and students can leverage the best tools available and focus on learning.”

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Canvas Integration With Office 365

Canvas and Microsoft provide seven main points of interoperability that make using the Canvas integration with Office 365 seamless. Those points are:

  • Submit files directly from Office 365 into Canvas Assignments.
  • Access Office 365 documents through SpeedGrader to add feedback.
  • Link Office 365 documents anywhere you use the Rich Content Editor.
  • Include Office 365 documents in your Modules.
  • Create Collaborations using any type of Office document.
  • Create and grade assignments in your Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook, then push those grades to Canvas.
  • Sign in to Canvas with your Office 365 login using single sign-on.

 

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The Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update Revealed

We first revealed a major new feature of the Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update in our article, Microsoft Windows Ink Revealed. Well, it is now here and available! But you might be wondering – what other improvements and new features will the Windows 10 Anniversary Update bring to the table? Let us show you!

 

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Revealed

We were recently invited by Microsoft Malaysia to an exclusive tech briefing on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Andres Sirel, Windows & Devices Group Lead of Microsoft Malaysia, demonstrated new features like Windows Ink, as well as improvements in Windows Hello, Microsoft Edge, Windows Notes, etc. :

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Other New Features Or Improvements In The Windows 10 Anniversary Update

More security features for the most secure Windows: For all Windows 10 customers, the Anniversary Update brings new improvements to Windows Hello and Windows Defender.

  • With Windows Hello, customers can sign in with enterprise-grade security, password-free, to apps, and access supporting websites with biometric authentication using Microsoft Edge, the first and only browser to natively support biometrics.
  • Windows Defender anti-malware improves with the option to automatically schedule periodic quick scans of your PC; and provide notifications and summaries when scans are complete and if scans find any threats.

Building on the existing security features in Windows 10, two new security benefits for enterprise customers include:

  • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, designed to detect, investigate and respond to malicious attacks and informed by the world’s largest array of sensors and expert advanced threat protection, including a team of expert security researchers at Microsoft.
  • Windows Information Protection, formerly referred to as enterprise data protection, helps protect businesses from accidental data leaks by separating personal and organizational data where ever it goes.

Improvements to Cortana: the world’s most productive personal digital assistant gets even better with access above the lock screen, more ways to remember with the ability for Cortana to save and recall information, and synchronization across devices.

Increased power efficiency, extensions and accessibility with Microsoft Edge: The Anniversary Update includes even more power-saving improvements in Microsoft Edge, using fewer CPU cycles, consuming less memory, and minimizing the impact of background activity and peripheral content like Flash advertisements. Microsoft Edge Extensions, such as Pinterest’s “Pin it Button” and Amazon Assistant, will also be available in the Windows Store. The new accessibility architecture for Microsoft Edge also now supports modern web standards, including HTML, CSS, and ARIA. With this update, page structure and content are exposed more clearly with assistive technology. Visual presentation of web pages in high contrast mode provides additional visual context, while preserving text contrast. Also, form entry when using keyboard navigation and screen readers improve the browsing experience for people of all abilities.

An even better gaming experience: With Xbox Play Anywhere, gamers can buy a game once and play on a Windows 10 PC or Xbox One with shared progress, shared game saves and share achievements. Every new title published from Microsoft Studios will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store on both Windows 10 and Xbox One. Cortana is also now available on Xbox One to help gamers find great new games, see what friends are up to, start a party, accomplish common tasks, and turn on Xbox One by saying “Hey Cortana, Xbox On”.

Top fan-requested features including Language Region Independence so gamers can choose any supported language on Xbox One, regardless of their location; and support for background music, will come with the Anniversary Update. As well, the new Xbox One S, available this summer starting at $299, will include the Anniversary Update. With a limited 2TB Xbox One S launch edition available in August for $399 USD, it’s the only console with support for HDR gaming and 4K Ultra HD video and Blu-ray.

Innovations for the modern classroom join great devices starting at $179: An all new “Set up School PCs” app will enable teachers to set up devices in 3 easy steps with a ‘Shared Cart of Devices.’ For schools with dedicated IT support, the updated Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer tool enables the setup of shared devices, in bulk, in a matter of minutes. For high-stakes tests that should not have copy-and-paste privileges, access to files or other distractions, the Take a Test app creates a browser-based, locked-down environment for more secure online assessments.

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Microsoft Philanthropies Offer New Hope To Juvenile Inmates

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 June 2016 Microsoft Malaysia today announced one of the program that under Microsoft Philanthropies is a three-year partnership with the Malaysian Prisons Department (under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs), to provide juvenile inmates in the country with digital literacy and upskilling opportunities in the areas of digital inclusion, entrepreneurship, and capacity building.

