Microsoft has announced that more powerful versions of Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 are now on sale in the United States and Canada. These products feature 1TB of storage with 6th Generation Intel Core i7 processors and 16GB of RAM.
Microsoft has also launched its gold Surface Pen offering 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. The pen is on sale in Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United States.
The Sapa Group is an international aluminium manufacturer, creating and distributing products like automotive parts and energy-efficient building materials and has over 20,000 employees working in 40 countries. The group implemented Dynamics AX to consolidate and retire legacy ERP solutions, which has reduced management overheads and improved productivity.
Microsoft has announced new structure and leads for making its products more accessible for people with disabilities. Jenny Lay-Flurrie has been appointed as Microsoft’s new Chief Accessibility Officer as part of the Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs (CELA) organisation and will report to Susan Hauser, who is now the Corporate Vice President for the new Business and Corporate Responsibility Group (BCR).
Microsoft has announced the availability of SharePoint Server 2016 and Project Server 2016 Release Candidates.
SharePoint Server 2016 features built-in Hybrid Cloud capabilities and includes user interface, performance and reliability improvements as well as enhanced deployment options and a standardised set of APIs spanning SharePoint and Office 365.
Microsoft has acquired technology assets underlying the UC Commander product suite from Event Zero, a provider of management software for Skype for Business Online. Microsoft plans to use the technology to expand and improve the built-in management tools for Skype for Business.
On a personal note, I hope everyone had a wonderful time during the holiday season and wish you the very best of success for 2016.
Like most companies, Microsoft has been promoting its software and hardware offerings during the holiday season with an occasional announcement worth reporting.
Microsoft continues paying attention to non-Windows platforms and has released Cortana on select iPhone, Android and Cyanogen OS powered devices. The company also released a preview of the Power BI app for iOS with support for SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.2, which provides delivery of on-premises data to mobile devices and includes out-of-the-box mobile reports and KPI tracking.
On the Azure front, Microsoft announced that Dynamics CRM Online customers will be able to use Azure ExpressRoute to establish a private, managed connection to CRM Online. Updates to Azure Backup include faster backup times, reduced cache space and an increase in the number of recovery points for cloud backups.
As part of promoting HoloLens, Microsoft has opened the first ongoing HoloLens experience showcase for developers at its store in New York – appointment required.
2015 saw the release of Windows 10 and Office 2016, an extraordinary amount of activity evolving its non-Windows platform offerings, the continued evolution of the Azure platform and the “restructure” of its acquired Nokia phone business.