29
Oct
12

The Tiger Hits Up The Windows 8 Launch – Gets Treated Like Royalty

WP_000199One thing is for sure when it comes to a company like Microsoft, they spare no expense when launching a new operating system.

Last week Thursday I was flown up to Jozi, put up in the Hyatt Hotel in Rosebank and transferred to the venue for the launch, a studio in downtown Jozi where free food and drinks flowed in abundance.

From the minute I stepped foot into Cape Town International until I returned exactly 20 hours later, the logistics of my trip happened like clockwork, which I know from organising similar events is no small feat.

However, it’s a fine line between communicating all the features of an OS like Windows 8 in a fun, interactive way that illustrates the actual benefit the product will have in people’s lives and dragging the formalities on for so long that your audience mentally checks out.

And that is really my only gripe about the entire evening, the formalities went on for a very, very long time and at times I could feel the audience zoning out a bit. A steady supply of alcohol would have solved this problem.

 

 

Kingsley Holgate was the master of ceremonies and I must say, the guy is a born entertainer and story-teller and made a great MC considering the whole evening was African-themed from the animal-skin-wearing jembe drummers at the entrance to the gigantic baobab tree under which all the speakers addressed the audience.

So no issues there, Kingsley was awesome and after the formalities had ended I went and chatted with the guy for about half an hour and found him to be a genuinely fascinating, humble and approachable person.

Check out this pic of your Tiger pal and ol’ K-Hol as I like to call him:

 

 

Kingsley was joined onstage by Lebo Mashile, who regaled us with her poetry and co-hosted the event. From what I could tell, she basically memorised her entire speech which, considering the formalities lasted for about an hour and a half, was no small feat.

Kingsley and Lebo went through the ritual of bestowing “African totems” upon the various speakers, inviting them on stage and interrogating them about how Windows 8 has changed their lives.

I kept waiting for the moment when “Circle Of Life” would come blasting over the AV as Kingsley held Windows 8 aloft on a fibre-glass replica of Pride Rock, but sadly it never came.

Instead the following SA celebs came up one-by-one (the word in brackets is their totem):

  • Chad Le Clos, Olympic swimmer and gold medallist (dung beetle. Hahahaha!)
  • Sibusiso Vilane, mountain climber (leopard. Legit)
  • Reuben Riffel, celebrity chef (elephant. Because, you know, elephants are the Master Chefs of the animal kingdom)
  • Fee Halstead, ceramic artist (sunbird. Also legit)
  • Gregg Marinovich, photographer (fish eagle. “Look. Dad. A. Fish. Eagle.” “Where. Son? I. can’t. see. it.”)
  • Ridwan Mia, plastic surgeon (umm… shit… I think I’d blacked out by this point…)
  • Dance You’re On Fire, SA band (same…)

It was a a cool idea for the launch – actually demonstrate in a real-world situation how these SA celebs use Windows 8 and what value it brings to their lives.

Chad and Gregg were my favourites because they came across as 100% genuine and got lots of laughs from the crowd. Especially Chad who showed us his contact list on Windows 8 with hilarious entries like “Brony Hot”.

 

 

As for the operating system itself, Windows 8 is nothing short of a complete re-invention of Windows and from a multi-media / social perspective it looks like a massive improvement on Windows 7.

The interface is built using a series of customisable tiles, much like the current batch of Windows Phones.

Everything is streamlined to be neat and is intuitively organised so that all your content is easily accessible and shareable.

 

 

It’s also built to work across a variety of different mediums including phones, tablets, desktops and laptops. In fact, all the speakers at the launch demoed Windows 8 on their respective tablets with mixed results.

It very quickly became apparent that some speakers had more experience using the OS than others, one of whom (who shall remain nameless) was unable to get past the password screen and unlock his device. Awkies.

 

 

From my experience using the Nokia Lumia 900, I think Windows 8 is going to be a game-changer for Microsoft and I can’t wait to get stuck into the copy of the OS I got at the launch so I can write a more in-depth review.

Once the formalities were over, Dance You’re On Fire stepped up to rock out and played an amazingly tight set despite the fact that frontman Tom Manners was singing with a fractured rib after a nasty fall he took a few weeks back when he was cycling.

After that I went to chat with The Chad and also found him to be a very cool, very friendly guy. He was more than happy to pose for pics and chat with the guests at the launch and I enjoyed getting to know the ou. He’s a stand-up guy, no doubt about that.

 

 

So there you have it. All-in-all I had a flippin’ radass time at the Windows 8 launch and I think the OS itself is going to make huge waves around the world.

What’s also cool is that if you bought a Windows 7 PC between June 2nd 2012 and January 31st 2013 you can download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of R130.00 (exchange rate dependent) with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available at www.windowsupgradeoffer.com.

So jump on that party people and let’s Windows 8 the shit out of shit!

-ST


1 Response to “The Tiger Hits Up The Windows 8 Launch – Gets Treated Like Royalty”


  1. October 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Hey bro,

    I’m guessing Lebo doesn’t deserve an Elephant award (y’know, for her memory). I was sitting to the side behind Chad, from where I could see the teleprompter 😉

    Joe


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge