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With Windows 8.1 now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, Microsoft today also launched a pre-release version of Skype for Windows 8.1. The new version makes sense given that Skype will be bundled with Windows 8.1.

So, what’s new? As Microsoft puts it, the first-ever, fully integrated version of Skype ensures “you’ll never miss a message.”

 

In addition to being able to view your missed calls and instant messages, Skype for Windows 8.1 lets you answer calls directly from your lock screen. Furthermore, you can do the same on the Start screen, plus you can also choose how to respond: a video call, an audio call, or decline and send an IM instead.

Next up, not only can you call anyone from your People app and pinned favorites, but Skype for Windows 8.1 lets you click-to-call directly through Internet Explorer. Here’s that experience in action:

iedefaultforcall Microsoft launches Skype pre release for Windows 8.1, lets you answer calls from the lock and Start screens

Last but certainly not least, Skype for Windows 8.1 includes app-to-app launching. In short, this means Skype will automatically move to the side when you click on a link or shared item for easier multitasking.

You can also snap Skype and adjust the size of the window. For those that spend a lot of time in Skype, these enhancements will be very welcome.

side by side view Microsoft launches Skype pre release for Windows 8.1, lets you answer calls from the lock and Start screens

For now though, these three features still aren’t available for everyone. Windows 8.1 isn’t out yet and this update is, after all, marked as a pre-release.

Microsoft didn’t share when it plans to officially release Skype for Windows 8.1. We presume, however, that it will be ready in time for when the free operating system update starts rolling out. The timing will be perfect for anyone buying new Windows devices in time for the holiday.

See also – Skype for Windows Phone 8 gets a people list filter and new homescreen layout and Microsoft completes Lync integration into Skype, offers one unified communications platform for Windows and Mac.

 

Source : http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2013/09/09/microsoft-launches-skype-pre-release-for-windows-8-1-lets-you-answer-calls-from-the-lock-and-start-screens/

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Pyxle, the country’s award winning benchmark provider of software and Internet business solutions, celebrates a decade of great success and fast paced growth.

Founded in 2003, with just two employees engaging in basic software development, the Company has grown within the space of a decade to become a globally recognized supplier of bespoke software and web application development services. Today, the Organization offers its services from multiple destinations together with a plethora of certifications and platform competencies.

Oshada Senanayake, Director Operations welcoming the invitees.

Oshada Senanayake, Director Operations welcoming the invitees.

Pyxle has now become a preferred choice as a strategic software partner for Fortune100 companies and numerous Sri Lankan conglomerates; with a total experience of handling more than 1000 projects for over 400 clients. The Company is recognized as an industry leader focused on products and services that work on or use the internet, cloud or browser based architecture. It has also received accolades for engaging in long-term relationships with its clientele; offering more specialized or bespoke software services than generic development.

“Our key experience has been a decade of working on the Internet in terms of eCommerce, transactional software, web and SharePoint portals as well as online collaboration. We have seen and worked while the Internet and online collaboration has evolved from simple transactional interactions to a trillion dollar platform. We are strong believers and movers in cloud, online and total future coaction” said Presantha Jayamaha, Managing Director, Pyxle.

From its humble beginnings, the Pyxle Team is now a strong team of 80 industry experts. “We believe in sustainable growth; which is actually against the norms of the IT industry. I have personally seen too many IT companies balloon in size and then suddenly shut down when a project is done or they lose a few clients. A workforce is then shut out overnight. That is irresponsible business; we as business leaders have a responsibility towards society and our teams to be driven but also sensitive to those who follow our decisions.

Pyxle can be triple in size if necessary; but we prefer to grow at a pace that is realistic and sustainable” added Mr. Jayamaha.

Wellington Perera, DPE Director, Microsoft Sri Lanka speaking at the event.

Wellington Perera, DPE Director, Microsoft Sri Lanka speaking at the event.

The Company has invested heavily into training, development and strategic growth initiatives. For example, Pyxle’s SharePoint team includes two MVP’s (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) out of possibly only three individuals recognized as MVP’s in Sri Lanka. “The objective of this focused growth is to bring the best value to our all our stakeholders; customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders”.

The Company is also the recipient of local and international acclaim winning numerous industry specific awards. “As we look back on our success over the decade, we are extremely proud of the many achievements and milestones we have reached. It is also an ideal opportunity to formally acknowledge and thank the incredibly talented Pyxle Team, our clients and service providers” said Mr. Jayamaha.

Pyxle’s vision, foresight and adaptability continue into the next decade as it begins to change the local IT landscape. In the pipeline is the launch of another state-of-the-art Development Center focused only on Microsoft applications and a public education drive on IT services.

A partnership with a local university for dedicated internship, knowledge dissemination programs educating Sri Lankan organizations of the powerful advantages of online collaboration are future initiatives.

The Company’s future roadmap continues through to 2017 and beyond, when it hopes to grow its team to over 400 personnel in development and customer service with Dedicated Development Centers in South America, Africa and China and with the aim of becoming the most recognized IT Services Company in Sri Lanka. According to Mr. Jayamaha “Our current growth phase is to create multiple time zone development centers so that we can offer a truly 24-hour service experience to a client in any time zone”.

