Microsoft announces Windows 10, skips version 9 to emphasize advances

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft Corp announced its ‘Windows 10’ operating system on Tuesday to replace the largely unpopular Windows 8, skipping a number to mark a leap toward unifying the way people work on tablets, phones and traditional computers.

The next version of Microsoft’s flagship product, which still runs the vast majority of personal computers and is used by 1.5 billion customers worldwide, is aimed at recapturing the lucrative business market, which generally ignored the new-look Windows 8.

Windows 10 will be “our greatest enterprise platform ever,” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s head of operating systems, at an event in San Francisco. Only 20 percent of organizations migrated to Windows 8, which was released two years ago, according to tech research firm Forrester. Many PC users disliked the touch-optimized interface and bemoaned the loss of the traditional start-button pop-up menu.

He said Windows 10, long known by the project name ‘Threshold’ internally, represented a new type of system for the company, as it seeks to unify computing as mobile devices proliferate. The name represented that leap, he said.

“Windows 10 adapts to the devices customers are using, from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets,” said Myerson.

Microsoft faces an uphill struggle in reigniting excitement about Windows. With the rise of Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad, and Google Inc’s Android devices, Windows no longer plays a central role in many people’s on-screen lives.

From a virtual monopoly on personal computing 10 years ago, Windows now runs only about 14 percent of devices, according to research firm Gartner.

pic::Start menu of Windows 10

Reaction to the news was cautious. Microsoft shares fell 8 cents to $46.36 on Nasdaq.

“It’s a bold statement for Microsoft to make,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. “So far there’s not as much meat on the bone as we would have wanted, although it’s still very early days.”

An early version of the software, demonstrated on stage by Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore, showed two modes, one optimized for touch-controlled tablets, and one for PCs using a mouse and keyboard. Users can switch between the two depending on the device.

Myerson did not say exactly how or when the new Windows would be rolled out, but other executives said Microsoft was aiming for a full release in spring 2015. A technical preview can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website, starting on Wednesday, for users to try out and give the company feedback.

“They were trying to start the messaging for a product that won’t actually ship until sometime around the middle of next year,” said Gartner analyst Steve Kleynhans at the event. “This was to tell the PC installed base that there is a future and it doesn’t have to be covered over in brightly colored tiles, or force them to abandon everything they’ve learned over the past 15 years.”

Myerson said his team toyed with calling the new product Windows One to emphasize the unity of all the companies’ products, but noted that name had already been used.

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Beyond touch id:where mobile fingerprint scanners are headed

pic::HTC One Max’s Finger Print scanner is on the back.

LAS VEGAS:

Apple isn’t the only one looking to shove a fingerprint sensor onto its smartphone.

There will be several high-profile smartphones that will include fingerprint scanners, according to Michael Maia, vice president of sales for the biometric division of touchscreen and touchpad

company Synaptics. Its product will ship in the first quarter, and more phones should come out in the second half, he said.

Fingerprint recognition technology hit mainstream awareness when Apple decided to make it its marquee feature on the iphone5s. Pretty soon, millions of people were putting their finger on the home button to unlock their phone.

Now, other companies are looking to add the same feature to their own flagship smartphone.

The HTC OneMAX was the first to follow the iPhone 5S to include a fingerprint sensor, which was supplied by Validity, the fingerprint ID company that Synaptics purchased last year. Like previous fingerprint ID systems, the HTC One Max required a person to swipe down with their finger to unlock the phone.

It’s similar to the thin fingerprint sensor found in laptops. Validity had virtually the entire share of that market and continues to support PCs under Synaptics.

In contrast, Apple used a different technology from Authentec, which it acquired in July 2012. Rather than swipe, a person just has to place their finger on the home screen, where it is scanned and recognized. Analysts have noted that the placement of the scanner on the home button, a natural place for a finger to rest, makes it easier for consumers to warm up to it.

The HTC One Max’s sensor is on the back, and Maia said a lot of smartphones with a fingerprint sensor would likely include them somewhere on the back. He noted that Apple has the luxury of placing it on its physical home key,while many phones running Android  or Windows phone

lack the space on the front of the phone. Either the phone has capacity touchscreen buttons, or the bezel around the phone is too small to allow for a physical key.

