Can you run Windows Server 2012 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2?

I have been asked this question a couple of times recently.  The odd thing, to me anyway, is that most of the people who have asked me have stated:

I read this article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794868(v=ws.10).aspx about supported guest operating systems for Windows Server 2008 R2, and did not see Windows Server 2012 R2 listed.  Is it supported?

The answer is – no.  That is why it is not listed.

Generally speaking, we make sure that the we support the release immediately after the host operating system (i.e. 2012 on 2008 R2, 2012 R2 on 2012, etc…).  But we do not go beyond that.

If you really want to run Windows Server 2012 R2 in a virtual machine – I highly recommend that you upgrade your host first.  Besides which, there are so many great new features in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 that you should want to take advantage of!

Cheers,
Ben

Microsoft takes on global cybercrime epidemic in tenth malware disruption

Editor’s Note: This blog post was updated with the following new information at 8 a.m. on July 9:

On Monday, June 30, Microsoft filed a civil suit in a Nevada federal court to disrupt Bladabindi-Jenxcus, a pervasive family of malware that put millions of customers at risk.

Today both Microsoft Corporation and Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC announce they have reached a settlement in the matter of Microsoft Corporation v. Mutairi, et al.

Microsoft has reviewed the evidence provided by Vitalwerks and enters into the settlement confident that Vitalwerks was not knowingly involved with the subdomains used to support malware. Those spreading the malware abused Vitalwerks’ services.

Microsoft identified malware that had escaped Vitalwerks’ detection. Upon notification and review of the evidence, Vitalwerks took immediate corrective action allowing Microsoft to identify victims of this malware. The parties have agreed to permanently disable Vitalwerks subdomains used to control the malware.

In the process of redirecting traffic to its servers for malware detection, Microsoft acknowledges that a number of Vitalwerks customers were impacted by service outages as a result of a technical error. Microsoft regrets any inconvenience these customers may have experienced.

The following post from Richard Domingues Boscovich, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, was originally published on June 30:


Playing offense against cybercriminals is what drives me and everyone here at the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit. Today, Microsoft has upped the ante against global cybercrime, taking legal action to clean up malware and help ensure customers stay safer online. In a civil case filed on June 19, Microsoft named two foreign nationals, Mohamed Benabdellah and Naser Al Mutairi, and a U.S. company, Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC (doing business as No-IP.com), for their roles in creating, controlling, and assisting in infecting millions of computers with malicious software—harming Microsoft, its customers and the public at large.

We’re taking No-IP to task as the owner of infrastructure frequently exploited by cybercriminals to infect innocent victims with the Bladabindi (NJrat) and Jenxcus (NJw0rm) family of malware. In the past, we’ve predominately seen botnets originating in Eastern Europe; however, the authors, owners and distributors of this malware are Kuwaiti and Algerian nationals. The social media-savvy cybercriminals have promoted their wares across the Internet, offering step-by-step instructions to completely control millions of unsuspecting victims’ computers to conduct illicit crimes—demonstrating that cybercrime is indeed a global epidemic.

Free Dynamic DNS is an easy target for cybercriminals

Dynamic Domain Name Service (DNS) is essentially a method of automatically updating a listing in the Internet’s address book, and is a vital part of the Internet. However, if not properly managed, a free Dynamic DNS service like No-IP can hold top-rank among abused domains. Of the 10 global malware disruptions in which we’ve been involved, this action has the potential to be the largest in terms of infection cleanup. Our research revealed that out of all Dynamic DNS providers, No-IP domains are used 93 percent of the time for Bladabindi-Jenxcus infections, which are the most prevalent among the 245 different types of malware currently exploiting No-IP domains. Microsoft has seen more than 7.4 million Bladabindi-Jenxcus detections over the past 12 months, which doesn’t account for detections by other anti-virus providers. Despite numerous reports by the security community on No-IP domain abuse, the company has not taken sufficient steps to correct, remedy, prevent or control the abuse or help keep its domains safe from malicious activity.

For a look at how cybercriminals leverage services like No-IP, and advice for customers to help ensure a safer online experience, please see the graphic below.

