Microsoft eats up Nokia mobile, launches MSN in Kenya

Ken Walibora probably has never heard of Queer TV.
Ken Walibora probably has never heard of Queer TV.

The technology world this past week was awash with the big story of Microsoft buying out the mobile business of Nokia. Nokia was for a long time the biggest mobile phone on the planet dominating the business all over. This was a hardy product that had the best battery life in the business which I appreciated. On our continent (that’s Africa) every single home had a Nokia charger so you were sure to sort your dying phone went to visit a friend. I had a great time enjoying the company as its products were easy to use especially when I was in that drinking phase in my career as a human being when I bought phones every few weeks.

In the last few years, the phone business changed beyond the one where Nokia was the king of the phone business with Blackberry was the king of the Smartphone segment. This was with the entry of Apple’s I-phone and the new operating mobile system from Google called Android both happening in 2007. The former of these moves brought to the fore the phone as an ecosystem that has hardware as conduit to experience it as opposed to the phone being the focus. The Android OS was the same and even better it was not tied to any hardware where cell phone manufacturers could just build their products to its specifications.

The former big dogs in the world of the Nokia and Blackberry never recovered. Blackberry the kings of the Smartphone have lost so much market share they only have 3.3% world wide. Nokia sensed the danger and got in a new guy to run their operation. He was a gentleman called Steve Elop a former Microsoft employee who decided that the future for the company was integrating with his old bosses Microsoft mobile OS. It was gamble but at the time it seemed to be the only way to go to save their company.

Then this week Nokia opted out of the game completely. If you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen seemed to be reasoning and the company was off to sell its device manufacturing and patents for a handy US$7 billion.

Microsoft isn’t just buying phone divisions as part of their plans for world domination. Its portal MSN was this Thursday unveiling its new Kenyan arm to an appreciative audience of bloggers and a few media types. The event at the Serena Hotel saw the new portal which has a mix of local and international news in a sleek and neat white design. It’s has content that is mainly gossip from entertainment, sports and politics which are the big things here nowadays. With topics like socialite Huddah Monroe has a crush on the president and Nick Mutuma is the only Kenyan acting in the forthcoming season of Shuga they are counting on massive traffic coming their way.

It doesn’t look to be one of those initiatives which is very organised with a local team running things. The sources from most of the stories seem to come from bangshowbiz.com (first time I am hearing of this one) and others. Without a local content team quality can be tricky. For instance in one story they inform us that Ken Walibora will be launching a Sunday night ‘Swahili news show’ at Queer TV, Kenya, which will air next month. Anyone with even a small idea of the Kenyan media landscape will tell you that there is no Queer TV in our conservative society but that it is indeed QTV. Perhaps they can hire people locally to sort out their content?

Otherwise it is an initiative to watch out for. I look forward to getting legit information from more international websites in Kenya. Karibu Kenya MSN.