The Holy Grail, Maia said, is to get the fingerprint scanner embedded under the glass, negating the need for a physical scanner. But he noted that was likely still far away — certainly more than a year from now.

Meanwhile, Synaptics is working to create different versions for different handset makers looking to stand out. Unfortunately, Maia wouldn’t comment on which vendors were looking at his technology.

At least one big player, Samsung Electronics, had looked at the technology. Samsung initially planned to include a fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy Note3, people familiar with the device told CNET, which would have beaten Apple’s iPhone 5S with the feature. However, Samsung scrapped the plan before the device’s September unveiling because the technology proved to be unreliable and complicated, the people said.

Samsung could be including fingerprint-reading technology, but the latest word is that the company may use an iris-scanner instead.

Apple wasn’t the first to use a fingerprint scanner either. Motorola, before getting absorbed by Google, came out with the Atrix, the first phone with a fingerprint scanner embedded on the top of the device. It used technology made by Authentec, although it was clunky and also used the swipe method.

Beyond biometrics, Synapsis showed off a few prototypes of laptop keyboards with built-in capacity sensors beneath them. Allowing you to do gesture controls by swiping across keys, or lighting up the keys just by touching them. The company said laptops with this feature might come during the holidays.


Samsung Galaxy S5 may launch in April with iris-scanning feature

samsung-iris-scanner-rumour-635.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S5 is a much-anticipated device, and the speculation around it is endless. However, in a Bloomberg News interview published on Thursday, Samsung’s mobile executive VP, Lee Young-hee, outlined broad plans for the company’s upcoming flagship smartphone, the next iteration of the Galaxy Note phablet as well as the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

Speaking about the launch date of the Galaxy S5, and the next iteration of the Galaxy Gear, Young-hee was quoted as saying, “We’ve been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March and April, and we are still targeting for release around that time. When we release our S5 device, you can also expect a Gear successor with more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved.”

The launch of the Galaxy Gear alongside the Galaxy S5 was rumoured as far back as November. However, the launch date seems to contradict what another Samsung executive is reported to have said recently. Samsung Electronics Vice President of Design Team Dong-hoon Chang had apparently said that talk of a Galaxy S5 launch around MWC 2014 was “about right”, so could we see a February unveiling at MWC, followed by a launch in March-April? It’s certainly possible.

Rumours of the eye-scanning feature, which we’ve reported before, were also acknowledged by Young-hee, who said: “Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology.” Young-hee also said the company was considering the inclusion of iris-scanning technology in the Galaxy S5, to take on Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint-scanning biometric authentication feature, launched with the iPhone 5s.

Interestingly, Young-hee in the interview acknowledged the slow adoption of the Galaxy S4, saying “it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products (Galaxy S IIIand Galaxy S4) from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big.”

In this context, speaking about plans for the Galaxy S5, Young-hee added: “For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.”

Describing plans for the next iteration of the Samsung Galaxy Note phablet, Young-hee said a three-sided display was under consideration, one that would enable users to be able to read from a sharper angle. He added that the next Galaxy Note will be released, as always, in the second half of the year, and be targeted at consumers who want “more professional use and tend to be willing to pay more for handsets.”

When elaborating about Samsung’s plans for the future of the wearable device segment, Young-hee said that health-care related functions will be a very important part of next-generation wearables like the Galaxy Gear.

