Microsoft has announced a wave of new enterprise products and services. Complementing Office 365 and other services, these new offerings deliver on Microsoft's enterprise cloud strategy.
To help customers build IT infrastructure that delivers continuous services and applications across clouds, on October 18, Microsoft will release Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2.
Building on these hybrid cloud platforms, customers can use Visual Studio 2013 and the new .NET 4.5.1, also available October 18, to create modern applications for devices and services, Microsoft said.
On November 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.
As another part of this effort to reduce cloud adoption barriers, Microsoft 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. Customers will be able to connect their networks with Windows Azure at Equinix exchange locations for greater throughput, availability and security features, the vendor said.
To help US 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 US government customers a dedicated community cloud for data, applications and infrastructure, hosted in the continental US and managed by US 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. The SQL Server 2014 also works with Windows Azure to give customers built-in cloud backup and disaster recovery.
For big data analytics, later this month Microsoft 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. With Power BI, people can combine private and public data in the cloud for visualizations and insights.
The new release of Windows Intune, also available on October 18, 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. This unified management environment for PCs and mobile devices complements the new access and information protection capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2.
Further, with Windows Server 2012 R2 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.
The next major version of the company's 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. The on-premises version is expected to be available later in the fall for deployment either in-house or hosted by a partner.