Tag Archives: 2020

Veeam partner certifications soar

Veeam reported it has met its partner certification objective for 2020, having relaunched its training and certification program at the beginning of this year.

The backup and data management platform vendor last year revamped its courseware, tests and training material for its sales and technical certification tracks. Veeam partner participation has surged since the changes went live in January, the company reported.

“We have seen certifications go off the charts,” said Kevin Rooney, vice president of Americas channel sales at Veeam.

The company reached its Americas partner certification goal for the whole of 2020 by the first week of April, he noted. The number of partners certified through the beginning of April also exceeded the total number of partners completing certification in 2019.

The revised certification program stresses customers’ business challenges that Veeam and its partners can solve. Sales training and certification previously focused heavily on memorizing product features, Rooney said.

The increase in certifications reflects “how relevant the content is in the certification process for our partners,” Rooney said.

Digital marketing for partners

Other Veeam partner program changes made in 2020 include the launch of the Veeam Marketing Center, which Rooney said helps partners execute digital campaigns and marketing activities. Veeam previously delivered some digital marketing content under its concierge services, but Veeam Marketing Center offers more resources around digital campaigns and virtual sales kits.

Kevin Rooney, vice president of Americas channel sales, at VeeamKevin Rooney

The digital marketing services are “more strategic than they ever have been,” given the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of live events, Rooney added.

Partners can access Veeam Marketing Center resources on a self-service basis, or they can work with Veeam representatives assigned to support partners as they adopt digital marketing practices.

Support for professional services partners

The Veeam Accredited Service Partner (VASP) program also has additions for 2020. The VASP program certifies partners to offer professional services to customers deploying Veeam. The revised 2020 program provides direct-line access to a Veeam technical team to “help them with any challenges they might be facing with a professional services engagement,” Rooney said.

In another change, Veeam’s professional services personnel will participate in “ride-alongs” with partners as they work with customers, Rooney said. Veeam doesn’t provide its own professional services, relying on partners to take the lead in delivering such services, he added.

The VASP program also includes an online portal, which Veeam services partners can use to communicate and collaborate with each other.

Meanwhile, Veeam has recast its annual VeeamOn conference as a virtual event, which will take place June 17 to 18. The event is free of charge.

MSPs seek to diversify portfolios

Managed service providers aiming to diversify their portfolios are finding growth in security and backup services.

New reports on the MSP market from Barracuda MSP and Kaseya reveal service providers are looking to expand their offerings. “The Evolving Landscape of the MSP Business Report 2020” from Barracuda MSP, found 91% of the nearly 300 global partners surveyed plan to increase “the breadth and depth of their services capacity in the next 12 months.”

In the “2020 MSP Benchmark Survey Report” from Kaseya, about 90% of the 1,300 MSP owners and technicians polled considered the expansion of services to be important. The report suggested a correlation between high revenue growth and expanded service lines, a relationship previous surveys have noted. MSPs reporting monthly recurring revenue growth in excess of 20% had added about four to five new services to their portfolios over the past two years, according to Kaseya’s findings.

Kaseya’s survey pointed to security and backup as two growth areas for diversifying MSPs. Of the respondents, 73% reported an increase in revenue over the past year through providing security services. In addition, 59% of MSPs citied backup and disaster recovery as a source of increasing revenue.

In Barracuda MSP’s survey, 79% of MSPs cited customers’ security concerns as a good opportunity, especially given the rise of remote workers. And 72% said a lack of in-house security skills among customers had opened revenue opportunities.

The Barracuda MSP report also revealed a sizeable increase in the percentage of service providers focusing on backup, business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) offerings. In this year’s survey, 95% of MSPs reported providing those services, while 58% identified backup, BC and DR as top services in 2019.

Secureworks unveils partner program

Cybersecurity services vendor Secureworks released a new global partner program that targets resellers and referral partners.

The program offers deal registration; sales, marketing and training resources via a new partner portal; and clear rules of engagement, according to the company. While the program doesn’t use a tiering structure or requirements, Secureworks said it will provide incremental benefits based on partner competencies and performance levels. Benefits include base rebates, new business discounts and marketing development funds. Secureworks is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies.

“The Secureworks global partner program is designed with simplicity and flexibility in mind for our channel community,” said Maureen Perrelli, chief channel officer at Secureworks.

The company said Secureworks’ threat detection and response, managed detection and response, and incident response services are available to partners through the program, though availability may vary by region.