LG G Flex: First impressions

LG-G-Flex-front-panel-635.jpg LG finally introduced its first curved display smartphone in India, the G Flex, at an event in New Delhi. Indian consumers will have to wait till next year to get their hands on the device, as the G Flex will be available in India only in February 2014. We got a chance to play with the LG G Flex at the event however, and sum up our first impressions below. When we first held the G Flex in our hands, we were definitely a bit taken aback by its ergonomic curved design, which definitely is the device’s USP. The G Flex is curved on its horizontal axis which gives the device’s top and bottom edges a curl shape. LG-G-Flex-front-side-profile-635.jpg The biggest perceived advantage of the G Flex’s curve in our limited period usage, is while talking on the device – the design definitely better hugs your face, much like an old landline phone. In terms of gripping, the curve also helps to comfortably hold the device, but the rear is made of plastic, so it can also slip out during long usage. When compared to some of its close competitors like HTC One Max and the Galaxy Mega 6.3, the G Flex (160.5×81.6×8.7mm) is better to hold and move around thanks to the curve design. Next big thing which is very much noticeable in the G Flex is its size, the 6-inch display does puts it in the phablet category and does looks like a large device in hands. Notably, we were unable to easily use the G Flex with one hand, as we found it difficult to stretch our thumb across the device. When talking about phablets, we still believe that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 (151.2×79.2×8.3mm) and Sony’sXperia Z Ultra (179.4×92.2×6.5mm) were better in terms of daily usage because of a more lightweight and sleeker profile. At the event, we were told that the G Flex can actually ‘flex’ until it’s totally flat, and one of the company representatives even claimed that the South Korean manufacturer has tested the flexibility of the G Flex up to 100 times with about 40 kilograms of weight putting on the device without damaging the G Flex’s screen. Let’s say in the case, when accidentally sitting on the G Flex. While we couldn’t test it with 40 kilograms of weight, we did press the curve of the G Flex, and it did stretch to be flat. While the display didn’t crack, it’s not really advisable to do this on a daily basis. LG-G-Flex-rear-panel-635.jpg Following closely on the lines of LG’s current flagship smartphone, the LG G2, G Flex also features rear physical keys for power and volume controls. LG has equipped the LED light on the rear power key which comes handy for notifications and while taking a selfie. The keys are metallic and offer good tactile feedback, very much like the LG G2. The volume-up button also doubles up as a shortcut key to launch the Quickmemo app on long press and the volume-down button acts as a camera shortcut key on long press when the phone is locked. The G Flex also includes a number of ports around the edges including the 3.5mm audio jack and the charging port that sits at the bottom panel, while the micro-SIM card slot sits at the left panel of the G Flex. The rear panel includes the primary 13-megapixel camera with an LED flash, which is accompanied by an IR Blaster. It would be unfair to end the design part without talking about G Flex’s self-healing back that has been creating a buzz worldwide. When we wanted to test the self-healing capability of the G Flex, we were sure we needed a scratchy material; unfortunately we didn’t carry a knife so we tried our key chain to rub the rear panel and gave it a surface level scratch which was very much visible initially. After some time, we noticed that the scratches were reduced but not completely eliminated. While looking the G Flex from a certain angle, it looked that the scratches were gone, although it was pretty much noticeable. However, we must confess we were impressed and believe that the G Flex can easily handle day-to-day bruises. Coming to the hardware of the G Flex, it is powered by a quad-core 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) processor with an Adreno 330 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. The G Flex easily handled multitasking with ease, and the apps opened and closed instantaneously. Performance wise, the G Flex fared well in our limited testing. The G Flex sports a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. During our usage, the camera app opened instantly and did click at good speed without any shutter lag. The G Flex is powered by a 3,500mAh battery and weighs 177 grams. The LG G Flex comes with 32GB inbuilt storage, which is non-expandable. The LG G Flex runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which is a disappointment as we expected LG to ship Android 4.3, the most recent iteration of the OS with the phone. However, with LG finally revealing plans for rolling out the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the flagship smartphone, the G2, we expect that the G Flex will also get the KitKat treatment soon. lg-g-flex-front-sides-635.jpg On the software department, the G Flex borrows many things from the G2. The company has added the same LG G2 UI layer on top of the G Flex, majorly changing the look and feel of the interface and enabling users to customise the phone according to their liking. The LG G Flex also features the KnockON, which is LG’s version of double tap to unlock and even lock the smartphone. In our limited testing, we found that at times while trying to unlock the phone it didn’t register our taps. In fact, it was annoying at times. Other features on the G Flex include Slide Aside which is a way to multitask by moving between three apps at once via a three-finger swipe gesture; Guest mode, which allows you to create a guest mode with pre-selected apps for times when your friends or family want to use your phone; Dual Window, which divides the screen into two panels for multitasking and QuickTheatre that gives direct access to gallery, videos and YouTube icons.

