Technology giant, Microsoft may soon start utilizing Aadhaar — India’s Unique identification number — as an authentication for its free VoIP calling service Skype soon. It also launched a lighter version of Skype — Skype Lite.
Microsoft is seriously looking at the huge potential in the job market in India, and a lite version of Skype is a work in that direction. According to Microsoft, employers in poor network areas will be able to chat with ‘Aadhaar Verified’ users on both the regular Skype app and the new Skype Lite app while interacting for job interviews.
“Skype will now support Aadhaar. Skype Lite will come in to help people connect in poor network areas and it is going to come with Aadhaar capabilities,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, who is on an India visit currently.
Skype Lite is only available for Android currently; and has been designed for India specifically with new and integrated features, such as support for SMS, native phone contacts and calls, data usage tracking, India focused Skype bots to help “users be more productive.”
Besides English, the lighter version is available in seven other Indian local languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu.
Linking the poor network areas
Microsoft, in June, last year, acquired Linkedin for a whopping US$2.5 billion. Targeting this very poor network segment in India, LinkedIn had also launched LinkedIn Lite — a lighter version of its mobile site in September, last year.
Nadella stressed on the importance of job creation and skill development as a plank for economic upliftment of individuals and the country. The company plans to leverage the 39-million-strong LinkedIn user base in India, the second largest in the world
“LinkedIn India is creating products just for India and the first one is LinkedIn Lite, a tool that will help people connect from low connectivity zones in the country,” Nadella added.
According to Microsoft, the home page of the lighter version of LinkedIn only consumes 150KB, and other pages weigh about 70KB.
Looking to tap users early, LinkedIn has started focusing on the student community as well, and had launched a Placements program in the country in September last year. Placements will help students find the right job. For this, it has partnered with HackerRank, Aspiring Minds, Co-cubes and Wheebox to develop an online test for students, which will recommend jobs based on how they score.
Recently, Nadella, met Ravi Shankar Prasad, Indian Minister for Electronics and IT, wherein both discussed the benefits of technology in various ‘Digital India’ projects.
Meanwhile, Nadella also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed the company’s digital inclusion programme that leverages technology for improving rural healthcare and education.