Microsoft goes intercontinental via cloud and Surface

Mar 03, 2009 by Glenn Chapman
This Microsoft Corporation handout image shows the Microsoft Surface, the company's first commercially available surface computer. Microsoft announced on Monday that it is going intercontinental with touch-screen Surface computers and a suite of business software offered online as services "in the cloud."

Microsoft announced on Monday that it is going intercontinental with touch-screen Surface computers and a suite of business software offered online as services "in the cloud."

Microsoft said it would expand availability of its surface computing platform to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The product is already available in Canada and the United States.

Surface computers feature multi-touch and object-sensing screens in table-top designs, allowing people to work collaboratively.

They can also allow businesses to automatically track what comes and goes. For example, a bottle of wine could be placed on a surface computer table in a cafe, with the price instantly posted to a customer's tab.

"We've received an overwhelming response from companies worldwide that are looking for innovative ways to engage with their customers and developers who want to create applications that were not possible with other technologies," said Surface general manager Panos Panay.

Microsoft says it has more than 120 partners in 11 countries developing ways to use surface computers in retail, health care, government, tourism, media, travel, banking, manufacturing and other sectors.

The US software giant is also stepping further into cloud computing, by letting businesses in 19 countries test its Business Productivity Online Suite.

The cloud computing trend has intensified as businesses struggling in dismal economic conditions reduce costs by using applications online as paid services instead of buying, installing and maintaining software on their own machines.

Microsoft is adding to its international menu Office Communications Online and Deskless Worker Suite software that handle tasks such as email, calendars, collaboration, and instant messaging.

"These services open up new possibilities for businesses to control costs while continuing to enhance the productivity of their employees," said Microsoft business division president Stephen Elop.

"Customers can save between 10 percent and 50 percent in IT-related expenditures as a result of deploying Microsoft Online Services."

Exchange Online and SharePoint Online are available for trial in several European countries, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States.

Organizations worldwide will be able to try the entire Business Productivity Online Suite in April, according to Microsoft.

Use of Business Productivity Online Suite software currently costs 12.78 euros per month per user. Deskless Worker Suite programs providing email and collaboration software costs 2.56 per month per user.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Madison, Wis., becoming a force in video game industry

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Merriam-Webster names 'culture' word of the year

Dec 15, 2014

A nation, a workplace, an ethnicity, a passion, an outsized personality. The people who comprise these things, who fawn or rail against them, are behind Merriam-Webster's 2014 word of the year: culture.

Touch+ goes on sale, aims to make waving so yesterday

Aug 06, 2014

Touch+ announced yesterday that it is available on its makers' Ractiv website for $74.99: Ractiv is offering this product as an add-on for a computer, evolved from a crowdfunding campaign last year for Haptix. ...

A success in managed pressure drilling

Sep 16, 2014

As one of BP's top 40 wells globally (and the only UK well qualifying for that category in 2012), the successful delivery of the Harding field's 'Producer North East 2a' well (referred to as PNE2a) was crucial to the business. ...

Microsoft CEO pivots sharply with 18,000 job cut (Update)

Jul 17, 2014

Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its 39-year history Thursday, outlining plans to cut 18,000 jobs in a move that marked the CEO's sharpest pivot yet away from his predecessor's drive for the company t ...

Recommended for you

Key decisions on drones likely from Congress

8 hours ago

The Obama administration is on the verge of proposing long-awaited rules for commercial drone operations in U.S. skies, but key decisions on how much access to grant drones are likely to come from Congress ...

N. Korea suffers another Internet shutdown

Dec 27, 2014

North Korea suffered an Internet shutdown for at least two hours on Saturday, Chinese state-media and cyber experts said, after Pyongyang blamed Washington for an online blackout earlier this week.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.