LG G Flex detailed specifications

General
Release date October 2013
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 160.50 x 81.60 x 8.70
Weight (g) 177.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 3500
Removable battery No
Colours Titan Silver
SAR value NA
Display
Screen size (inches) 6.00
Touchscreen Yes
Touchscreen type Capacitive
Resolution 720×1280 pixels
Hardware
Processor 2.2GHz  quad-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
RAM 2GB
Internal storage 32GB
Camera
Rear camera 13-megapixel
Flash Yes
Front camera 2.1-megapixel
Software
Operating System Android 4.2
Java support No
Browser supports Flash No
Connectivity
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac
GPS No
Bluetooth Yes, v 4.00
NFC Yes
Infrared No
DLNA No
Wi-Fi Direct No
MHL Out No
HDMI No
Headphones 3.5mm
FM No
USB Micro-USB
Charging via Micro-USB Yes
Proprietary charging connector No
Proprietary data connector No
Number of SIMs 1
SIM Type Micro-SIM
GSM/ CDMA GSM
2G frequencies supported NA
3G Yes
3G frequencies supported NA
Sensors
Compass/ Magnetometer No
Proximity sensor No
Accelerometer No
Ambient light sensor No
Gyroscope No
Barometer No
Temperature sensor No

Why Android smartphones consume more data

 

Android smartphones are kind of like Hummers. Reminiscent of the oversize, gas-guzzling SUV’s, Androids have the biggest screens and tend to use much more data than other types of smartphones, including iPhones. And that higher data usage could rack up heftier phone bills.

So why does Android use more data? The reasons are multifold. The most obvious is that Android phones tend to have the largest screens, so they download bigger files and video with more pixels, says Chetan Sharma , a telecom analyst.

Another factor is that Android is less efficient at managing apps than Apple’s iOS. For instance, multiple Android apps may be running in the background with things like location data being collected, he said.

Also, Android users typically don’t upgrade their operating systems as frequently as iOS users, so their smartphones may not receive fixes improving data management, he said.

Jan Dawson, an independent telecom analyst who previously worked for Ovum, noted that the data traffic numbers may also reflect the profiles of the people who choose Android versus those who choose iPhones. People with larger Android phones are more likely to skip buying a tablet, whereas iPhone owners may be buying iPads and consuming a lot of content there.

Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Tribute To Nelson Mandela

Tributes have flown in from around the world for South Africa’s revered anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who has died aged 95.

Mr Mandela – who was often referred to in his home country by his clan name Madiba – passed away peacefully at his Johannesburg home.

South African president Jacob Zuma announced the news of Mandela’s death, saying in a nationally televised address: “Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rohlihla Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed.”

He added: “Our people have lost a father. Although we knew this day was going to come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, passion and humanity, earned him their love.”

Barack Obama

US president Barack Obama said he considered himself among the “countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life”, and the world was unlikely to see the likes of him again.

Barack Obama in Mandela's cell on Robben Island

pic::obama stands in mandela’s old prison cell on Robben island near capetown

“He achieved more than could be expected of any man and today he’s gone home and we’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages,” America’s first black president said in a televised White House address.

“Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better.

“His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. The fact that he did it all with grace and good humour and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections only makes the man that much more remarkable.”

David Cameron

British prime minister David Cameron said, “A great light has gone out in the world”, adding that flags at Number 10 Downing Street would be flown at half-mast in tribute to Mandela.

“Nelson Mandela was a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death – a true global hero,” Mr Cameron said in a statement.

“Meeting him was one of the great honours of my life. My heart goes out to his family – and to all in South Africa and around the world whose lives were changed through his courage”

Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid tribute to Mandela during a radio interview on 3AW.

“Nelson Mandela was one of the great figures of Africa, arguably one of the great figures of the last century,” he said.

“A truly great man. And while I never met him, I did read that book A Long Walk To Freedom, and I guess the impression we get of Nelson Mandela is someone who suffered but was not embittered but ennobled through that suffering.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles

Queen Elizabeth II said she was “deeply saddened” by the death of Mandela, adding that he had “worked tirelessly for the good of his country”.

“The Queen was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nelson Mandela last night. He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

Mr Mandela was the embodiment of courage and reconciliation.

Prince Charles

“Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr Mandela and sends her sincere condolences to his family and the people of South Africa at this very sad time.”

Prince Charles also paid tribute to the iconic anti-apartheid fighter, describing him as an “inspired leader and a great man”.