The collaboration will provide these 500 inmates, aged between 16 to 21 from 13 prison schools nationwide, with capacity building opportunities with Microsoft volunteers, student partners and NGO partners such as Yayasan Generasi Gemilang. The main objective of this three-year collaboration is to prepare these individuals for employability, and to pursue further educational opportunities upon their release. Inmates from the prison schools will be trained to use basic computer programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

Microsoft Malaysia is also looking at providing training to teachers from the prison in the areas of digital literacy, which would help them to impart the necessary skills required to improve leaning outcomes.

Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Philanthropies, explained that the collaboration was part of Microsoft’s long-standing commitment to invest in digital inclusion programs and partnerships in the country. “Microsoft was founded on the principle that people can do remarkable things when technology is within reach. We want to create immersive and inclusive experiences that inspire lifelong learning, stimulating development of essential life skills – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, character, citizenship and computational thinking – and supporting educators in guiding and nurturing student passions.”

“We are excited about the partnership with the Prison Department of Malaysia on this program, which includes providing Digital Literacy, entrepreneurship, computer science and leadership amongst others, looks at employability and start-ups as an outcome for these 13 prison schools,” she said during her visit to Malaysia.

 

Empowering Juvenile Inmates Through Digital Inclusion

Today’s announcement also marks the company’s second collaboration with the Prisons Department of Malaysia. Last year, Microsoft Malaysia’s Hour of Code initiative introduced over 160 Henry Gurney Prison School inmates to a specially created “Minecraft” coding tutorial, in which students and educators learnt about the basics of coding – allowing them to navigate, mine, craft and explore in a two-dimensional “Minecraft” world, plugging together blocks to complete actions and generate code.

Following its success, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been in discussions with the tech giant to develop similar capacity-building programs. This has led to the Prisons Department of Malaysia considering the development of IT Academies for these 13 Prison Schools nationwide, which includes Henry Gurney Prison Schools and Integrity Schools.

Commenting on this development, Jasmine Begum, Director, Corporate, External & Legal Affairs, Microsoft Malaysia and Emerging Markets, said that this partnership allowed Microsoft to reiterate its commitment to the Malaysian Government to empower every person in every community. “Since our first humbling experience at Henry Gurney last December, we have been in discussions with the Prisons Department of Malaysia to make this collaboration a reality, and we are really pleased that this partnership will further solidify our commitment to equip and educate these individuals with the knowledge and skills that will be useful to them once they have been released.”

“The participation of the private sector in collaboration with the public sector is important in realizing our vision of being a high-income economy by 2020. This growth must be holistic, and the main ingredient to this is human capital. This is where I believe that the capacity building program is of importance, and I am pleased to note that Microsoft has put in place sustainable programs that encourage youth capacity building in IT within the community that Microsoft operates in. The tools provided in these programs are enablers which encourages the development of talent based on innovation and creativity that ultimately enhances our national competitiveness. In short, we are using technology to make a meaningful social and economic impact,” said Dato’ Sri Haji Zulkifli bin Omar, Commissioner General, Prisons Department of Malaysia.

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Microsoft Philanthropies – Sparking Equal Opportunities for All Youth Globally

Through Microsoft Philanthropies, Microsoft is able to extend its vision of empowerment through four pillars – empowering youth, partnership with NGOs, supporting accessibility for the disabled, and by helping those effected by migration processes. Within these four pillars, Microsoft will contribute in new and more impactful ways by connecting the benefits of technology to those who need it most, while working harder to drive inclusive growth of the global economy.

The partnership with The Prisons Department of Malaysia is part of Microsoft Philanthropies’ efforts in bridging gaps across communities. By working together with both public and private organizations, the company aims to help more Malaysian youth fill computer science-related jobs that will exist in the country as the nation move towards a developed status by 2020. “This notion complements a 2015 Microsoft study which found students recognizing the value of coding – or software programming – as a core subject in schools. An overwhelming 88% of Malaysian students surveyed said they wanted to know more about coding, and 90% said it was a good career path to have,” added Jasmine.

Microsoft believes that no single organization or company can close the global computer science education skills gap, and therefore is dedicated to work in partnership with others. Snapp elaborates, “Our efforts have focused on leveraging longstanding community relationships with our partners around the world to create access to computer science, and also to break down barriers and stereotypes that are keeping large populations of youth out of computer science education – even when the opportunities are available. Regardless of the career they pursue, we want these young people to benefit from understanding how technology works as well as how to create, apply and use it. And for those inspiring young people out there who are excited about pursuing a career utilizing computer science, we will show them how Microsoft can help them build their futures.”

 

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