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Microsoft’s late February announcements that will affect you.

February was a busy month for Microsoft as they announced upcoming changes and updated many of their most popular products. Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Skype, Internet Explorer, Windows and the Microsoft Office platform all announced changes last week.

iPad and Yammer get Support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
On February 27th Microsoft released a product update for its Dynamics CRM Online users that adds iPad and Yammer support. The update allows users to log into the CRM Online app through Safari on the iPad and access “most” functionality. Via this same optional update, Dynamics CRM Online customers also can begin making use of Yammer, the enterprise social-networking technology that became part of Microsoft in June 2012. Because the move Activity Feed to Yammer is permanent, make sure you confer with your Microsoft Partner before making the change. The Microsoft’s statement can be found here.

Microsoft delivers final version of IE 10 for Windows 7
Microsoft released the final (non-test) build of Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 on February 26. IE 10 is the latest version of IE and the one that is bundled with Windows 8 and Windows RT. download here.

Microsoft launches updated Office 365 for business users
Microsoft is launching service components of its ‘new Office’ for business on February 27. Here’s what new and existing users can expect.

Microsoft has added three new packages to its Office 365 line-up for businesses: Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Midsize and Office 365 Small Business Premium. These complement the existing Office 365 Small Business and Enterprise offerings, which Microsoft is updating with many of the latest new features and functions that it introduced late last year for the on-premises complements of the products in the suite. For a more detailed look as to the changes, read this article.

Microsoft to tighten further its Yammer-Office ties this summer
Microsoft’s SkyDrive Pro and Office Web Apps technologies will be tied more tightly into its Yammer enterprise-social-networking offering as of summer 2013. Microsoft and Yammer officials also said late last year that in the “immediate future,” the Yammer and SharePoint product families will be unified via a single ID/sign-on, shared document-management capabilities and feed aggregation. To learn more about the Yammer acquisition by Microsoft follow this link.

Microsoft to begin connecting Skype and Lync by June 2013
Microsoft’s mission to connect its consumer and business communications services is running later than many expected, according to the latest Lync roadmap. Voice and instant messaging capabilities will be available by June, but the video capabilities could take up until 2014 for the two programs to be integrated and available for customers.

Windows 7 users: Move to SP1 to continue receiving Microsoft support
The end of support date for Windows 7 without Service Pack 1 installed is April 9, 2013. If you wish to continue getting support from Microsoft you will have to update to Service Pack 1 mainstream (free); which will keep your system supported until January 13, 2015. For more information on changes in support and differences between programs follow this link.

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6 of the Top 10 Retailers in U.S are Sold on Microsoft Enterprise Solutions

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In today’s global economy, consumers have an increasing number of options for how and when they want to shop. Thus retailers need to make the customer their top priority to stay competitive.Microsoft has the answer to this problem, with the right tools and technologies in order to implement a full on customer centric strategy.

This article talks about 3 key aspects to Microsoft’s Enterprise Solutions – engaging customers, engaging employees and optimizing operations ; all of which have retailers sold on Microsoft.

First of all, retailers are looking for new ways to deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels and Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone 8 deliver multiple options for retailers to improve interactions with customers.

In addition, retailers are also pressured to deliver superior in-store experiences by taking advantage of the expertise of their employees and ensuring that they have the cutting-edge tools in order to deliver top-notch customer service. As retailers move to the cloud to reduce costs, improve customer service and engage employees they are choosing Microsoft Office 365 as their go to product.

Lastly, retailers are turning to Microsoft products to help optimize their overall operations and remain profitable. Microsoft technologies such as SQL Server, Windows Server and Windows Azure allow retailers to address the big data question through quickly analyzing and delivering data to decision-makers, making them efficient in giving consumers what they want.

So, it’s clear that Microsoft products remain top of the line, for businesses looking to maximize efficiency everywhere!

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Predictions for Microsoft in 2013

20132012 was a big year for Microsoft. Everything from the release of Windows 8 and the Surface to Microsoft’s huge strategic partnership with Nokia. So, what could possibly be in store for Microsoft in 2013? Read this article to learn more about what we can expect from Microsoft in the new year. First off, it’s important to mention that Microsoft no longer sees itself as a software company, but now as a devices and services company. This, as Steve Ballmer said, impacts the way the entire enterprise is run; from developing new experiences to marketing the products for consumers and businesses.  For one, the article predicts that Microsoft will likely announce plans for its next console, which has been dubbed by some as Xbox Next or Xbox 720. Acquisitions such as Skype and Yammer will also play a huge role in the company’s future offerings. On top of all of that, the biggest product launch we can expect from Microsoft this year will be Office 15. Look for these changes and many more to have a big impact on how your company and your competitors do business. More companies work on Microsoft than any other platform, find out why!

For more information email [email protected] and learn how FieldBoss can help your company now, and in the future.

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The Future of Productivity

If you haven’t seen it by now , watch this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL-zcUWwCZU  by Microsoft – “Microsoft’s Future Concepts”  that demonstrates how future technology will help people make better use of their time, focus their attention, and strengthen relationships while getting things done at work, home, and on the go. FieldBoss is the future of productivity in the field services industry and we can’t wait to hear all the exciting feedback from our current and new customers. Welcome to FieldBoss. Welcome to the future.

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New Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Service Update

Reimagined Microsoft Dynamics CRM brings new user experiences, social collaboration & communication … Microsoft is reinventing the way people work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM — whether they are on the road, at home or in the office.

The service update will introduce new role-specific user experiences that guide sales and service professionals through pre-defined lead, opportunity and case management processes. The new user experiences will offer customers guidance and suggestions that can easily be tailored to a person’s specific role to drive maximum productivity. The service update will also add new business process definitions to track and manage leads, opportunities, contacts and accounts, making it simpler for people to understand their customer, and be able to better connect and collaborate with each other.

Windows 8 CRM

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The Ups and Downs of Making Elevators Go

Elevators are becoming more and more essential to everyday life whether it be in the office, at the mall, or to get to your home. For something we use so often, the average person knows very little about how elevators work. One thing we do not think about is the technology being used to run these machines.

Kate Linebaugh takes a unique look at elevators and how the demand for satisfaction and efficiency from these machines is higher than ever. Take a look at this fascinating article that outlines her findings.

 

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Cross Platform Support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

For the second time, Microsoft has delayed delivery of their mobile CRM client for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. The problem as we understand it was that the code they came up with degraded the performance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in Internet Explorer by about 30%. At Microsoft, they refer to that as a “compromised experience”.

The new plan is to deliver CRM capabilities on multiple browsers including IE, Chrome, Safari on PC’s and Macs as part of the December service update.

We are expecting HTML 5 and JavaScript native clients for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and iPad to be available  mid 2013. It is unclear if there will be clients for Android or Blackberry or if they will deliver support via Web Browser only.

Interestingly, these Dynamics CRM clients will be offered for free, rather than the $30 per user per month as originally announced.

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