“Mr Mandela was the embodiment of courage and reconciliation. He was also a man of great humour and had a real zest for life,” he said.

“With his passing, there will be an immense void not only in his family’s lives, but also in those of all South Africans and the many others whose lives have been changed through his fight for peace, justice and freedom.

“The world has lost an inspired leader and a great man. My family and I are profoundly saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

ANC

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, said that in its one-time leader South Africa had lost “a colossus, an epitome of humility, equality, justice, peace and hope of millions”.

“His life gives us the courage to push forward for development and progress towards ending hunger and poverty,” the party said in a statement.

F.W. de Klerk

South Africa’s last white president, F.W. de Klerk, said Mandela’s greatest accomplishment was to unify the country and push for reconciliation between blacks and whites in the post-apartheid era.

“He was a great unifier and a very, very special man in this regard beyond everything else he did. This emphasis on reconciliation was his biggest legacy,” Mr de Klerk said in an interview with CNN.

Mr De Klerk, who released Mandela from prison in 1990 and then negotiated the end of apartheid, called Mandela a “humane” and “compassionate” man who was able to understand the fears of South Africa’s white minority in the transition to democracy.

Mandela and Mr de Klerk shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for ending minority white rule and laying the foundations of democracy, with Mr De Klerk going on to serve as one of two deputy presidents in Mandela’s government after the ANC won the 1994 elections.

Desmond Tutu

South Africa’s archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu lauded his compatriot and fellow Nobel peace laureate as the man who taught a deeply divided nation how to come together.

“Over the past 24 years Madiba taught us how to come together and to believe in ourselves and each other. He was a unifier from the moment he walked out of prison,” Archbishop Tutu said.

“We are relieved that his suffering is over, but our relief is drowned by our grief. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Tutu dismissed doomsayers who have long predicted South Africa will fall apart after Mandela’s death.

The sun will rise tomorrow, and the next day and the next… It may not appear as bright as yesterday, but life will carry on.

Desmond Tutu

“To suggest that South Africa might go up in flames – as some have predicted – is to discredit South Africans and Madiba’s legacy,” he said in a statement.\

“The sun will rise tomorrow, and the next day and the next… It may not appear as bright as yesterday, but life will carry on.”

“As we enter the mourning period, as a nation, we do so with the greatest dignity and respect because that is what we owe Madiba and ourselves.”

Ban Ki-moon

The UN Security Council was in session when the ambassadors received the news of Mandela’s death. They stopped their meeting and stood for a minute’s silence.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon hailed Mandela as a “giant for justice” who had inspired freedom movements the world over.

“Many around the world were influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom. He touched our lives in deeply personal ways,” he told reporters.

“Nelson Mandela was a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration.”

Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Mandela’s name would always be associated with the fight against the oppression.

“Not even years in prison could break Nelson Mandela or make him bitter – a new, better South Africa eventually emerged out of his message of reconciliation,” she said.

“Nelson Mandela’s shining example and his political legacy of non-violence and the condemnation of all forms of racism will continue to inspire people around the world for many years to come.”

Francois Hollande

French president Francois Hollande said in a statement that: “Nelson Mandela made history. That of South Africa and the whole world. Nelson Mandela’s message will not disappear. It will continue to inspire fighters for freedom, and to give confidence to peoples in the defence of just causes and universal rights.”

Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Mandela as “one of the most honorable figures of our time”.

He was the father of his people, a man of vision, a freedom fighter who rejected violence.

Benjamin Netanyahu

“He was the father of his people, a man of vision, a freedom fighter who rejected violence,” he said.

“He set a personal example for his people in the long years he spent in prison. He was never arrogant. He worked to mend the tears in South African society and with his character managed to prevent outbursts of racial hatred.”

Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar veteran democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi described Mandela as a “great human being who raised the standard of humanity”.

“I would like to express my extreme grief at the passing away of a man who stood for human rights and equality,” she said.

“He made us all understand that nobody should be penalised for the colour of their skin or for the circumstances in which he is born.

“He also made us understand we can change the world by changing attitudes, by changing perceptions.”

Enda Kenny

The boy from the Transkei has finished his long walk.