Microsoft legal and technical actions

On June 19, Microsoft filed for an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) from the U.S. District Court for Nevada against No-IP. On June 26, the court granted our request and made Microsoft the DNS authority for the company’s 23 free No-IP domains, allowing us to identify and route all known bad traffic to the Microsoft sinkhole and classify the identified threats. The new threat information will be added to Microsoft’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Program (CTIP) and provided to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and global Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to help repair the damage caused by Bladabindi-Jenxcus and other types of malware. The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit worked closely with Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center to identify, reverse engineer and develop a remedy for the threat to clean infected computers. We also worked with A10 Networks, leveraging Microsoft Azure, to configure a sophisticated system to manage the high volume of computer connections generated by botnets such as Bladabindi-Jenxcus.

As malware authors continue to pollute the Internet, domain owners must act responsibly by monitoring for and defending against cybercrime on their infrastructure. If free Dynamic DNS providers like No-IP exercise care and follow industry best practices, it will be more difficult for cybercriminals to operate anonymously and harder to victimize people online. Meanwhile, we will continue to take proactive measures to help protect our customers and hold malicious actors accountable for their actions.

This is the third malware disruption by Microsoft since the November unveiling of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center—a center of excellence for advancing the global fight against cybercrime. This case and operation are ongoing, and we will continue to provide updates as they become available. To stay up to date on the latest developments on the fight against cybercrime, follow the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit on Facebook and Twitter. Microsoft provides free tools and information to help customers clean and regain control of their computers at www.microsoft.com/security.

Microsoft takes on global cybercrime epidemic in tenth malware disruption

Editor’s Note: This blog post was updated with the following new information at 8 a.m. on July 9:

On Monday, June 30, Microsoft filed a civil suit in a Nevada federal court to disrupt Bladabindi-Jenxcus, a pervasive family of malware that put millions of customers at risk.

Today both Microsoft Corporation and Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC announce they have reached a settlement in the matter of Microsoft Corporation v. Mutairi, et al.

Microsoft has reviewed the evidence provided by Vitalwerks and enters into the settlement confident that Vitalwerks was not knowingly involved with the subdomains used to support malware. Those spreading the malware abused Vitalwerks’ services.

Microsoft identified malware that had escaped Vitalwerks’ detection. Upon notification and review of the evidence, Vitalwerks took immediate corrective action allowing Microsoft to identify victims of this malware. The parties have agreed to permanently disable Vitalwerks subdomains used to control the malware.

In the process of redirecting traffic to its servers for malware detection, Microsoft acknowledges that a number of Vitalwerks customers were impacted by service outages as a result of a technical error. Microsoft regrets any inconvenience these customers may have experienced.

The following post from Richard Domingues Boscovich, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, was originally published on June 30:


Playing offense against cybercriminals is what drives me and everyone here at the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit. Today, Microsoft has upped the ante against global cybercrime, taking legal action to clean up malware and help ensure customers stay safer online. In a civil case filed on June 19, Microsoft named two foreign nationals, Mohamed Benabdellah and Naser Al Mutairi, and a U.S. company, Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC (doing business as No-IP.com), for their roles in creating, controlling, and assisting in infecting millions of computers with malicious software—harming Microsoft, its customers and the public at large.

We’re taking No-IP to task as the owner of infrastructure frequently exploited by cybercriminals to infect innocent victims with the Bladabindi (NJrat) and Jenxcus (NJw0rm) family of malware. In the past, we’ve predominately seen botnets originating in Eastern Europe; however, the authors, owners and distributors of this malware are Kuwaiti and Algerian nationals. The social media-savvy cybercriminals have promoted their wares across the Internet, offering step-by-step instructions to completely control millions of unsuspecting victims’ computers to conduct illicit crimes—demonstrating that cybercrime is indeed a global epidemic.

Free Dynamic DNS is an easy target for cybercriminals

Dynamic Domain Name Service (DNS) is essentially a method of automatically updating a listing in the Internet’s address book, and is a vital part of the Internet. However, if not properly managed, a free Dynamic DNS service like No-IP can hold top-rank among abused domains. Of the 10 global malware disruptions in which we’ve been involved, this action has the potential to be the largest in terms of infection cleanup. Our research revealed that out of all Dynamic DNS providers, No-IP domains are used 93 percent of the time for Bladabindi-Jenxcus infections, which are the most prevalent among the 245 different types of malware currently exploiting No-IP domains. Microsoft has seen more than 7.4 million Bladabindi-Jenxcus detections over the past 12 months, which doesn’t account for detections by other anti-virus providers. Despite numerous reports by the security community on No-IP domain abuse, the company has not taken sufficient steps to correct, remedy, prevent or control the abuse or help keep its domains safe from malicious activity.

