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By NBF News
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In a bid to drive business growth and encourage local innovations across Africa, Microsoft Nigeria recently introduced new products and services. The products, which include: Microsoft Lync 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the much-heralded Kinect for Xbox 360, were showcased at the just-concluded two-day Open Door event, a key initiative in the company's continued investment in the African region, to foster local Information Technology (IT) development and drive innovation.

This year's event provided an opportunity for guests to experience the latest Microsoft technologies first-hand, increase knowledge and share ideas.

Speaking at the event, Country Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Emmanuel Onyeje, said: 'The Open Door events are a great platform for us to showcase our complete vision and wide range of technology solutions including our unique position on cloud computing and the potential this offers to basically change how individuals and organisations across the region will use technology in the future.

'We remain committed to fostering local growth and development and believe the Open Door events provide a fantastic opportunity to not only highlight the latest developments in ICT, but also the potential growth opportunities they offer.'

With the Open Door events, Microsoft is further building on its local partnerships across the country to expand the possibilities for computing and increase the number of people using and developing technology to drive growth and ideas.

Director, Developer Platforms, Microsoft West, East and Central Africa, Dele Akinsade, noted that: 'Microsoft understands the need to help others innovate and compete favourably. This explains why we have raised the bar in our partnership with local universities to empower students with the best technology tools to enhance their learning experience.

'Consequently, Microsoft will offer students in universities focused on IT, free copies of DreamSpark, a platform that provides professional-level developer and design tools to students and educators, at no charge for development and testing purposes.'

He added: 'As we identify that the potential to innovate must be nurtured early on, Microsoft will continue to provide appropriate and superior learning tools to encourage innovation.'

Some of the sessions at the event were dedicated to cloud computing with the aim of helping businesses discover cloud power; control and manage their IT across physical and virtual server environments while leveraging their existing IT investments and skills.