Windows 8, cloud apps take center stage at Microsoft innovations showcase

Reuters file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Applications created by local developers geared for the Windows 8 and cloud platforms were among the highlights of the 2012 edition of WHO DUNN I.T., a technology innovation showcase by software giant Microsoft.

Among those exhibited at Megatrade Hall in Mandaluyong on Thursday was the cloud application dubbed Clarus, a personal patient health record application that is deployed through Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform.

Developed by Medicus Solutions Technologies, Clarus allows patients to monitor their personal health and well-being by using a platform where they can register information about their vital signs, medical history, and medication profile.

Because the app is cloud-based, the system can be accessed from a variety of devices–including desktop PCs, Apple iPad and Android smartphones and tablets.

Medicus executive Randy Cabredo told InterAksyon that the app makes it convenient for patients with medical conditions to closely monitor their health conditions for a more accurate diagnosis by doctors.

Customers can subscribe to the service for a minimal fee of about P50 a month, Cabredo said, when the service fully launches in April.

According to Tim Vergel de Dios, breadth developer evangelist at Microsoft, the bevy of cloud applications exhibited during the innovations showcase aims to give users and developers alike a concrete example of how they can develop for the cloud.

“Very few understand what the cloud is and how they can develop for that platform. It’s always the buzzword, but there’s nothing concrete [that they can see],” De Dios said.

“With this [showcase], you can see concrete examples, these are the things that are being developed on the cloud, such as HR systems, fleet tracking systems and healthcare systems,” he added.

The Microsoft executive likewise pointed out how local developers have taken to develop applications for Windows 8 on large-screen devices apart from typical notebooks and tablets.

“It’s a new experience. Of course, we’re going to run Windows 9 on a tablet, but there are opportunities to go on a bigger display, and it inspires the developers to consider that they can offer a different experience to users,” he explained.

*Nurturing upstarts

De Dios said one of the main objectives of the event is to inspire developers to push through with establishing their own technology start-ups and fire up the local start-up ecosystem, which, according to him, is now as vibrant as ever.

“We’re seeing a lot more innovations and innovators locally, and they are usually coming from the segment we call as ‘modern developers,’” he said. “These are the students, the designers and the freelance designers.”

With the proliferation of devices and various platforms on which software makers can develop applications for, practically “anybody can write code or design applications,” De Dios said.

“I think this is really the best time to be a developer,” the executive said, adding: “Mostly, developers have been there just for support. What’s nice today is developers have a lot of options now.”

De Dios is referring to the multitude of operating system platforms and form factors which have exploded over the recent years, giving developers a lot of venues to distribute their applications.

But do local application developers have the capability to make it big, just like their counterparts in the US? “The Filipino community definitely has the inherent potential to become world-class innovators,” De Dios said.

“It’s just a matter of matching the right ideas with the right people and the right groups to support them. We have all of those, and it’s just a matter of creating the opportunity to bring them all together,” he added.