For a look at how cybercriminals leverage services like No-IP, and advice for customers to help ensure a safer online experience, please see the graphic below.

Microsoft legal and technical actions

On June 19, Microsoft filed for an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) from the U.S. District Court for Nevada against No-IP. On June 26, the court granted our request and made Microsoft the DNS authority for the company’s 23 free No-IP domains, allowing us to identify and route all known bad traffic to the Microsoft sinkhole and classify the identified threats. The new threat information will be added to Microsoft’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Program (CTIP) and provided to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and global Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to help repair the damage caused by Bladabindi-Jenxcus and other types of malware. The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit worked closely with Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center to identify, reverse engineer and develop a remedy for the threat to clean infected computers. We also worked with A10 Networks, leveraging Microsoft Azure, to configure a sophisticated system to manage the high volume of computer connections generated by botnets such as Bladabindi-Jenxcus.

As malware authors continue to pollute the Internet, domain owners must act responsibly by monitoring for and defending against cybercrime on their infrastructure. If free Dynamic DNS providers like No-IP exercise care and follow industry best practices, it will be more difficult for cybercriminals to operate anonymously and harder to victimize people online. Meanwhile, we will continue to take proactive measures to help protect our customers and hold malicious actors accountable for their actions.

This is the third malware disruption by Microsoft since the November unveiling of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center—a center of excellence for advancing the global fight against cybercrime. This case and operation are ongoing, and we will continue to provide updates as they become available. To stay up to date on the latest developments on the fight against cybercrime, follow the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit on Facebook and Twitter. Microsoft provides free tools and information to help customers clean and regain control of their computers at www.microsoft.com/security.

Schools choosing Microsoft to help bring the digital transition to life

REDMOND, Wash.

June 29,
201
4

On Sunday, at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, Microsoft Corp. announced that the Pasadena Independent School District (ISD) in Texas is adding to the growing momentum of schools choosing Microsoft technology and resources to help transform the student learning experience in the classroom. After a two-year pilot at schools around the district, Pasadena ISD will give students and teachers 12,900 Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablets with Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office 365 with OneNote. A primary consideration in the district’s decision was the innovative digital inking technology available in Windows 8.1 that is brought to life with OneNote and a touchscreen device like the Dell notebook.

“There is a massive transition to digital happening across the country and around the world in education, and schools looking to prepare their students for the world beyond the classroom are empowering their students and teachers by providing devices, services, training and other elements needed for improved student outcomes,” said Margo Day, vice president of U.S. education at Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we are proud to be a partner with so many great schools that are leading the way forward for education and in preparing our youth for tomorrow’s workforce.”

After carefully evaluating its device options, Pasadena ISD concluded that the inking capabilities in Windows 8.1, combined with the power of OneNote, gave students and teachers the most engaging experience possible. The district originally looked at a Windows 7-based netbook, but when it saw how digital inking on a tablet can duplicate the pen-and-paper experience, it captured peoples’ imaginations. The district saw the possibilities for things like real-time note taking, art projects and annotations, and determined that was the best option for students.

Pasadena joins a growing list of schools around the country that have recently chosen Microsoft devices and services to help bring technology and Microsoft YouthSpark resources into the classroom to improve student outcomes and opportunities, including the following:

  • Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS). As part of Baltimore County Public Schools’ Students & Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (S.T.A.T.) initiative, the district is rolling out 150,000 HP Elitebook 810 Revolve devices running Windows 8.1 to all students and teachers over the next four years. The initiative is aimed at fundamentally shifting teaching and learning in the district. Also, through the Microsoft Student Advantage offer, the district, which is already providing Microsoft Office to faculty and staff, will also offer the productivity suite to students at no additional cost. BCPS has developed a thoughtful approach to all the critical components to an effective one-to-one computing (1:1) initiative that also includes ongoing training for educators. Its curriculum offices are currently developing a framework and template for use in BCPS One, the new digital portal for curriculum and instruction, assessments, student data, reporting, and analysis.

