Bing apps get updated, now branded MSN

The Bing apps have been providing people with a set of really awesome immersive vertical experiences around Weather, News, Sports, Finance, Travel, Health & Fitness, and Food & Drink on devices running Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. They are some of my favorite apps and highly recommended. With today’s updates, these apps will now have one unified and consistent Azure-powered experience across all these devices to MSN in the cloud. These apps will now be branded to reflect their alignment to the MSN premium experience for content as well as personal productivity features. Bing will continue to provide search and intelligent experiences such as powering Cortana. All the apps will retain their existing names except for Bing Finance which will now be MSN Money.

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As part of today’s updates, the Health & Fitness and Weather apps now make it easy to access information from these apps right on the Lock screen of your Windows Phone. Now at quick glance, you will be able to see the latest weather from the Weather app right on your Lock screen. And if you have a Nokia Lumia 1520, 635, or 630 smartphone, you will now be able to keep track of steps taken via the pedometer and GPS tracker in the Health & Fitness app also right on your Lock screen. You don’t need to unlock your phone and launch the individual apps!

Read about these app updates as well as the new MSN launch happening today here in this blog post.

The new MSN arrives

Earlier this month, we unveiled a first look at the new MSN. Over the past 3 weeks, nearly 10 million of you took the opportunity to test out the new site and more than 80,000 of you even took the time to tell us what you thought. Based on your feedback, we have made numerous changes to the site. From everyone here, a sincere thank you.

Over the next 72 hours, we will roll out the new MSN to the more than 425 million people in over 50 countries around the world that come to the site each month. In addition, people using Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 will have the option to update their devices to the new MSN apps starting today. At the top of the homepage, you will see easy one-click access to all of your favorite services including Outlook.com, Office, OneNote, OneDrive, Skype, Facebook and Twitter.

The new MSN is here

The new MSN is completely built from the ground up on Azure to provide massive, cost-effective scale (with more than 30,000 Azure cores for serving and 100 Terabytes of storage), reliability, and ongoing agility for a cloud-first, mobile-first world. Every single line of code was re-written to ensure that you have one consistent experience regardless of whether you are accessing your stocks in MSN Money, your favorite sports teams in MSN Sports, or your recipe collections in MSN Food & Drink. All of those experiences will always be with you across your devices.

The new MSN provides a global, comprehensive perspective from thousands of worldwide, authoritative sources across 11 categories. It’s simple to personalize what you want to see based on your interests. In the coming months, we will release a suite of MSN apps across iOS and Android to complement today’s release of the Windows and Windows Phone apps. You only need to set your favorites once, and your preferences will be connected across MSN, Cortana, Bing and other Microsoft experiences.

MSN app updates arrive on Windows 8.1

In Windows 8, we introduced Bing Apps to help you explore your world with a set of immersive vertical experiences. With today’s release, we now have one unified, consistent Azure-powered experience that spans the apps on your Windows 8.1 device to MSN in the cloud. While Bing will continue to provide search and intelligent experiences, now the apps will be branded to reflect their alignment with MSN as a premium experience for content, combined with personal productivity features. Aside from Bing Finance, which will now be MSN Money, all of the apps retain their existing names.

MSNPreviewLaunchMSN_Web

We are also rolling out updates to the Health & Fitness and Weather apps, making it easier to access what’s happening from the lock screen of your phone. Now at a glance, you will see up-to-the-minute weather statuses from the Weather app. If you’re running the Nokia 1520, 630 or 635, you can keep track of steps taken via the pedometer and GPS tracker in the Health and Fitness App directly from the lock screen. No need to launch the individual apps.

MSN apps

World class content

With the new MSN, we focused on bringing the best-in-class content from the leaders in both content and data from around the world. In the U.S., some of our premier partners include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, AOL (including TechCrunch and Huffington Post) and Condé Nast (including Vanity Fair, Epicurious, Bon Appétit).

Worldwide, we’re excited to showcase The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun in Japan; Sky News, The Guardian and the Telegraph in the United Kingdom, NDTV and Hindustan Times in India, Le Figaro and Le Monde in France, and many more.

As autumn has just arrived, we urge people to go check out the site and customize the Sports experience to showcase your favorite NFL team or peruse the Food & Drink section to find that perfect recipe for fall.

