The New Era of Work
If anyone else were to start off an invitation saying it was announcing “The biggest wave of innovation…in history…” you’d have to be skeptical and suspect they were exaggerating.
The Biggest Launch Event in Microsoft History
But when Microsoft sent out an invitation to the Microsoft 2012 Launch Event Series entitled “The New Era of Work” and began by saying “The biggest wave of innovation in Microsoft history is transforming the way people work. Join us for a free launch event, and we’ll show you how the latest Microsoft technologies are inspiring creativity and productivity in the workplace,” everyone took it very seriously and started getting very excited.
The tiny print at the top of the invitation even advises you, “Don’t miss the biggest launch event in Microsoft history.”
Those who have been around long enough remember previous historic launch events hosted by Microsoft like the introduction of Windows 95, which they launched by purchasing the rights to the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” for untold millions. The rumor is that Mick Jagger didn’t want to sell those rights, and so came up with a price he thought for sure Microsoft would reject. Mick was wrong.
What to Expect at the Launch Events
Anyone attending the Launch Event in any of the 32 cities in which it is being held can expect an incredible show. Microsoft Launch events are legendary. They can also expect terrific decision-making-support information about the new Microsoft Office and Office 365, Microsoft Visual Studio, Windows Server, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AX, and how the entire “new world of work” experience will all be powered by Windows 8.
The Official Launch Date for 8
By the way, October 26, 2012 is also the official date that Windows 8 will be released for general purchase.
In the invitation to the Launch Event, Microsoft lists several highlights that attendees can look forward to, including learning how Microsoft’s New Era of Work helps you to:
- Drive cross-team collaboration and improved business results with applications designed to empower your users.
- Give your development teams the tools they need to build the next generation of modern applications.
- Visit the Experience Lounge to test-drive the newest Microsoft products.
Click here to see the official Microsoft invitation, which includes the list of cities in which the Launch Event is being held, the dates in each city, and also a button which will allow you to register to attend!
Click here to learn about the new Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions for business.
To Cloud or Not to Cloud – Microsoft’s Strategy to Make it Easy to Work in the Cloud on whatever device from wherever you are
For a long time now journalists and pundits have been saying that Apple had won the tablet and smartphone spaces from Microsoft with their iPad and iPhone. The question was how and when Microsoft would overtake and pass them, much as they have recently passed VMware with Hyper-V as the most popular virtualization hypervisor. Microsoft has been remarkably reserved, almost understated, in quietly establishing the strategy that will answer that question. It started with using the same user interface they used on the Zune media player on Windows Phone 7. Shortly thereafter they announced and previewed Windows 8 which also featured the same user interface, at that time dubbed “the Metro interface,” which has since been replaced with “Windows Store app interface.” The announcement and the subsequent release of the consumer preview have raised the excitement level significantly. Those who own an Xbox also immediately recognize this as the interface they wave at with their Kinect, or speak to and click on to play games, watch movies, listen to music, and more. Even SkyDrive now sports the new interface. Users click on tiles to open files they can then share from the cloud. Then came the surprise announcement of the coming release of the Windows Surface Tablet which also uses the same then-called-Metro interface. Nobody expected this announcement, and very few may have noticed what Microsoft accomplished by making it. Microsoft is now the first provider to offer the same user interface, the Windows Store app (formerly Metro), on every kind of device from media player to smartphone to tablet to game console to PC and soon, we hear, servers. This has been a long dreamt-of ideal vision and now it has been realized. All users will now start making the migration from drop-menu, mouse-pointer and icon based interface to tile-based point, move, glide, slide, pinch, spread and otherwise directly move information where you need it to be. Take this observation one step further. How will Apple respond to this? They won’t be moving the Mac interface to the iPad and iPhone. It would be painful to try. And they’re not about to move the iPad interface to Macs. Microsoft has not only regained its leadership position, it has locked it in for a good time to come. Underneath it all is the remarkable achievement of creating a user interface that performs equally well on a desktop, laptop, or palmtop. The savings in user-interface training will eventually be staggering. All you need to do to prepare for this migration is adopt any Microsoft device. You’ll learn everything you need to know to use the others.
Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer recently unveiled the customer preview of the new Microsoft Office, available at office.com/preview. The next release features an intuitive design that works beautifully with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new Windows devices, including tablets. The new Office is social and unlocks modern scenarios in reading, note-taking, meetings and communications and will be delivered to subscribers through a cloud service that is always up to date.
“We are taking bold steps at Microsoft,” Ballmer said at the press conference in San Francisco. “The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.”
Office at Its Best on Windows 8
Touch everywhere. Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. Swipe your finger across the screen or pinch and zoom to read your documents and presentations. Author new content and access features with the touch of a finger.
Inking . Use a stylus to create content, take notes and access features. Handwrite email responses and convert them automatically to text. Use your stylus as a laser pointer when presenting. Color your content and erase your mistakes with ease.
New Windows 8 applications . OneNote and Lync represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office. These applications are designed to deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy to access features with your finger.
Included in Windows RT . Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.
See how the new Office gives you the flexibility to focus on what is important.
