Computer News - In Brief


- In response to local customers' demands for a way to securely store, manage, analyse and report on mission-critical business data, Microsoft Nigeria has released its most cost-effective and advanced 'relational' database solution to date, SQL Server 2005.

- KEWL.NextGen is an Open Source e-learning system from the African Virtual Open Initiatives and Resources Project (AVOIR) and the University of the Western Cape. It is designed for the development, management and delivery of e-learning. Download KEWL.NextGen documentation and sample courses at:

- On the sidelines of the WSIS Tunis at the Kram Palexpo, the Computer Society of Kenya last week signed an agreement for the funding of the first ever ICT Workforce Survey to be undertaken in Kenya. The 3 month survey will be funded by USAID through Computer Frontiers Inc. The survey results will be presented at a dissemination seminar in Nairobi in late January 2006. Waudo Siganga signed on behalf of CSK and Emma Ancrumm on behalf of Computer Frontiers, for initial funding worth US$15,000.00. David Sparrow Malaba has been designated as project manager. The objectives of the survey include taking stock of current status of programs offered by educational and training institutions, the current and projected demands of the ICT market for the ICT workforce, establishing any gaps and recommending strategies for the elimination/narrowing of gaps. The survey includes stakeholders from users, academia and Government.

- Microsoft added two new versions of its bare-bones Windows XP Starter Edition Tuesday -- one in Arabic for the Egyptian market, the other targeted at Turkey. Starter Edition is a pared-down operating system that Microsoft introduced last year aimed at countries where piracy is rampant and incomes are low. Counting the new editions released Tuesday, Starter Edition is now available in nine languages and 32 countries. The Arabic and Turkish versions will be distributed in partnership with the governments of Egypt and Turkey, respectively.