Other news

  • Kaseya rolled out a raft of updates to its MSP software products, including its remote monitoring and management product, Kaseya VSA; Unitrends; IT Glue; RapidFire; and Spanning. The company also said it will develop its IT management platform for MSPs, IT Complete, around two pillars, ProfitFuel and BudgetFuel, which focus on reducing software costs, increasing efficiency of technicians, and enabling essential IT services for the small business segment.
  • Microsoft has acquired Softomotive, a robotic process automation vendor. The move brings together Softomotive’s desktop automation approach with Microsoft’s Power Automate offering. Softomotive’s partners include KPMG.
  • Armor, a cybersecurity software vendor based in Dallas, updated its partner initiative, unveiling an MSP program. The MSP initiative is housed within Armor’s Global Partner Program. The company said it has built multi-tenant management capabilities into its Armor Anywhere platform.
  • Deep Sentinel, a provider of surveillance security services that use AI, is targeting security integrators, MSPs and AV dealers with a new partner program.
  • The ASCII Group, a North American association of MSPs, managed security service providers (MSSPs) and solution providers, updated its member community platform, ASCII-Link. The platform now provides a member directory, customized profiles, subgroups and other personalization capabilities, ASCII said.
  • SlashNext, an anti-phishing and incident response software vendor, introduced a partner program. The program is designed for MSSPs, OEMs, managed detection and response providers, VARs, carriers, and technology partners. SlashNext appointed Barry Ruditsky as senior vice president of business develop to lead the program. Ruditsky joined SlashNext from BlueJeans, where he was senior vice president of global channels.
  • Siemplify, a security orchestration, automation and response vendor, redesigned its partner program for resellers and distributors. Benefits of the new 20/20 Partner Program include margin assurance.
  • Laplink Software, a PC migration vendor, introduced the “Move Now, Pay Later” partner stimulus program for IT services firms. Until June 30, 2020, partners can buy LapLink’s PCmover Business Technician licenses through deferred billing program, which defers monthly usage invoices until December 2020, the company said.
  • IT services provider 1901 Group, based in Reston, Va., said it has been accepted into the AWS MSP Partner Program.
  • CoreView, a SaaS management platform vendor, entered a partnership with Cloud Essentials, a Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partner based in the U.K. and South Africa.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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Adobe Experience Manager buoys U.S. census during pandemic

Holding up the 2020 U.S. Census as an example, Adobe made its case to U.S. government users that its cloud content management and web experience tools can serve up rich digital experiences, as Congress opens up its coffers to fund IT modernization.

The census is taken once every 10 years and boasts the largest peacetime mobilization of U.S. civilians in order to count its population, said Christina Stoehr, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s web and new media branch. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, the national self-response rate was 57.3% as of current data through May 5, exceeding the planners’ expectations, she said.

Digitizing the census-taking process saves $107 in taxes for each citizen who fills it out, with a potential savings of $55 million over the course of the census, said Stoehr, who discussed the project at the Adobe Digital Government Symposium. The census launched digitally earlier this year on Adobe Experience Manager, and enables citizens to fill it out online for the first time.

“The U.S. census serves as a recent example of how dedicated focus on [IT] modernization and customer experience can transform how mission outcomes are delivered,” said Suzette Kent, the federal CIO, in her conference keynote. “Our up-front investments prepared the government to continue operations, even when the COVID-19 crisis [began].”

Federal CIO Suzette Kent
At the Adobe Digital Government Symposium virtual conference, Federal CIO Suzette Kent, the U.S. government’s top IT official, discusses the deployment of Adobe cloud software across several agencies.

Census CX built from scratch

The census helps government officials determine how to spend $675 billion in federal funding based on community populations; the digital experience around the site had to convey this point and encourage participation in a climate of general distrust of the government, Stoehr said.

It also had to accommodate rapidly changing technologies and mobile devices, and be able to manage the incoming data. So the bureau decided to use customer experience principles to accomplish their goals.

“Even in the public sector, government is starting to better understand its customers and offer them personalized content and service offerings by population segment, and by demographics, via digital channels,” Stoehr said. “With this in mind, for the 2020 census we needed a real point to deliver messages to specific visitors.”

Even in the public sector, government is starting to better understand its customers and offer them personalized content and service offerings by population segment, and by demographics, via digital channels.
Christina StoehrChief of the web and new media branch, U.S. Census Bureau

The project also included refreshing the census site data access interface used by researchers, journalists, academics and more, and supporting advertising campaigns to recruit census takers and to encourage citizens to fill it out.

The agency chose Adobe Experience Manager to host the content, Adobe Launch for content analytics and Adobe Target to serve relevant content to users from the site, which supports 59 languages. Accenture provided journey mapping, among other services. Communications agency Reingold provided UX design and site testing, as well as content creation and coordination.

Adobe takes on Amazon, Microsoft

The Census Bureau’s digital experience project launched amid a number of large government IT initiatives, including the still-under-dispute $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract awarded to Microsoft and numerous other federal IT modernization projects.

Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder of advisory firm Deep Analysis, said that while Adobe’s not a headline-grabbing government IT vendor, its technology has been deeply ingrained in local, state and federal IT for decades on the strength of it PDF digital document tools.

While those technologies might not have the cachet of the Adobe Experience Manager and sophisticated web analytics that the company currently markets heavily, PDF’s saturation of the government market provides the launch pad for new government IT contracts up for grabs.