Office Is in the Cloud
SkyDrive . Office saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so your content is always available across your tablet, PC and phone. Your documents are also available offline and sync when you reconnect.
Roaming . Once signed in to Office, your personalized settings, including your most recently used files, templates and even your custom dictionary, roam with you across virtually all of your devices. Office even remembers where you last left off and brings you right back to that spot in a single click.
Office on Demand . With a subscription, you can access Office even when you are away from your PC by streaming full-featured applications to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC.
New subscription services . The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.
Office Is Social
Yammer . Yammer delivers a secure, private social network for businesses. You can sign up for free and begin using social networking instantly. Yammer offers integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.
Stay connected . Follow people, teams, documents and sites in SharePoint. View and embed pictures, videos and Office content in your activity feeds to stay current and update your colleagues.
People Card . Have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
Skype. The new Office comes with Skype. When you subscribe, you get 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month. Integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype.
Office Unlocks New Scenarios
Digital note-taking . Keep your notes handy in the cloud and across multiple devices with OneNote. Use what feels most natural to you – take notes with touch, pen or keyboard, or use them together and switch easily back and forth.
Reading and markup . The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.
Meetings . PowerPoint features a new Presenter View that privately shows your current and upcoming slides, presentation time, and speaker notes in a single glance. You can zoom, mark up and navigate your slides with touch and stylus. Lync includes multiparty HD video with presentations, shared OneNote notebooks and a virtual whiteboard for collaborative brainstorming.
Eighty-two-inch touch-enabled displays . Conduct more engaging meetings, presentations and lessons, whether in person or virtually, with these multitouch and stylus-enabled displays from Perceptive Pixel.
The New Office Lineup
While the full lineup of offerings and pricing plans will be announced in the fall, Ballmer discussed three new Office 365 subscription services. When available, each new subscription offer will include the new 2013 editions of the Office applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. In addition, subscribers will receive future rights to version upgrades as well as per-use rights across up to five PCs or Macs and mobile devices. The three new editions will be the following:
Office 365 Home Premium – designed for families and consumers. This service also includes an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes per month.
Office 365 Small Business Premium – designed for small businesses. This service also includes business-grade email, shared calendars, website tools and HD webconferencing.
Office 365 ProPlus – designed for enterprise customers who want advanced business capabilities and the flexibility to deploy and manage in the cloud.
To Cloud or Not to Cloud – Companies Choose Windows Intune to Simplify PC Management and Security
Organizations of all sizes are selecting Windows Intune to help manage and secure the desktops of their highly mobile workforces through the cloud without any on-premises investment. Microsoft recently announced three more organizations that have selected Windows Intune.
Global nonprofit Save the Children, professional services company goetzpartners and e-discovery firm eLitigation Solutions have all implemented Windows Intune to help solve some of their most pressing IT challenges.
While these three organizations vary in industry and size, they have one thing in common: Their employees expect to work anytime, anywhere, with access to their information and resources. As such, each organization needs to ensure its PCs are highly secure and well-managed to help protect data and assets, keep employees productive, and streamline the cost of delivering routine management and security.
Technology challenges have become more frequent and time-consuming as workforces grow and spread across the globe. Issues ranging from computers infected with malicious malware to missing or delayed software updates kept IT staff at all three organizations operating in a reactive mode instead of preventing these issues from the outset.
“It’s our job to ensure that consultants can work productively in the office and on the road, but we didn’t have the right tools,” said Hakan Kutlug, head of Information Technology at goetzpartners.
Windows Intune helps solve these challenges, especially for companies that have field and contract employees, off-network employees, or limited IT resources. Windows Intune brings together Windows cloud services and a Windows 7 Enterprise subscription to simplify PC management and security, delivering the benefits of a modern operating system.
The solution also provides remote assistance, software updates, hardware and software tracking capabilities, and the ability to set security policies.
“By using Windows Intune, we can save $20,000 a year in malware costs and $50,000 in Windows 7 licenses for staff at headquarters,” said Ken Supersano, senior director of Technology, Save the Children U.S. “That’s money we can funnel back into field programs that benefit children in more than 120 countries around the world.”
Windows Intune also allows IT staff to get a simple snapshot of what is going on with their PC environments – including status of updates, software, endpoint protection, licensing and more. With this snapshot, IT staff can efficiently and proactively identify trouble spots or areas that need to be addressed.
“We’ve streamlined our PC environment and reduced costs by adopting Windows Intune, which helps us run a leaner, more competitive organization,” said David Hyre, vice president of Technologies, eLitigation Solutions.
Today, IT staffers at Save the Children, goetzpartners and e-Litigation Solutions rely on Windows Intune to help ensure the security and reliability of all desktops within their respective organizations. In turn, their workforces now have more reliable computing tools that allow them to realize their organizations’ missions and visions no matter where they are.
CloudStrategies is one of fewer than 50 partners nationwide chosen to be a member of Microsoft’s elite Windows Intune “BlackBelt” Program recognizing our commitment to supporting customers with this powerful service. For more information on how Windows Intune can serve your user community, contact your CloudStrategies Advisor.