  • Bureau of Indian Education: In support of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative and to accelerate the speed at which students in Bureau of Indian Education schools in the U.S. experience the benefits of a move to digital environments, Microsoft is working with Verizon Wireless to bring 10 tribal K–12 schools to digital 1:1 environments, which will include digital textbooks, content filtering and device management. The devices provided as part of the initiative are Nokia Lumia 2520 tablets. Data plans, network build-out, and appropriate educator and student training are included in the agreement. Build out of the network and implementation will take place in the coming months.

  • Chester County School District. This South Carolina district is in a close-knit, rural community, yet the school district also wanted to ensure that its young people had a global perspective. The district worked with local Internet providers to create Wi-Fi hotspots in strategically placed locations, such as parks and libraries, and provided students with Windows 8 devices. The devices were selected based on the district’s education priorities, a long battery life and durability.

  • Cincinnati Country Day School (CCDS). One of the first schools in the nation to go 1:1 in 1996, CCDS has been on the cutting edge of the digital transition for a long time. The school is now deploying Microsoft Surface Pro 3 devices for its students in grades 5–12 and faculty. According to the school, these devices meet all three critical elements for technology in the classroom: the importance and value of reading and writing to the way students learn; the school’s focus on the creative process; and tools that are versatile enough to support a variety of projects and experiments, regardless of subject.

  • Fresno Unified School District (FUSD). The fourth-largest district in California with 75,000 students is currently rolling out 15,000 ASUS Transformer T100 devices running Windows 8.1 to third through eighth graders. The district chose the Windows platform to meet Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s requirements for testing and the district’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) vision.

  • Houston Independent School District (HISD). The largest school district in Texas and seventh-largest in the U.S., HISD purchased Microsoft solutions to help it improve student outcomes, solve privacy concerns and amend manageability worries that plague many other education technology implementations. Microsoft Office 365 and HP Elitebook Folio 9470m Ultrabooks running Windows are helping to support HISD’s more than 14,000 students and 1,200 teachers in the first phase of its PowerUp initiative to transform how teachers teach and how students learn.

  • Leon County Schools. The Florida district has been deploying Windows 8.1 devices to its 34,000 students, allowing them to keep the business-class tools already in use today and provide maximum flexibility for both elementary and high school levels.

  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DPS). The nation’s fourth-largest school district, initiated its digital convergence project, rolling out 150,000 HP devices running Windows 8.1, with tablets for seventh-grade civics and ninth-grade world history classes, and laptops at the elementary level. In addition, more than 10,000 interactive boards will be added to classrooms across the district, and all 350,000 students will receive Microsoft Office Professional Plus for free as part of Microsoft Student Advantage. One-third of MDCPS schools will also be Microsoft IT Academy schools, receiving specific IT skills training and certification testing. Finally, the first wave of M-DPS teachers have begun training with Microsoft Expert Educators.

  • West Virginia. West Virginia Department of Education, as part of a statewide agreement is allowing all its public schools to upgrade to Windows 8.1, as well as providing Office 365 and Office 365 ProPlus to students, teachers and staff, resulting in lower costs and broader access for schools and families in the state.

This digital transition is not just happening in the U.S., but also in schools around the world where technology is empowering students. In Thailand, for example, the Office of the Basic Education Commission recently signed a memorandum of understanding that will provide all 8 million students and 400,000 teachers in the country with access to Microsoft Office 365 for Education.

About Microsoft in Education

Microsoft is deeply committed to working with governments, communities, schools and educators to use the power of information technology to deliver technology, services and programs that provide anytime, anywhere learning for all. Since 2003, Microsoft has partnered with educators to impact more than 207 million students in 119 countries. Through TEACH.Org, Microsoft and other partners, candidates are provided with free access to the online tools and resources necessary to pursue a career in teaching. For more information: http://www.microsoft.com/education.

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 quarterly earnings release date and upcoming event for the financial community

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 3, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. will publish fiscal year 2014 second-quarter financial results after the close of the market on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 on the Microsoft Investor Relations Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/. A live webcast of the earnings conference call will be made available at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time on the Microsoft Investor Relations Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/.

The company will also participate in the following event for the financial community:

JP Morgan Tech Forum at CES 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
12:45 p.m. PT
Bill Duff, chief financial officer, Operating Systems

Interested parties can listen to a webcast of these events on the Microsoft Investor Relations Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/.

