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Microsoft showcases Windows offerings

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The upcoming launch of Windows 8 appears to have breathed new life into the Microsoft marketing machine, with a renewed focus on the company’s total offerings.

During a keynote address at Computex last week, Steven Guggenheimer, corporate vice-president of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) division at Microsoft, demonstrated the breadth of innovation happening across Windows and the Windows ecosystem.

He announced the second community technology preview (CTP) for Windows Embedded Standard 8, unveiled Quanta’s new private cloud server solution, highlighted Ford’s launch of its award-winning SYNC in-car connectivity system for Taiwan, and showed off some of the latest Windows devices.

When it comes to delivering Windows technologies across PCs, servers, phones and specialized devices, Microsoft is taking a holistic approach by providing familiar tools and technologies that enable customers and partners to maximize their investments. To that end, Microsoft announced the second CTP for Windows Embedded Standard 8, which delivers the power of Windows for specialized devices running line-of-business applications within intelligent systems.

Windows Embedded Standard 8 encompasses tools for natural, immersive user experiences and the ability for OEMs to define and control the device capabilities, with additional technologies that extend the power of Windows on industry devices.

Guggenheimer also underscored Microsoft’s collaboration with its OEM partners to realise market opportunities, including capitalizing on the ability to process data and derive business and operational intelligence. For example, Microsoft showed the new 2012 Ford Focus during the keynote to highlight the digital, connected car experience. The 2012 Focus will be the first Ford vehicle featuring SYNC available in Taiwan offering voice recognition in two languages – English and Mandarin.

As customers seek more immersive experiences across a range of devices, cloud computing becomes increasingly important. To address this need along with the changing economics of IT, Microsoft has worked with hardware partners to develop the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track program.

Together with Microsoft, Quanta unveiled its next generation Fast Track hardware that includes integrated server, storage and networking equipment. This solution dramatically accelerates a business’ time to value, while decreasing cost, complexity and risk. With Quanta and so many other device manufacturers in Taiwan, it’s a center of gravity for hardware and device innovation.

Microsoft discussed some of the latest design innovations including touch, sensors, glass, hinges and memory that have a huge impact on PC computing experiences.

Guggenheimer also talked about continued innovation across Windows 7 devices, showed off some of the hottest hardware designs on the market and announced that Microsoft has sold over 600-million Windows 7 licenses. He talked about Windows 7 as the best path to Windows 8, and how consumers can take advantage of the recently announced Windows Upgrade Offer.

“This is the biggest launch time in Microsoft’s history,” said Guggenheimer. “In addition to updating Windows client, Windows Server, phone and embedded platforms, there’s a massive wave of software and services coming to market that we think will delight customers, from Windows Azure, to Office 15, Xbox games, Skype and Bing.”