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Microsoft Rebuilds its Edge Browser on Google Chrome foundation

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Microsoft is reportedly giving up on the core technology in its Edge browser for Windows 10 and will rely instead on Google’s browser software.

The new browser is codenamed Anaheim and will use software from Chromium, Google’s open-source project on which Chrome is based, Windows Central reported Monday. Specifically, it’ll use Google’s Blink, the browser engine with the key job of interpreting website coding and displaying it on your screen, the report said. An announcement about the plans could come this week, the Verge reported.

Microsoft declined to comment. However, one source familiar with the company’s plans confirmed that Microsoft indeed plans to package its own browser software around a Chromium core.

If the move indeed comes to pass, it’ll make life easier for web developers who won’t have to bother testing their software with as many browsers. But the flip side of that coin is that it means the web becomes less an independent technology platform and more whatever Google’s Chrome programmers say it is. Ten years after it was first introduced publicly, Chrome dominates the web.

The web already lost a major independent browser engine when Opera mostly killed its own Presto in 2013, ultimately moving to Chrome’s technology. There are still two browser forces independent from Chrome: Mozilla’s Firefox, which uses the Gecko browser engine, and Apple’s Safari, which uses WebKit.

Independent projects are useful for experimenting with new technology such as Firefox’s WebRender, which could make web pages display dramatically faster. Independent engines also let browser makers and web developers figure out the best way to balance priorities like security, speed and programmability when developing new web standards.

Edge, which is based on the EdgeHTML rendering engine, has struggled since it came to Windows 10 in 2015 as a replacement for Internet Explorer. It held a little over 2 percent of the browser market in November, according to StatCounter, while Chrome ruled overall at 62 percent.

Edge lags even Internet Explorer, the browser it was designed to replace. One part of the problem: Windows 7 remains widely used, but Edge runs only on Windows 10. So even though Edge and EdgeHTML help offer an independent voice about the future of the web, they didn’t have much clout in practice.

There’s change afoot with other browsers as well. Chrome itself just underwent its first redesign in a decade — Google has been rethinking its browser to keep pace with the massive shift from desktop computing to mobile. Apple’s Safari has been incorporating new privacy features, and Mozilla’s Firefox has been adjusting its approach to ad tracker blocking. The ad-blocking Brave browser is in the midst of a major overhaul, too.

Microsoft’s Edge browser for Android already uses Google’s browser technology, too.

If Microsoft does indeed switch to Chromium technology, it’ll be in good company. In addition to Opera, companies building browsers built on Chrome technology include Samsung, Brave, Yandex, Baidu and Vivaldi.

In September, Microsoft reversed course on a hostile approach to non-Edge browsers on Windows 10 by removing a warning against installing rival browsers from a test version

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BitPesa Holds Forum on Future of Finance in African Markets

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BitPesa, Nigeria’s foremost cross-border payments platform and treasury solutions, is set to organize an executive forum on future of finance in African frontier markets.

The company, in a press statement, made available in Lagos, stated that key players in the financial market, investors and SMEs value-chain, including importers and exporters, are expected to attend the maiden future of finance executive forum in Lagos slated for 29th of this month, which is targeting solutions on growing businesses, de-risking business operations and navigating volatility in money market.

The statement explained that the forum would capture the state of Nigeria’s macroeconomic business ecosystem and also the African frontier markets, particularly, protecting investors’ investments from losses that stem from foreign exchange (FX) exposure.

It explained that definitely, the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria are posers for SMEs operators and other investors businesses because it will not only affect the country’s macroeconomic business ecosystem but also, brew more micro-economic concerns for the business environment during the period.

The firm pointed out that having been in Nigeria since 2015, and completed thousands of transactions within and outside Africa, it has helped key businesses access foreign currencies towards expansion of their operations with ease.

It explained that renowned financial experts are expected to discuss on the topic, titled: ‘Beating the volatility: Preparing for the election economy,’ where how SMEs, importers and exporters could navigate the uncertainty about the Naira.

The statement further stated that the forum will focus on deconstructing the election economy, and teach participants how to de-risk their business operations and navigate the ups and downs.

The release explained that BitPesa’s Head of Treasury, Michael Nderitu, who has built forex desks for multiple institutions, will be moderating the event, while Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO and Founder of BitPesa, World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer and Endeavor Entrepreneur, will be speaking on general trends and regulation in the forex market.

Before BitPesa, Elizabeth has been an advocate in Africa and Europe for monetary policy autonomy, giving training to regulators focused on risk management for independence. She has also advised the CBN on policies and white papers across topics, including blockchain.

The statement added that the second keynote will be about navigating roadblocks in the Nigerian Import-Export Market. While imports and exports are an integral part of the Nigerian economy, they are also influenced by external perceptions, and thus the post-election economy will also affect this industry.

 

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Edo, NASRDA Collaborate on Technology Solutions

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Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has expressed his administration’s readiness to collaborate with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) to accelerate the state’s technological innovations and processes.

Obaseki said this when he received a proposal from Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, NASRDA’s Chief Executive of Centre for Atmospheric Research (CAR) at Government House, Benin.