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

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Investor Relations, Microsoft, (425) 706-4400

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/news/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/.

Microsoft acquires Parature to add leading customer self-service suite to Microsoft Dynamics CRM

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 7, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Parature, a leading provider of cloud-based customer engagement solutions. The acquisition will add world-class customer self-service capabilities to further accelerate the Microsoft Dynamics vision of helping organizations deliver amazing customer experiences.

“Customers are more connected and better informed than ever before. Organizations are looking for business solutions that can strengthen their ability to connect with customers on their own terms, using whatever device and whatever channel they prefer,” said Bob Stutz, corporate vice president, Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “Parature is a perfect fit for every business and will enable us to offer customers one of the best cloud-based solutions for customer self-service. This is a compelling combination for organizations committed to delivering the best service experience that consistently exceeds their customers’ expectations.”

As a provider of cloud-based customer service software to midsize and enterprise organizations, Parature has a well-earned reputation for outstanding customer service with 70 million users worldwide and more than 500 well-known brands, including Ask.com, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, IBM, Saba Software Inc., Tagged Inc. and Threadless. The company also received the 2013 Frost & Sullivan Customer Value Enhancement Award for using social media to help organizations deliver outstanding customer service.

Parature’s approach to its solutions enables organizations to take advantage of an extendable knowledge base available through self-service portals on the Web and Facebook, support ticketing, mobile customer care on virtually any device the customer chooses to use, social customer support, and chat for both traditional customer service scenarios and proactive sales engagement to create new, revenue-generating opportunities for the business. These capabilities complement the existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM customer-care solution with core strengths in workflow, extensibility and process-driven user experiences that allow contact center agents to do their best work.

Microsoft will continue to offer Parature solutions and support all new and existing customers as the company works to further enhance these offerings.

The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed. More information on this announcement, including product integration plans and timeline, will be shared at Parafest 2014 (Feb. 24–25) in Las Vegas and Convergence 2014 (March 4–7) in Atlanta. A blog by Bob Stutz speaking about this announcement Tuesday can be found at https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/archive/2014/01/07/microsoft-dynamics-crm-and-parature-a-match-made-for-you.aspx.

More information about Parature is available at http://www.parature.com, and more on Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm.aspx.

Those interested can follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics community on Twitter at @MSDynamicsCRM, hashtags #MSDynCRM and #CRM2013, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/msftdynamics.

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 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 all in for retail; extends leadership in end-to-end customer interactions and omni-channel operations

NEW YORK

Jan. 13
,
2014
At the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s Annual Convention on Monday, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) showcased the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics for Retail. The release features innovation in modern, mobile commerce, catalog and call center sales, as well as advanced operations for warehousing and transportation and logistics management. Managed by a true omni-channel commerce engine, these new capabilities further enhance the unique end-to-end value proposition of Microsoft Dynamics for Retail to help businesses such as Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc. and Jean Coutu Group Inc. deliver amazing experiences that make happy customers.

Building on its commitment to deliver complete shopping experiences, Microsoft announced new alliances with Vantiv Inc. and Sitecore, as well as an expanded relationship with IBM. In addition, the company highlighted solution innovations on Windows Mobile devices and Microsoft Surface 2, reinforcing the company’s unique position as a retailer and developer of enterprise hardware and business applications. All of this helps ensure that customers get industry-leading solutions that help them reduce costs and complexity and enable them to always be ready for what’s next.

“Success in a retail environment that is modern, mobile, global and ‘always on’ requires businesses to create the personal and highly differentiated customer interactions,” said Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions. “Microsoft is committed to helping businesses deliver amazing retail experiences today. It is at the core of our vision for the retail industry to help businesses connect without compromise across channels, on any device, anywhere.”

Industry-leading

mobile commerce options
and

complete end-to-e
nd
e

c
ommerce
solution

As part of Microsoft’s alliance with Vantiv, a leading provider of payment processing services and related technology solutions, Microsoft Dynamics for Retail will deliver a new range of solutions for mobile POS and cloud-connected payments that can help businesses maximize their customer reach at any scale, end-to-end. From simple mobile payment collection in the field and individual direct-sales transactions to retail store operations and more, the combination of Microsoft’s technology with Vantiv’s scalable, integrated payment processing services and technology will make it easy for businesses to take advantage of their most important asset, people, to offer seamless, best-in-class experiences.

