Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

February 27, 2012

Windows Phone Beats Android, Announces Official App Market for Saudi Arabia, UAE

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 8:44 pm

أعلنت مايكروسوفت رسمياً أنه سيتم إفتتاح متجر لتطبيقات ويندوز فون رسمي في المملكة العربية السعودية و عدد من الدول الشهر القادم! وينكم يا قوقل أعطونا وجه!

In a post on the Windows Phone Dev Blog, Joe Belfiore announced that in March Microsoft will launch an official app marketplace for customers in 23 countries, including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The full 23 country list includes:

Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Saudi Arabia and UAE were ignored by Google’s Android Marketplace for a very long time, forcing users to root to enable purchasing of apps.

While Arabic isn’t officially supported on Windows Phone 7 it can read Arabic just fine unlike Android 2.3 devices. Don’t ask about ICS as it exists on only 2 phones.

Microsoft will launch the market in March 2012 and I should note that Apple launched the Saudi Arabia iTunes App Store in July 2008.

Thanks @mhmd!

[image credit: Nokia Lumia 610 at MWC 2012]

November 29, 2010

Google fails in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 1:03 pm

Update: Google updated Riyadh’s satellite images to something from late 2010. The maps however are still outdated.

I complained many times about the extremely useless and out of date Google Maps for Saudi Arabia: roads are from 2004 and you can’t even get basic directions! Allright, Google have problems with all the red tape, we get that. But I was shocked to see Microsoft Bing Maps already supporting very recent maps of Saudi Arabia.

Here’s an example, Al Oruba st intersection with Prince Turki st, in 2004/2005 a northern road was constructed turning it from a T-shape intersection to a normal intersection. Here’s the satellite images on Google Maps:

Now here’s the regular map on Google Maps. 6 years later and it’s still the same:

Now let’s have a look at Microsoft Bing Maps:

Bing Maps is up to date with the Saudi map, how come Google isn’t? Is Google being denied?

If Google allowed us to use the Google Map Maker it would not have happened.

The Bing Maps do not have any points of interest but that didn’t stop Microsoft from allowing us to use navigation on the map! Google Maps can’t figure a simple straight line:

While Bing is EXTREMELY USEFUL even without points of interest:

Another example of Google’s failure in the region: the lack of an Android Market in Saudi Arabia. This is Motorola’s response to @Yalmisfer when he asked why is his Motorola Milestone Android phone is lacking an Android Marketplace:

Android Market was removed per requirements of Google in the individual Arabic regions such as UAE, Egypt, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

The same is happening with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsung Galaxy S apparently. Google doesn’t need to release an Arabic Android market, they don’t even support Arabic language natively in Android until now!

@Yalmisfer also got to talk with Samsung Middle East:

I got a call from the firm doing the PR for ME for Galaxy and they are asking me to try it and write a review about, I asked them and the answer was No market for Middle East

My rant is over.

July 11, 2010

Stupid MS Office ad in Arabic

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 2:20 pm

Speaking of silly ads, just what is Microsoft Saudi Arabia thinking with this advertisement for Office 2010.

If you care about Arabic speakers why don’t you make ARABIC OFFICE FOR MAC ALREADY?

Originally posted by @Saudi.

September 5, 2008

What’s the deal with this Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld commercial

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 4:46 pm

This is Microsoft’s latest ad campaign for … not sure exactly. I really hope this is not what they paid millions to Jerry Seinfeld to do. What do you think of this ad?

May 4, 2008

Zune Software Review

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 11:03 am

I have decided to review Microsoft Zune software on my Windows XP computer. However I cannot review the hardware since Microsoft released the Zune only to the US market and the only Zunes I found here in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are overpriced and gray marketed.

Add to that Microsoft thinking that it is too good to allow me to even have a look at the ZuneOriginals site (which is the only thing I found interesting about the Zune), giving me this very silly message “ACCESS DENIED: We are sorry but Zune Originals is not available in your area yet. Please check back soon.“, not zune enough if you ask me.

<ul>

  • The installation took almost 15 minutes for some reason and it stuck on %99 for 5 minutes.
  • No its 8 minutes now. 10 whole minutes on %99.
  • “Checking for updates” should not take that long and should not be done in the middle of the install.
  • A full 15 minutes of waiting on %99 now.
  • 25 minutes at %99 of Zune software installation.
  • I will be going out now, and leaving this computer on until the install is finished.
  • This concludes part one of my Zune software review. I give it a 0/10 on the design and implementation of the installer. Part two will be available once the installation is actually done.

    March 18, 2006

    Reminder: Microsoft GDC in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 12:38 pm

    The second Gulf Developers Conference will be held on 19 – 21 March 2006 in Four Seasons Hotel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    GDC 2006 is an event that provides a comprehensive technical overview as well as more insight on the latest (both recently released and upcoming) Microsoft development and platform technologies. During the GDC 2006 event, there will be many sessions that would demonstrate the latest advanced features that were introduced in Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, BizTalk Server 2006, Windows Vista and how all these technologies can be used to build reliable, secure, high performance applications that can connect people, information, processes and systems together. More than 1700 technology professionals from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region are expected to join this event and get the opportunity to meet and interact with top technology experts in the industry and Microsoft team for the duration of the event.

    March 7, 2006

    Microsoft Gulf Developers Conference 2006 – Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

    Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 7:18 pm

    The second Microsoft Gulf Developers Conference will be held here in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 19th to the 21st of March 2006.

    GDC 2006 is a technical event that provides a comprehensive overview and more insight on the latest Microsoft development and platform technologies (both recently released and upcoming). During the GDC 2006 event, there will be many sessions that would demonstrate the latest advanced features that were introduced in Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, BizTalk Server 2006, Windows Vista and how all these technologies can be utilized to build reliable, secure, high performance applications that can connect people, information, processes and systems together.

    Conference will be in Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia – Riyadh, Four Seasons Hotel – Kingdom Ballroom, King Fahad Road Entrance.

    Entrance is free for students. Saudi Computer Society members’ fee is 200SR. Register now.

    February 26, 2006

    Power Up with Microsoft OpenDoor’06 for IT Pro!

    Filed under: Events — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:40 pm
    Microsoft OpenDoor’06 for IT Pros is an infrastructure event designed to provide the Value of IT Optimization for Executives, IT professionals with technical briefings, information and community resources to plan, deploy & manage the secure connected infrastructure, finally Hands-on Labs to provide IT Pros a hands on experience!

    Date is 27th of February Riyadh @ Four seasons

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