New HP Stream thin-and-light Windows Notebooks and Tablets including $99 Stream 7 tablet just unveiled

HP is adding to the HP Stream line of affordable thin-and-light Windows devices today with two new laptops and two new tablets.

stream tab 7

The HP Stream 7 and HP Steam 8 are 7-inch and 8-inch Windows tablets that are powered by Intel and come with a 1-year subscription of Microsoft Office 365 Personal which includes 1TB of OneDrive online storage and 60 minutes of Skype each month. The HP Stream 8 tablet also includes an optional 200MB of free 4G data each month with no annual contract for the life of the device too.

The HP Stream 7 tablet is expected to be available starting at $99.99 (U.S.) and the HP Stream 8 tablet is expected to be available starting at $149.99 (U.S.) in November.

stream 13.3 stream 11

The two new HP Stream laptops will come with either an 11.6-inch HD display or a 13.3-inch HD optional touch display. They have an innovative fanless design and are powered by high efficiency Intel Celeron processors with 32GB of eMMC flash memory. These laptops perform the way you expect them when doing the things you want to do and operate cool and quietly. They also have a stylish gradient design available in Orchid Magenta and Horizon Blue colors. Who doesn’t love color? Better yet, these HP Stream laptops come with a 1-year subscription of Microsoft Office 365 Personal which includes 1TB of OneDrive online storage. Oh and they also come with a $25 gift card in the box to uses to buy apps or games from the Windows Store.

The HP Stream 11.6-inch model is expected to be available starting at $199.99 (U.S.) and the HP Stream 13.3-inch model is expected to be available starting at $229.99 (U.S.) in November.

These new HP Stream notebooks and tablets will be available for purchase online at the Microsoft Store and at select Microsoft Retail Stores.

Banks choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM to enable personalized customer experiences and operational efficiency

BOSTON
— Sept. 29, 2014
—
Monday at the Sibos global banking event in Boston, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) highlighted leading banking institutions that are modernizing their business operations and choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM to shift from transaction-based businesses to customer-centric businesses.

Wayne Morris, corporate vice president, marketing for Microsoft Dynamics, has seen this firsthand: “To become customer-centric organizations, banks must first think from their customers’ perspectives. They need solutions that enable them to deliver amazing customer experiences while also safeguarding customer data and meeting complex regulatory requirements.”

Microsoft is also seeing a growing number of global system integrators building out financial-service-specific solutions on top of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to deliver industry-specific solutions tailored to the needs of banking organizations.

“With banks confronted by the realities of the new digital customer, we certainly see a large opportunity for the joint value of Avanade with Microsoft in the CRM space for banking,” said Ashish Kumar, chief growth, Avanade. “With its extensible platform and security model, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is well suited for the banking industry. We’ve been able to help numerous banking organizations drive customer profitability and operational efficiency through our longstanding alliance. We continue to work closely with Microsoft on banking-specific solutions and best practices based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM that will help banks meet the ever-changing needs of customers in the digital era.”


RBS-Nat
W
est
is a great example of a banking organization putting the customer at the center of its business with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

“Knowledge is powerful — especially when creating a tailored banking experience for business customers,” said David Russell, head of CRM services, RBS-NatWest. “NatWest Business Banking uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM, providing its employees with a unified and highly detailed customer view. With it the team can consistently deliver highly relevant, effective interactions with every customer, which ultimately helps them achieve their business ambitions. Microsoft Dynamics CRM unites teams, saves time and helps NatWest make customers happy. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, RBS-NatWest has achieved more than 95 percent user adoption, better connected teams and more valued customer service.”


Citibank
, a worldwide leading financial institution, uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM for its private banking operations across three continents.

“Our technology team considered Microsoft Dynamics CRM and found that it was everything we wanted and more. Most important, it could serve as a global solution and integrate with the platform we were currently using,” said Dena Brumpton, global chief operating officer, Citi Private Bank. “We can deliver solutions to our clients in a much more relevant way because we understand their needs. We know what they’re interested in and what their preferences are, which means we can target them better. As well, Microsoft Dynamics CRM makes it easy to be compliant with regulatory requirements in each jurisdiction.”


The Saudi Investment Bank
, a leading banking institution in the Persian Gulf, decided to employ Microsoft Dynamics CRM to drive growth in its recently created retail banking operations.

