Big news for enterprise customers and Windows 10, tales from the cloud and a program manager’s inspiring story — Weekend Reading, Sept. 11 edition

 |   Tracy Ith

The first full week of September brought plenty of interesting and uplifting news to distract us from the fact that summer is slowly drawing to a close. We’ve got all the highlights in this edition of Weekend Reading.

More than 75 million devices around the world are running Windows 10, a number likely to grow significantly now that Microsoft and Dell have an expanded partnership to bring premium Windows 10 devices — along with world-class services and support — to enterprise customers. The Surface Enterprise Initiative was unveiled Tuesday.

Dell will be the first partner to sell Surface Pro tablets and accessories next month through its North America commercial sales organization and later in the year on Dell.com/Work; other markets will follow in early 2016.

“We want to move people from needing, to choosing, to loving Windows and so do our partners,” said CEO Satya Nadella in a press release. “Our global enterprise customers have asked us to match the Surface Pro 3 and Windows 10 experience with enterprise-grade support and services – and our partnerships like this one with Dell will do just that.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXpS9oEwXzM&feature=youtu.be

Later this year, you’ll be able to get the latest and greatest in intelligent customer engagement with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. As the most comprehensive Microsoft Dynamics CRM upgrade ever, the new version, announced Tuesday, will have an enhanced Excel experience, next-generation Cortana integration and a host of other great improvements.

The 2016 version “will change the game in other areas as well, including intelligence, mobility and service,” writes Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, who says it marks “a milestone in the company’s efforts to reinvent productivity.”

The International Broadcasting Convention began Thursday in Amsterdam, and the conference vividly illustrates a shift that has taken hold of the media industry over the past few years: The cloud is everywhere. Media companies all over the world are adopting cloud strategies for not just on-demand video but also live sports events and entertainment, content management, editorial collaboration, audience analytics and much more.

As explained by Rainer Kellerhals, senior business development manager for Microsoft Worldwide Industry and Global Accounts, “Moving operations to the cloud allows companies to set up a new program or even a new channel in a very short timeframe — without investing tens of millions of dollars.”

IBC

Speaking of the cloud, Microsoft cloud technology is giving a big boost to a program in Texas that teaches moms about keeping babies and kids healthy through proper nutrition. The state’s previous information management system, implemented two decades ago, had outlived its usefulness.

The state agency is moving to a solution built on the Microsoft Government Cloud, an improvement that is expected to reduce coverage gaps and hardships for recipients, as well as making things much easier for caseworkers trying to give assistance.

Texas image

Microsoft also announced a pair of acquisitions this week. The acquisition of Adallom, an innovator in cloud security, is “the latest example of Microsoft’s commitment to delivering innovative identity and security capabilities to our customers, across both on-premises and multiple clouds,” writes Cloud and Enterprise Marketing Corporate Vice President Takeshi Numoto.

Microsoft has also agreed to acquire VoloMetrix, a pioneer and leader in organizational analytics. “This acquisition will combine VoloMetrix’ experience, technology and track record of success with Office 365 and our previously announced Delve Organizational Analytics,” writes Rajesh Jha, corporate vice president of Outlook and Office 365.

Earlier this week we met Vidya Srinivasan, a hacker, teacher, classical singer and Microsoft program manager for OneDrive-SharePoint. While recognized for her versatility, Vidya knows all of her interests have a common goal: She’s always looking to help others.

She’ll co-chair Open Source Day this year at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, leading a team of six people across the U.S. and Europe and working with eight open source organizations. You can read more about her inspiring story.

Vidya

Just in time for the start of football season, NFL on Windows 10 is our App of the Week. Use it to track your favorite teams and fantasy players with personalized notifications of big plays on the field, and never miss a moment with in-game highlights on demand. Or find other useful options in this week’s five best new Windows Phone apps.

The week also brought updates to “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta” and “Minecraft: Pocket Edition,” and Marvel’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” is now available in the Windows Store. Fans of Press Play got to choose which game they’d like to see next from the Denmark-based developer, deciding on multiplayer action game “Project: Knoxville.”

In other app news, you can save big on Disney titles and in-app purchases during the Disney & Star Wars End of Summer Sale, or test your smarts to stay alive with such tasks as hurdling an electric fence and cleaning a whale’s teeth in “Dumb Ways to Die 2: The Games.”

5 best apps

And that’s a wrap of this week’s top news. Check back here every Friday for the latest edition of Weekend Reading.

Posted by Tracy Ith
Microsoft News Center Staff

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