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December is always a natural time to look back at the year and reflect on the things we’ve learned as well as what we have planned for the year ahead. Despite the challenging economic environment, businesses have advanced this year in many ways, including more and more taking advantage of cloud computing, the smart phone revolution, the power and beauty of modern PCs, tools in social media and all the benefits this connected, fast-paced world has to offer. At Microsoft, we’ve worked to support today’s flexible work styles and we thought it would be fun to take a visual look back at some of the news makers from Microsoft in 2011 that apply to our business customers.
Take a look at this infographic slideshow to see a few Microsoft highlights from 2011:
Windows 7 and Office 2010
The reality is simple: standing still is falling behind. October marked the official 10-year anniversary of Windows XP and the 8-year anniversary of Office 2003. Windows XP and Office 2003 were great technologies when they were first introduced nearly a decade ago, but a lot has changed since then. Businesses are moving now to Windows 7 and Office 2010 and getting immediate benefits in user productivity and security, and many are seeing immediate cost savings in IT operations as well. Windows 7 Enterprise, Office 2010 and other Microsoft management technologies enable the flexible work styles of modern business users and help companies maximize their people’s productivity and passion. By migrating to Windows 7 and Office 2010 together, customers can also reduce IT labor and lost user productivity by 50% (Source: Gartner/May, 2011 report “Complex Projects Involving Microsoft Windows, Office and Servers Require an Ordered Process” by Mike Silver and Matthew Cain).
With today’s ever-changing and mobile workforce, employees expect seamless, reliable, anytime access to the apps and tools they need to get their work done. IT departments have the task of keeping the corporate network secure while managing employees’ growing number of devices. Microsoft Desktop Virtualization provides solutions for all these needs by offering enterprises a complete suite of tools to allow employees the flexibility to work anytime, anywhere, while also simplifying compliance and management.
Private Cloud Computing
Customers have told us that when it comes to cloud computing they want flexible, comprehensive, solutions that address their needs – on their terms. That’s why Microsoft’s private cloud strategy looks broadly across the infrastructure, platform and application layers of the cloud and delivers greater business value and a higher return on investment – now and over the long term – than our competitors.
With two releases already under its belt, Windows Intune is evidence that not only does the cloud enable greater business agility for our customers and partners, but it’s also provided us a vehicle to deliver frequent, feature-rich updates. Windows Intune brings together Windows cloud services and Windows 7 Enterprise in a single, monthly subscription to help businesses manage and secure PCs. As part of our flexible workstyle story, the Windows Intune cloud service offers IT pros a simple, web-based management solution to help deliver an up-to-date and secure Windows PC experience, whether IT or employees are working in the corporate office, branch office, or on the road. With upgrade rights to the latest version of Windows, Windows Intune offers a great opportunity for businesses to make the move today from Windows XP to Windows 7 Enterprise.
Small Businesses and the Cloud
Ninety-eight percent of small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. say technology plays a vital role in their success. With 42 percent of SMBs not having IT department, the cloud offers a cost-effective way for SMBs to meet their technology needs. Demand for cloud services continues to grow, as demonstrated by the 74 percent of SMBs who have already budgeted for cloud-based software this year. Microsoft Office 365 is a great way to cut costs and increase productivity through the cloud; recently, 50 percent of SMBs reported savings from using Office 365.
According to Net Applications, about a quarter of all PCs connecting to the Web are using an outdated browser - equating to about 340 million PCs worldwide. To raise awareness around the critical role browsers play in online security, Microsoft launched YourBrowserMatters.com – a website that explains why having a modern browser is important, allows people to assess their current browser’s security, and also easily upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer.
Zeroing in on Malware
Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report (Volume 11) analyzed zero-day vulnerabilities and helped put them into context against the broader threat landscape. Despite common perceptions, the research showed that none of the top malware groups compromised machines through the use of zero-day vulnerabilities, and less than one percent of all attacks utilized zero-day vulnerabilities. A key reason for this research is to give IT pros accurate information to more effectively manage risks in their environments and keep their networks safe.
Evolution of Email
Over the years, email has drastically changed the way we interact with one another, acting as a quick, effective way to communicate with anyone at any time. As options for online communication have grown, Microsoft Outlook has adapted and introduced new, innovative features. Today, Microsoft Outlook 2010 serves as a main communications hub for its users, offering email, calendar management, social media, instant and text messaging, and voicemail to seamlessly fit into the busy and fast-paced lifestyles of today’s users.
With great advances in technology, business workers have the flexibility to work on their PCs with a secure, seamless experience from virtually anywhere. Our goal is to positively impact user experiences through innovative technology, while also providing products that enhance and help grow your business. I encourage you to start 2012 off on the right foot with the latest and greatest technology for your company. Cheers to you on a successful new year!
A key reason for this research is to give IT pros accurate information to more effectively manage risks in their environments and keep their networks safe. www.topmoncleronline.com