In a recent press-event, Microsoft outlined what’s next for enterprise IT and talked about new features that will come with Microsoft Windows 8.1. Among the list of features is Miracast wireless display support and internet sharing as well as hybrid cloud functionality.
The event was held during TechEd North America 2013, where Microsoft brought new information aimed at helping businesses take advantage of cloud computing and connected devices. In today’s keynote address, Server & Tools Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson and fellow executives showcased how new offerings across client, datacenter infrastructure, public cloud and application development help deliver the most comprehensive, connected enterprise platform.
“The products and services introduced today illustrate how Microsoft is the company that businesses can bet on as they embrace cloud computing, deliver critical applications, and empower employee productivity in new and exciting ways,” Anderson said. “Only Microsoft connects the dots for the enterprise from ‘client to cloud.’”
Today’s keynote featured several customers, including luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin. “Our staff’s sole purpose is to provide advanced technology that enables Aston Martin to build the most beautiful, iconic sports cars in the world,” said Daniel Roach-Rooke, IT infrastructure manager, Aston Martin. “From corporate desktops and software development to private and public cloud, Microsoft is our IT vendor of choice.”
Hybrid Cloud was a big push for Microsoft at the event, the company introduced the upcoming releases of its key enterprise IT solutions for hybrid cloud: Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014. These will be available to preview later this month, “the products break down boundaries between customer datacenters, service provider datacenters and Windows Azure”. Microsoft stated, “Using them, enterprises can make IT services and applications available across clouds and scale them up or down according to business needs. Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 are slated to release by the end of calendar year 2013, with SQL Server 2014 slated for release shortly thereafter”.
Further showcasing Microsoft’s hybrid cloud advantage, today the company also announced the public preview of Windows Azure BizTalk Services for enterprise integration solutions, both on-premises and in the cloud. In addition, Windows Azure now offers industry-leading, per-minute billing for virtual machines, Web roles and worker roles that improves cloud economics for customers. More information is available at the Windows Azure blog.
Iain McDonald, partner director of program management for Windows, detailed key business features in the recently announced Windows 8.1 update — including advances in security, management, mobility and networking — to offer the best business tablets with the most powerful operating system for today’s modern business needs.
New networking features in Windows 8.1 aim to improve mobile productivity for today’s workforce, with system-on-a-chip (SoC)-integrated mobile broadband, native Miracast wireless display and near field communication (NFC)-based pairing with enterprise printers. Security is also enhanced in the new update to address device proliferation and to protect corporate data and applications with fingerprint-based biometrics, multifactor authentication on tablets and remote business data removal to securely wipe company data from a device. And improved management capabilities in Windows 8.1 give customers more flexibility with supported options such as System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and new mobile device management (MDM) solutions with third-party MDM partners, in addition to updated Windows Intune support.
On June 26, at the Build 2013 developer conference in San Francisco, Microsoft will release a public preview of the Windows 8.1 update for Windows 8 and Windows RT customers. More information on new features found in Windows 8.1 for businesses, including updated Windows deployment guidance for businesses, is available on the Windows for your Business blog.
Microsoft also introduced Visual Studio 2013 and demonstrated new capabilities for improving the application lifecycle, both on-premises and in the cloud. A preview of Visual Studio 2013, with its new enhancements for agile portfolio planning, developer productivity, team collaboration, quality enablement and DevOps, is slated for release in the coming weeks, timed with the Build conference.
Furthermore, Microsoft today announced an agreement to acquire InCycle Software Inc.’s InRelease Business Unit. InRelease is a leading release management solution for Microsoft .NET and Windows Server applications. This acquisition will extend Microsoft’s offerings in the application lifecycle management and DevOps market. More information is available on S. Somasegar’s blog.
In addition, the company today announced new benefits that enable Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers to more easily develop and test more applications with Windows Azure. New enhancements include up to $150 worth of Windows Azure platform services per month at no additional cost for Visual Studio Professional, Premium or Ultimate MSDN subscribers and new use rights to run select MSDN software in the cloud.