“Our alliance with Microsoft is a great example of how Vantiv is extending payment and POS innovation to our merchant partners,” said Elizabeth Rector, senior vice president of e-commerce and mobile at Vantiv. “Microsoft Dynamic’s POS leadership and reseller network combined with Vantiv’s omni-channel payments platform and vast distribution channels enable an entirely new scale of mobile payment solutions, delivering a true 360-degree experience to mid-market and enterprise merchants across any vertical.”

Offering customers the first end-to-end, enterprise e-commerce solution based entirely on Microsoft technology, the company also announced an alliance with Sitecore, a global leader in customer experience management software, to integrate its leading customer experience platform with the leading omni-channel commerce capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics. This combined solution will give businesses the ability to design completely connected online experiences optimized for the behaviors, devices and preferences of visitors with complete, real-time, omni-channel order management.

“This alliance is a game-changer for the retail industry. The integration of Sitecore’s best-in-class experience platform with Microsoft’s powerful, proven commerce solution will allow organizations to harness the power of real-time data insights to personalize and deliver compelling, consistent brand experiences — online, in-store and across any channel,” said Darren Guarnaccia, chief strategy officer for Sitecore. “Sitecore and Microsoft both offer trusted enterprise solutions globally and have a strong foundation of exceptional technology and joint customer success to build from.”

Microsoft and IBM
team
to deliver
innovation and
value to retailers

Microsoft also announced an expanded relationship with IBM, combining the powerful capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 in retail and distribution with IBM’s proven global leadership in delivering integrated, enterprise retail solutions. The relationship also includes plans for IBM to develop and deploy differentiated intellectual property to offer unique, enhanced value to customers around world.

“IBM’s expanded collaboration with Microsoft will deliver innovative technology solutions that will help retailers seamlessly connect to their customers while delivering an exceptional brand experience,” said Brian Minnix, partner, Worldwide Retail Competency Center Lead, IBM. “We look forward to teaming with Microsoft to design differentiated retail solutions and services for today’s connected customers.”

More information on the new capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics for Retail can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/retail.aspx.

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 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 and GoDaddy announce strategic partnership to help small businesses

REDMOND, Wash.
,
and
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.

— Jan. 13, 2014 —

GoDaddy
, the Web’s top platform for small business, and Microsoft Corp. announced on Monday a long-term strategic partnership to offer Office 365 as GoDaddy’s exclusive core business-class email and productivity service to its small-business customers. This partnership supports GoDaddy’s ongoing push to deliver premium small-business management solutions. Serving 12 million customers worldwide, GoDaddy has created a simple experience for small businesses with industry-leading productivity tools backed by best-in-class customer support at an affordable price.

“Combining our small-business expertise together with Microsoft’s productivity offerings opens new doors for small businesses to easily get the tools they need to get more done in their day,” said Steven Aldrich, senior vice president of Business Applications, GoDaddy. “We’ve created a simple way to attach Office 365 to a domain name, helping small-business owners look professional and work anywhere, making the business of running their business easier.”


The strategic agreement between Microsoft and GoDaddy provides small businesses with seamless access to professional email connected to their domain names, cloud storage and a full suite of Microsoft productivity solutions. Plus, with GoDaddy, users receive around-the-clock live customer service, helping save time best spent focusing on their business. Also as part of the agreement, Microsoft created a unique offering of domain-based email and storage especially built with GoDaddy’s very small businesses in mind.

Office 365 offers business-class email, shared calendars, instant messaging, online conferencing and access to the most up-to-date documents. These capabilities are delivered as a cloud service available to users wherever they are, online or offline and across a variety of devices, offering access to the most up-to-date versions of the files and tools they need to get things done. Unlike some offerings designed for consumers or small businesses, Office 365 includes built-in security features that help deflect malware, spam, phishing attacks and other threats.

“We’re excited that GoDaddy has chosen to exclusively offer Office 365 to its small- business customers, giving them easy and supported access to productivity tools being used by some of the most successful businesses in the world,” said John Case, corporate vice president, Microsoft Office. “GoDaddy’s relationship with small businesses combined with Office 365, the fastest-growing Microsoft product in history, will help bring the benefits of Office 365 and modern cloud services to even more companies, whether they’re seeking to modernize how they do business or simply starting up.”

