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IAIN MARLOW From Friday's Globe and Mail Published Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 6:40PM EST Last updated Monday, Jan. 02, 2012 12:32PM EST http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/how-a-montreal-company-won-the-race-to-build-the-worlds-cheapest-tablet/article2282337/ Fantastic story! [...] "Datawind’s main office is located in a bland concrete tower block on René-Lévesque Ouest in downtown Montreal. There’s no sign of the company in the building lobby. The only indication of Datawind’s presence is a white sheet of paper taped to an 11th-floor door that reads, “Datawind Net Access Corporation.” Even that had only been posted for the benefit of a visitor. Behind the door, around 50 of the company’s 150 employees—many of them engineers—toil and tinker with motherboards and mobile operating systems. Datawind was founded in 2000 by Suneet and his brother, Raja, who is two years his senior and holds the title of chief technology officer. The pair have had modest success building and selling wireless devices like the PocketSurfer (a small, clamshell mobile device) and the UbiSurfer (a mini-netbook), mainly in the United Kingdom for use on Vodafone Group’s network. The company has an office in London, and another in Amritsar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab, where it operates a call centre and handles some engineering, testing, accounting and HR duties. Although Suneet and his brother are Canadian citizens—born in India, they arrived when they were 12 and 14, respectively—Datawind is registered in the U.K. Suneet says this is largely because of Canada’s notoriously conservative venture capital market, the U.K.’s funding support for innovation and the fact that Canada’s wireless industry—dominated by just three companies—has had little incentive to supplement its own high-margin smartphones with the kinds of inexpensive Internet devices Datawind designs." [...] "Behind the paper sign on the door, and down a hallway lined with overflowing cardboard boxes, Datawind’s Montreal headquarters becomes a dizzying blur of after-hours engineering. It is the kind of scene more common to bootstrapping Silicon Valley start-ups than a decade-old company run by a pair of seasoned entrepreneurs who have already listed two companies on the NASDAQ. Technicians like Cezar Oprescu, a heavy-set Romanian who not only wears two collared shirts but two pairs of glasses at the same time (they double as a microscope), work in rotating shifts, some lasting more than 36 hours, at desks littered with soldering irons, spare computer parts, discarded motherboards and fast food wrappers. Their monitors flicker with the drip of neon green code that looks like something from The Matrix. While one staff member, seated at an impossibly cluttered desk, sets about re-engineering the piece of hardware responsible for receiving WiFi signals, a colleague, stationed just a few feet away, adjusts the software drivers that will interact with it. Elsewhere, programmers are still testing the code that dictates how the touchscreen user interface deals with the drivers. The pace is unrelenting. Not only are employees ordering in dinner, they’re ordering in breakfast, grappling in real time with the allergies and dietary restrictions of an incredibly diverse staff of Eastern Europeans, Indians, Chinese, Russians and French Canadians, several vegetarians and one person who is allergic to green peppers." [...]
La volatilité économique du dernier mois est profitable aux automobilistes, puisque les consommateurs bénéficient depuis quelques jours d'un litre d'essence à la pompe qui se vend autour de 90 cents le litre. Pour en lire plus...