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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM

WPC Day 2: Cloud, business solutions, Windows Phone 8 and some cool research

TORONTO — The Day 2 keynote at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference offered a smorgasbord of topics ranging from cloud to business solutions, Windows Phone to Office 365 for Education — with a smattering of cool new company research underway as a bonus.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s president of its Server and Tools division, talked about the company’s server and cloud offerings including Windows Server and the Windows Azure platform.

The company built Windows Azure and Windows Server as one continuous set, he said, creating a “boundary-less data center powered by Windows.”

He had three pieces of news:

1) Windows Server 2012 will be released to manufacturers in August and be generally available in September. There have already been half a million downloads of the Release Candidate version of Windows Server 2012, he said.

2) A Community Technology Preview will be available of Windows Server and Systems Center technologies that will enable hosting service providers to deliver capabilities consistent with services running on Windows Azure. That includes high-density website hosting and virtual machine hosting with an extensible, self-service portal experience.

3) A “Hyper-V Switch Program” for customers moving from VMware to Microsoft’s Hyper-V. The program includes training and software tools.

Kirill Tatarinov, president of Microsoft’s Business Solutions division, then took the stage.

Some 60 percent of Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers are choosing the cloud, he said, while also mentioning more synergy between the public and private cloud. Microsoft will be trying to boost awareness that it offers business solution services.

Laura Ipsen, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector, talked about Office 365 for Education, which is offered free to school, teachers, students and faculty.

Thomas Gruhler, corporate vice president of Windows Phone marketing, talked about some of the new business and security capabilities on the upcoming Windows Phone 8 — which the company had disclosed in a Windows Phone event last month. Gruhler acknowledged “it’s not enough to have a great product that people love” and that not enough people today know about Windows Phones, but he didn’t go into detail about what the company will be doing to market Windows Phones.

Then Steve Clayton, who writes about cutting-edge research at Microsoft, introduced several just projects, including one that allows 3-D scanning and printing, and one that allows people in different locations to allow people located in different places to work together, virtually, on the same surface.

Separately, the company had announced yesterday that it is adding its Dynamics AX to its Enterprise Agreements for Microsoft Volume Licensing in order to grow sales to larger organizations. It also said it’s expanding its pay-for-performance incentives, currently used for Microsoft Dynamics ERP, to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

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