Mi­crosoft Opens Skype Lite, Sangam

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Supraja.Srini­vasan @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Mi­crosoft chief ex­ec­u­tive Satya Nadella reaf­firmed the com­pany’s com­mit­ment to In­dia by un­veil­ing a slew of In­dia-fo­cused prod­uct roll­outs, in­clud­ing a lighter ver­sion of Skype, on Wed­nes­day in Mum­bai.

Skype Lite has been es­pe­cially de­signed for use in In­dia’s patchy tele­com net­works. With just a 13MB foot­print, the app al­lows com­mu­ni­ca­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion over low band­width net­works in­clud­ing 2G con­nec­tions and has fea­tures specif­i­cally de­signed for In­dia in­clud­ing man­ag­ing SMS by re­mov­ing clut­ter, mo­bile data and WiFi us­age mon­i­tor­ing, In­dia-fo­cussed Skype bots, and power sav­ing func­tion­al­ity. The app will also have Aad­haar­based ver­i­fi­ca­tion fea­ture built-in.

“Aad­haar gives In­dia the op­por­tu­nity to own con­trol over data. It also makes us as an MNC to op­er­ate in In­dia re­spon­si­bly by mak­ing su- re that our ser­vices sup­port the In­dia stack and that’s what we are do­ing with Skype,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Mi­crosoft, who is on the last leg of his three-day visit to In­dia. The in­te­gra­tion of Aad­haar to the An­droid app will be com­plete by June 2017 and will help users ver­ify un­known callers for trans­ac­tions like job in­ter­views, sale of goods, and prop­erty trans­ac­tions.

Skype Lite will be avail­able in seven lo­cal lan­guages and English.

Pro­ject Sangam is an­other In­di­afirst roll­out that the com­pany an­nounced. A joint ini­tia­tive from Mi­crosoft and LinkedIn, Pro­ject Sangam al­low users to reg­is­ter on LinkedIn us­ing Aad­haar and en­roll for skill devel­op­ment pro­grammes. “LinkedIn has a global white-col­lar net­work, and we are now es­tab­lish­ing the same at lower lev­els through Pro­ject Sangam. We are back­ing it up with Aad­haar so that ver­i­fi­ca­tion of profiles can be done and at the same time en­sure that gov­ern­ments have all the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to un­der­stand who’s get- ting trained and who’s not,” Anil Bhansali, MD - R&D at Mi­crosoft In­dia told ET.

Mi­crosoft has also joined hands with State Bank of In­dia to bring on board the bank on its Of­fice 365 cloud plat­form. “It is phe­nom­e­nal to see the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion where some of the largest banks are now de­cid­ing that they want to be able to take ad­van­tage of what the cloud gives them so that they can be more of a tech­nol­ogy com­pany,” said Nadella. The part­ner­ship with SBI fol­lows Mi­crosoft’s strate­gic cloud part-

GAIN­ING CON­TROL

ner­ship with Flip­kart which will see the firm adopt Mi­crosoft Azure as its ex­clu­sive pub­lic cloud com­put­ing plat­form. In keep­ing with the In­dian gov­ern­ment’s am­bi­tion of en­abling smart cities, Mi­crosoft is also look­ing to lever­age its cloud tech­nolo­gies to work with the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment on the ‘Smart Vil­lages’ pro­gramme.

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