11 July 2013

Microsoft’s CityNext initiative ‘puts people first’ (uh oh)

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So who else is putting people first? Microsoft‘s new smart cities initiative!

“Cities play a vital role in our lives – both now and in the future. Microsoft’s CityNext initiative puts people first and builds on this new era of collaborative technology to engage citizens, business and government leaders in new ways,” said Laura Ipsen, corporate vice president of Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector, as Microsoft today announced CityNext, a global initiative empowering cities, businesses and citizens to re-imagine their futures and cultivate vibrant communities.”

They talk a lot about open formats and the centrality of people, but I am not sure to what extent this drives the initiative, especially when IT talk such as servers, platforms, software and clouds still remains so central in the Microsoft discourse:

“With its software, device and services platform, Microsoft believes that cities “can deliver personalized services and apps with a people-centric approach, enable real-time dialogue via social media, and spur app development and economic growth with open data initiatives, resulting in better-served and engaged constituents.”

Microsoft CityNext partner Socrata Inc., for example, a cloud software company leading the shift to data-driven government, is working with Microsoft to bring open data technologies to cities worldwide on the Windows Azure cloud platform.”

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