Live call using GoToMeeting with Roger Dilsner, Director, IdeaPoint Ltd. (a leading provider of state of the art enterprise, retail and technology solutions in Canada)

Live call using GoToMeeting with Roger Dilsner, Director, IdeaPoint Ltd. (a leading provider of state of the art enterprise, retail and technology solutions in Canada)

“We firmly believe that Pyxle will continue to evolve over the next 10 years. As a leading provider of software solutions seamlessly evolving with ever-changing technologies, our core philosophy of maintaining high standards of software and service originally set in 2003 remain enshrined” added said Mr. Jayamaha.

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Microsoft OEM partner, EWIS, a groundbreaker in the field of IT in Sri Lanka, set a significant milestone with the setting up of the country’s first PC manufacturing plant in Sooriyawewa, Hambantota, bringing the country another step closer to its goal of becoming the IT hub of Asia as outlined in the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ policy.
In tandem with massive development projects taking place in the Hambantota District, EWIS set up the PC manufacturing facility in Sooriyawewa, opening a new window of opportunity for the Sri Lankan economy.
The 25,000 square ft facility is a partnership between EWIS and Microsoft and is aimed at manufacturing tablet PCs, laptop computers and desktop computers to fulfil the growing demand for innovative yet affordable computers in Sri Lanka as well as in the Asia Pacific region.
Production at the plant commenced in July 2013 and it is estimated to create 250 job opportunities for rural youth in the field of new high-tech manufacturing, in the first phase of its operation.
The plant is also the only computer production facility in Sri Lanka that has been accredited as a Microsoft OEM named partner. The factory is equipped to manufacture PCs of varying form factors which will cater to multiple segments in the country such as private, public and education sectors who have different IT requirements.
EWIS Colombo Ltd. General Manager Rajitha De Silva commenting on the new plant said: “We have always believed and invested in the right research and development of technology, driving innovation and this plant is testimony to that. Education is a key area of focus for us and we support the Government’s endeavours to create a knowledge economy, equipping students with 21st century skills.”
In line with this thinking, EWIS has joined hands with Microsoft Sri Lanka to advance the IT landscape in Sri Lanka and increase digital access to all students while adding value to the local economy. The General Manager says that a sizable proportion of PCs, manufactured at the Sooriyawewa plant will go into Government schools. This will provide the opportunity for EWIS to introduce state-of-the-art Microsoft software products to local students across the country.
Microsoft Sri Lanka, which is a forerunner in Public-Private Partnerships with the Ministry of Education and the private sector, will support EWIS in this endeavour. Microsoft will provide software to EWIS under its ‘Shape the Future Program’ with the aim of empowering local students in the field of IT.
Microsoft Sri Lanka OEM Director Poojitha Rajapakse, commenting on EWIS being chosen as a Named account, said: “Named account status is a very specific program enabling local PC manufactures to attach Windows operating system and Office Suites to their computers. There are less than 30 local PC manufactures in the Asia Pacific region signed as Named accounts and we are very pleased to announce that EWIS is now one of them.”Microsoft has already benefited local students through its various educational programs in a significant manner. Over nine years, the company, under its ‘Partners in Learning Program’ contributed immensely to the education sector through multiple Memorandums of Understanding with the Ministry of Education.
To date the majority of schools in Sri Lanka run on a Windows platform whilst making use of global programs such as Innovative Teachers and Students Competition, Innovative Schools Program, free developer software through DreamSpark and teacher training on productivity tools, which enable them to access world-class technology.

Source: DailyFT

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MillenniumIT, a leading technology solutions provider, yesterday announced it has won the 2013 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award for Sri Lanka. The company was honoured among a global field of top Microsoft Corp. partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.
Awards were presented in multiple categories, with winners chosen from more than 3,000 entrants from 106 different countries worldwide. MillenniumIT was recognised for providing outstanding solutions and services, as well as demonstrating excellent subsidiary engagement in Sri Lanka.
The Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Awards honour partners at country level that have demonstrated business excellence in delivering Microsoft solutions to multiple customers over the past year. This award recognises MillenniumIT as succeeding in effective engagement with its local Microsoft office while showcasing innovation and business impact, driving customer satisfaction and winning new customers.
Sanjaya Dayananda, Head of Microsoft Business at MillenniumIT, said: “We are very pleased to receive the Country Partner of the Year award for 2013 from Microsoft. This award cements our position as the leading provider for Microsoft products and services in Sri Lanka, our team being the only Microsoft Lync Support Partner and Microsoft Gold Certified Unified Communications Partner in the country. This award demonstrates not only our team’s level of engineering expertise, experience and the level of trust our customers place in us but also the value we bring to a worldwide leader in software, services and solutions.”
Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft Corp., said: “We are pleased to recognise MillenniumIT of Sri Lanka as a Microsoft Country Partner of the Year. MillenniumIT has delivered exceptional value to our mutual customers and is a shining example of the excellence we see in our best Microsoft partners.”
The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognises Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions over the past year.

Source: DailyFT