There are an estimated 28 million small businesses in the U.S. alone[1] and 125 million worldwide.[2] Of those 28 million, 92 percent of businesses have fewer than four employees. According to a Boston Consulting Group global study commissioned by Microsoft, if more small and medium-sized businesses adopted the latest in IT tools, it could potentially boost their revenues by a combined $770 billion and create more than 6 million jobs.[2]

Office 365 from GoDaddy is currently available in the U.S. and Canada and will expand globally within the next three months.

About GoDaddy

GoDaddy now serves more than 12 million paying customers worldwide and is the largest Web hosting and domain name registrar on the planet. GoDaddy leverages its award-winning talent and personalized approach to help small business owners create their digital identity, build websites and grow online. To learn more about the company, visit GoDaddy.com/PR.

About Microsoft

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

[1] GoDaddy research; U.S. Census Bureau, Longitudinal Business Database 1977–2010, 2009 County Business Patterns, 2010, http://censtats.census.gov/cgi-bin/nonemployer/nonsect.pl, http://www.sba.gov/advocacy/849/12162

[2] Source: International Finance Corp., member of the World Bank Group, “Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises

Around the World: How Many Are There, and What Affects the Count?” 2010

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.

RCS MediaGroup uses Microsoft technology to modernize communication and collaboration, and foster mobile workforce

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 16, 2014 — RCS MediaGroup, the leading Italian multimedia publishing company, primarily operating in Italy and Spain, has modernized and unified its communications infrastructure and enabled flexible, cloud-based collaboration through a comprehensive Microsoft technology solution that includes Microsoft Office 365, Windows Azure, Microsoft Lync 2013, Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft SharePoint 2013.

“With the benefits of a consistent approach for the end user, complete transparency for the delivery and the availability of Office applications, there will be more and more opportunities for our employees to continue to deliver new, innovative ideas,” said Umberto Tonelli, chief information officer of RCS MediaGroup. “For the IT department, this is a win-win situation; we are protecting our investments in technology, diminishing the risk of a massive deployment and finding new space to introduce innovation.”

RCS, longtime partner with Microsoft, turned to Microsoft Corp. because it needed to modernize its existing infrastructure while maintaining the security and quality of its business data and systems. With Microsoft cloud solutions, RCS has benefited from security-enhanced cloud storage, improved its disaster preparedness through the protection of relevant assets such as digitized historical archives of newspapers, simplified its communications infrastructure, and provided agile project management offerings for a mobile, distributed workforce that is using these solutions to manage more than 200 projects within its Digital Product Development Department. Moreover, using modern Windows apps and storage in the cloud, RCS has developed a solution for the sales force of its book publishing company, RCS Libri, that allows sales agents to retrieve the new books catalogue while on the go and present it interactively to their customers. Using the modern Windows app, they can directly place orders from the catalogue in front of the customer, dramatically reducing the selling cycle. After an agent’s visit, the modern Windows app allows the customer to review the catalog through a Web interface and place additional orders. The sales agents benefit as well from using Office 365 and Lync to communicate with their network, within and outside RCS.

Moreover, the new platform provides the marketing teams with a new collaborative environment, based on Office 365, where they can invite selected customers to focus groups to discuss and vote on the new digital products that RCS is planning to release.

Using a combination of Office 365 cloud environment and SharePoint 2013 on-premises, RCS will transform its intranet from a pure top-down communications tool to an interactive self-service feature for virtual desk. In addition to company information and self-service features for administrative tasks, it provides all employees with tools that support their business activities, allow them to collaborate with their network, contribute to and search the enterprise knowledge base, access their personal productivity tools (email, calendar, tasks, etc.), and manage their personal profile, information and files. The integrated solution enables RCS employees to share documents and images, manage projects, and communicate from virtually any location with mobile technology tools that support access from smartphones, tablets and other devices. Employees located in Italy can use Lync to quickly and easily connect with fellow employees in other locations around the world, such as the U.S., Spain, Mexico and China, as well as with vendors and partners. Ultimately, the company has been able to create a better and more productive working environment for its employees.

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.

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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.