Enda Kenny

Irish prime minister Enda Kenny said Mandela transformed not only South Africa, but humanity itself.

“The name Mandela stirred our conscience and our hearts. It became synonymous with the pursuit of dignity and freedom across the globe,” he said.

“Today, a great light has been extinguished. The boy from the Transkei has finished his long walk. His journey transformed not just South Africa, but humanity itself.”

Bill Clinton

Former US president Bill Clinton, who was in office when Nelson Mandela took power in South Africa, mourned the death of a “champion for human dignity and freedom”.

“Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings,” Mr Clinton said in a statement.

“History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation.

The Clinton and Mandela families became close, with the former US president visiting Mandela on the eve of his 94th birthday.

“Hillary, Chelsea and I have lost a true friend,” Mr Clinton said.

“All of us are living in a better world because of the life that Madiba lived. He proved that there is freedom in forgiving, that a big heart is better than a closed mind, and that life’s real victories must be shared.”

George H.W. Bush

Former US president George H.W. Bush said Mandela changed the course of history.

“As president, I watched in wonder as Nelson Mandela had the remarkable capacity to forgive his jailers following 26 years of wrongful imprisonment – setting a powerful example of redemption and grace for us all,” he said.

“He was a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country.”

Tony Blair

He made racism everywhere not just immoral but stupid.

Tony Blair

Former prime minister Tony Blair recalled Mandela as “a wonderful man to be around, with a sharp wit, extraordinary political savvy and a lovely way of charming everyone in a building”.

“Through his dignity, grace and the quality of his forgiveness, he made racism everywhere not just immoral but stupid; something not only to be disagreed with, but to be despised. In its place he put the inalienable right of all humankind to be free and to be equal,” Mr Blair added.

Mohamed ElBaradei

Mandela’s fellow Nobel laureates were among those paying tribute, including the Egyptian former head of the IAEA nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei, who declared: “Let freedom reign. Humanity has lost its greatest son”.

Malcolm Fraser

He wasn’t one of the great men of the last century, or of this. He was head and shoulders above anyone else from the last century.

Malcolm Fraser

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser described Mandela as a towering figure of the last century.

“It’s very hard to find the words to do justice to Mandela, because he wasn’t one of the great men of the last century, or of this,” he said.

“He was head and shoulders above anyone else from the last century.”

Goodluck Jonathan

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan said Mandela’s death “will create a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill in our continent.”

“He will be sorely missed by all who cherish love, peace and freedom the world over…”

Xi Jinping

Chinese president Xi Jinping described Mandela as an “active champion of bilateral friendship and cooperation” and “one of the founders of China-South Africa relations”.

“Mr Mandela was a world-renowned statesman, who during the long years led the South African people through arduous struggles to the anti-apartheid victory, making a historic contribution to the establishment and development of the new South Africa,” he said.

Oprah Winfrey

Being in his presence was like sitting with grace and majesty at the same time.

Oprah Winfrey

American talk show host Oprah Winfrey added her voice to the tributes, saying Mandela “will always be my hero”.

“One of the great honours of my life was to be invited to Nelson Mandela’s home, spend private time and get to know him,” she said.

“He was everything you’ve ever heard and more – humble and unscathed by bitterness. And he always loved to tell a good joke.

“Being in his presence was like sitting with grace and majesty at the same time. His life was a gift to us all.”

Morgan Freeman

Actor Morgan Freeman played Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s 2009 film Invictus about the events surrounding the World Cup.

“Today, the world lost one of the true giants of the past century… a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of human kind,” he said.

Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro declared three days of national mourning.

“Nine months since the passing of our comandante [Hugo Chavez], another giant of the people of the world passed away today. Madiba, you will live forever!” Maduro said on Twitter.

Jimmy Carter

The people of South Africa and human rights advocates around the world have lost a great leader.

Jimmy Carter

Former US president Jimmy Carter said that Mandela’s death meant that people “around the world have lost a great leader”.

“His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide, and because of him, South Africa is today one of the world’s leading democracies,” he said.

Shinzo Abe

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said Mandela “fought for the abolition of apartheid with strong will”.

“On nation building, he made a major achievement with focus on the reconciliation of the people. He was a great leader,” he said.