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Microsoft To Deliver Slew of New Cloud Offerings

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Microsoft has unveiled new enterprise products and services designed to help businesses capitalize on cloud computing and to overcome some of today’s top IT challenges.

As enterprises move to the cloud they are going to bet on vendors that have best-in-class software as a service applications, operate a global public cloud that supports a broad ecosystem of third-party services, and deliver multi-cloud mobility through true hybrid solutions,” said Satya Nadella, cloud and enterprise executive vice president, Microsoft.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant will release Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 on Oct. 18. Combined, these offerings aim to help customers build an IT infrastructure that delivers continuous services and applications across clouds. Microsoft says the products empower companies to create data centers without boundaries using Hyper-V for high-scale virtualization; high-performance storage at lower costs; built-in, software-defined networking; and hybrid business continuity.

The new Windows Azure Pack runs on top of Windows Server and System Center, enabling enterprises and service providers to deliver self-service infrastructure and platforms from their data centers.

Building on these hybrid cloud platforms, customers can use Visual Studio 2013 and the new .NET 4.5.1, which also becomes available on Oct. 18, to create modern applications for devices and services. The new Visual Studio 2013 Modern Lifecycle Management solution is designed to help enable development teams, businesspeople and IT managers to build and deliver better applications, faster.

There’s more. On Nov. 1, Microsoft will offer Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers access to discounted Windows Azure prices, regardless of upfront commitment, without overuse penalties and with the flexibility of annual payments.

To further reduce cloud adoption barriers, Microsoft on Monday announced a strategic partnership with Equinix. Building on recently announced partnerships with AT&T and others, this alliance will provide customers with even more options for private and fast connections to the cloud, the company said. Customers will be able to connect their networks with Windows Azure at Equinix exchange locations for greater throughput, availability and security features.

To help U.S. federal, state and local government agencies realize the benefits of public cloud computing, Microsoft is introducing its Windows Azure US Government Cloud. This will offer U.S. government customers a dedicated community cloud for data, applications and infrastructure, hosted in the continental U.S. and managed by U.S. personnel.

Microsoft next week will release a second preview of SQL Server 2014. The new version offers in-memory technologies at no additional cost, giving customers 10 times to 30 times performance improvements without application rewrites or new hardware. SQL Server 2014 also works with Windows Azure to give customers built-in cloud backup and disaster recovery.

For big-data analytics, the company this month will release Windows Azure HDInsight Service, an Apache Hadoop-based service that works with SQL Server and widely used business intelligence tools, such as Microsoft Excel and Power BI for Office 365.

Look for the new release of Windows Intune on Oct. 18. It’s a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) platform that combines with System Center Configuration Manager to help IT departments give mobile employees security-enhanced access to the applications and data they need on the Windows, iOS and Android devices of their choice. Further, Microsoft is introducing the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, available for download in applications stores later this month, to provide easy access to PCs and virtual desktops on variety of devices and platforms, including Windows, Windows RT, iOS, OS X and Android.

Still want more? The next version of the companys CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall 13, will be available later this month, helping make customer interactions more personal via contextual information for deeper insights than the previous version, delivered on a variety of devices.

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