“The figures speak for themselves. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has helped us drive up our overall bank revenue, dramatically increase our market share in consumer loans, increase our conversion and win rates, and, most important, increase our customer satisfaction,” said Suliman Abduaziz Al-Obaid, general manager-IT and Shared Services, The Saudi Investment Bank. “It is clearly a powerful tool and easier to implement than other CRM solutions. We needed to improve turnaround time and streamline processes, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps us do exactly that.”

More than just a customer management solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM also provides financial service organizations with a flexible development framework, something Maybank experienced firsthand. Maybank, winner of the Asian Banker Risk Management Technology Award, uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to better manage risk and improve efficiencies.

“We were able to use the flexible platform of Microsoft Dynamics CRM not just for customer management but also for risk management and contract management,” said Herbert Poh Cher Hian, director, Group Finance Strategy and Systems, Maybank. “Most impressive was how quickly we could develop our contract management system, deploy it consistently across all groups, and get our people to use it and dramatically increase their productivity. Because the Microsoft Dynamics CRM user interface is so similar to other Microsoft products like Outlook, our people were able to start using it with little training. And we are already seeing real business benefits with Microsoft Dynamics CRM as noted by the 80 percent reduction in contract processing time.”

Leading technology organizations are capitalizing on the extensible platform of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to better serve the needs of their banking customers. “Microsoft provides a leading CRM solution with an extensible platform, which we’ve used to build a loan origination solution and will apply to additional industry-focused solutions,” said Anthone Withers, director and general manager, Integration Services, HP. “These solutions, combined with a broad portfolio of IT and consulting services and deep industry expertise, allow us to holistically address the business needs of our financial services customers.”

With more than 40,000 customers and 4.25 million users, Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides financial service institutions with a customer-first design philosophy and seamless integration with other productivity applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint and Lync. Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers and prospects can learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the financial services space at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-financial-services.aspx. In addition, they can follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community @MSDynamicsCRM, http://www.twitter.com/msdynamicscrm.

About Microsoft Dynamics

At the heart of every successful business are the people who make things happen. Microsoft Dynamics designs modern business solutions that empower individuals with intuitive tools that allow them to do their best work. Our proactive, easy-to-use business applications adapt to the way people and systems work, enabling businesses to rapidly deploy and be forward-looking in an ever-changing world.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft announces CitiDirect BE Tablet app for Windows 8.1 for corporate treasurers

BOSTON —
Sept.

29
, 2014 — At the Sibos conference in Boston on Monday, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Citi’s CitiDirect BESM Tablet app for Windows 8.1. Citi, a leading provider of global transaction and trade solutions, designed the app for its largest corporate treasury clients. The app, a channel extension of Citi’s corporate banking platform, CitiDirect BE, now operates on three platforms and is made available exclusively to CitiDirect BE customers worldwide, at no cost in 79 countries and nine languages in the Windows Store. The development of CitiDirect BE Tablet for Windows 8.1 significantly broadens the reach of CitiDirect BE with corporate treasurers.

“Technology is improving every part of the customer experience, and being able to provide our treasury clients with real-time information wherever they are working helps them be more productive and make more informed business decisions,” said Hubert Jolly, global head, Channel, Enterprise and Prepaid Services at Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions. “By working closely with Microsoft, we have developed a solution that can be accessed from nearly any Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 tablet or device, which is important to our clients because many operate their businesses on the Windows platform.”

To meet the demands of sophisticated corporate treasury and trade services, the app provides fingertip access to business-critical financial information from a wide choice of enterprise-grade Windows devices. With the additional benefit of seamless access to Microsoft’s enterprise productivity and collaboration solutions, customers can access this app with the enterprise-grade security and manageability demanded by corporate IT departments.

“Now is a critical time for financial institutions to become digital information businesses, drive engaging customer experiences, deliver the products and services demanded by customers, and capitalize on new business models that were previously unattainable,” said Colin Kerr, director of Worldwide Banking, Microsoft. “Citi is a leader in this digital transformation, and we are delighted to see the launch of CitiDirect BE Tablet on Windows 8.1 to support corporate treasury executives and operations staff with deep business insights.”

The CitiDirect BE Tablet app for Windows 8.1 provides treasury executives with visibility into mission-critical financial information in real time, allowing them to quickly execute activities such as authorizing transactions or monitoring account balances across geographies in a map and chart view. With filters, financial data can be customized even more, such as by balance type, currency and total amount, allowing Citi to provide a global view across the treasury.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.