The governor said that the state government had invested in technology solutions and relevant institutions which were implementing the solutions in state civil service.

He expressed the hope that the partnership would allow and improve synergy among institutions implementing technological solutions in the state.

He said it would be necessary to have a technical partner that would conduct activities so as to have common platform.

He added that “if we are to accelerate our development and achieve the goals we set for ourselves as a government, technology is a ‘sine qua non.’

“The Edo Ministry of Science and Technology will, in this partnership, serve as the anchor.

“The state’s Ministry of Education and other institutions of government implementing one form of technology solutions or the other could also be brought together to be on the same page.”

The NASRDA boss said that the proposal was to offer complementary, scientific and technology-based solutions that could enhance the state’s sustainable development.

According to him, the objective of the intervention is to identify and evaluate potential science and technological manpower already available in the state.

He said it would also “harness the unique contributions of the different science and technology bodies for the benefit of the state.

“The centre is ready to work with the Edo Government with a view to bringing stakeholders within the state, communicate contemporary science and technological knowledge and skills to target groups, such as schools and the organised public sector.”

He said it would also engage platforms to train specialised people and groups with the aim of transferring technological skills that could enhance their competitiveness.

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How Konga is Bridging E-Commerce Gap for Millions of Unreached, Under-Served Nigerians

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For a population of over 190 million, it is perhaps shocking to countenance the fact that about 70% of Nigerians – a whopping 130 million – are still skeptical of shopping online and yet to be captured in the e-Commerce net – an anomaly that Konga’s futuristic business model is gradually catering to.

 

According to latest estimates from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the global e-commerce market is worth around $22.1 trillion.

 

Data from research firm Statista also indicates that e-Commerce in Africa accounted for $16.5 billion in revenue in 2017, with forecasts estimating revenue in the sector to gross the $29 billion mark by 2022.

 

Interestingly, Africa’s share of the global e-commerce market is expected to grow even more significantly in the years ahead, backed by factors such as increasing levels of literacy, fall in average smartphone prices, mobile adoption, growing internet penetration and innovative payment solutions.

 

The foregoing has seen projections of Africa as the next emerging market to make significant strides in online shopping.

 

Perhaps justifying its status as the continent’s biggest market and most populous country, Nigeria is further estimated to play home to about 40% of the continent’s e-Commerce ventures within its shores – a positive development that has, nevertheless, failed in ensuring that the bulk of the country’s under-served or unreached millions partake in the e-Commerce revolution.

A number of factors are responsible for the current state of affairs.

 

Despite the sweeping changes caused by the e-Commerce bug which has bitten a lot of savvy Nigerians, shopping in Nigeria is still largely traditional and the issue of trust has further hindered the pace of growth.

 

Further adding to the dire situation is the sheer proportion of Nigerians who are left out of the equation.

 

Indeed, to millions of Nigerians who reside outside the cosmopolitan cities such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, for instance, online shopping is a hard sell.

 

Through a realistic and well-thought out business model, Konga is gradually changing the narrative in the following ways:

 

Growing chain of nationwide physical retail stores: With over 30 brick-and-mortar stores spread nationwide and many more springing up all over Nigeria’s vast landscape, Konga has given millions of unreached Nigerians a reason to smile. A bold, ambitious plan to spread its tentacles across the length and breadth of the nation, with the establishment of at least one store in each of Nigeria’s 774 local government areas, will unleash the power of the country’s booming population and see e-Commerce finally achieving its huge potential in Nigeria and beyond.

 

Improved Logistics means swift delivery: Through Kxpress, its in-house logistics company, Konga boasts a considerable and growing fleet of line-haul trucks, vans, buses and motorbikes through which it has bridged the distance between the average shopper in the hinterlands and a taste of the e-commerce experience. Kxpress not only handles last-mile deliveries but has also received huge investment which has expanded its network. Also available are pick-up points and distribution centres in every part of Nigeria, further ensuring that more Nigerians can join the e-Commerce train.

Suite ofCutting-edge Payment Solutions: Riding on KongaPay, an internally-owned Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensed payment system — Konga offers all classes of Nigerians a secure and reliable e-wallet that works with all banks in Nigeria. The app ensures that the customer’s money is held in escrow until a sales transaction is completed successfully. Through strategic partnerships with world-class payment solutions providers such as Visa, Konga has also ensured that this recurring pain-point is becoming a thing of the past. It is, however, through the other options it offers shoppers that Konga has distinguished itself. These include payment on delivery which it re-introduced in August 2018, payment on pick-up of items and cash payment in all of its stores nationwide.

 

Opportunity to self-fulfil: Nigerians love the physical touch that an offline or brick-and-mortar store offers. Through its nationwide network of retail stores, Konga has given millions of skeptical or under-served Nigerians a platform on which to play an active participatory role in e-Commerce. Shoppers in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria can visit a Konga store of their choice to pay and collect any item of their choice, while for many others, the store represents a useful pick-up location for self-fulfilling their online orders. What’s more, a visitor to any of the stores can choose to place an order for a physically unavailable item(s) for delivery to their homes/locations or personally pick-up at a later date.

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