“When we think about Adobe, we think about experience management, the things they do with digital marketing, advertising agencies and websites,” Pelz-Sharpe said. “But then there’s the traditional part of Adobe, the Document Cloud. For some reason, nobody wants to talk about those, but it’s their core business.”

The U.S. government is far behind European sites in digital experience for its citizens, Pelz-Sharpe said. Using commercial cloud systems and consultants like Accenture to update sites should catch it up faster and may prove to be less expensive than building their own sites and back-end support. The census site could serve as Adobe’s proof of concept for other federal agencies seeking to modernize their own digital experiences, he concluded.

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SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005 focuses on supply chain

SAP customers already appeared more receptive to cloud-based software at the start of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic may spur momentum for SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005, the latest release of the SaaS version of the ERP platform.

SAP reported increases in cloud-based revenue for the first quarter of 2020, and, although this was not broken out into specific product groups, SAP is seeing a shift in demand for the cloud, said Jan Gilg, president of SAP S/4HANA.

Jan GilgJan Gilg

“Customers are coming in to ask how quickly they can be up and running, or maybe how quickly they can set up a subsidiary or specific business units,” Gilg said. “So we’re seeing a lot of uptake and a lot of customers looking into the cloud model now than before.”

The cloud momentum is expected to continue even after the pandemic has passed, he said, as companies hit hard by the disruption will evaluate their IT capabilities and the status of ERP modernization and digital transformation projects.

One of the advantages of cloud-based software is that new functions can be introduced in each new version, Gilg said. SAP S/4HANA 2005 includes updates that could be valuable for companies dealing with the rapidly changing business environment brought on by COVID-19.

Supply chain, finance and integration with SAP SuccessFactors, an HCM platform, are the most prominent updates, he said.

Enabling a more flexible supply chain

Supply chain Situation Handling functionality now allows companies to monitor inventory more accurately. In the last few years, supply chains have been stretched around the globe and have focused on just-in-time delivery, keeping only as much stock in inventory as needed. The strategy has been exposed as a weakness by the pandemic, as companies have grappled with an abrupt disruption to production schedules.

This is leading companies to reassess supply chains by moving to more local suppliers and keeping more inventory in stock, Gilg said.

“S/4HANA Cloud 2005 puts more emphasis on inventory management and stock levels and gives companies the support to help them with intelligence that proactively alerts companies when inventory levels go down, go too low or run out,” he said. “In the current situation, it’s really critical to make sure that there’s enough flow of goods to the respective consumers; it’s about being flexible.”

Flexibility is also the key to new financial functions, which allow companies to monitor and approve payments from SAP and non-SAP systems. This will help companies keep a closer eye on cash flow, which will be important as business interruption makes cash flow an issue, Gilg said.

The other significant S/4HANA Cloud update is a more seamless integration between S/4HANA and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, which standardizes the data model and cost centers for ERP and HCM systems.

“The ambition here is that this should really look and feel like one solution, and ideally customers should not even notice that there’s two solutions behind the scenes,” Gilg said. “The transition is seamless from a UI perspective, from process data integration, and also from some of the technical attributes like the provisioning.”

Giving the customers what they want

Although there’s no hard evidence of an increase in demand for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, it wouldn’t be a surprise given the overall increase in demand for cloud applications, said analyst Jon Reed, co-founder of Diginomica.com, an enterprise applications news and analysis site.

Jon ReedJon Reed

However, the most appropriate market for S/4HANA Cloud may not be able to invest, given the current environment.

“Keep in mind that S/4HANA Cloud’s best vertical adoption, if we are talking the full cloud solution, not hosted S/4HANA, is in professional services, which, for the most part, is not a vertical that is thriving at the moment,” Reed said. “Modern ERP cloud is going to have be very vertical in its appeal, a topic SAP has understood for some time but has not moved nearly fast enough on.”

S/4HANA Cloud 2005’s updates should be welcomed by customers, Reed said.

“These are the types of features customers have been asking for,” he said. “In particular, the SuccessFactors integration should help S/4HANA Cloud have some response to Workday’s complete finance and HR integrations, although SAP has a long way to go there.”

S/4HANA Cloud 2005 looks impressive, with the SuccessFactors Employee Central integration and more end-to-end industry focus, said Predrag “PJ” Jakovljevic, principal industry analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers, an enterprise computing analysis firm in Montreal.

Predrag JakovljevicPredrag Jakovljevic

The current COVID-19 environment may spur more cloud demand, Jakovljevic said.

“Both S/4HANA Cloud 2005 and cloud ERP, SCM [supply chain management] and CRM, in general, should benefit from COVID-19, since many customer success stories nowadays talk about using cloud and mobile digital collaborative tools,” he said. “On-premises will still not necessarily fully die, however, because some places still have regulatory requirements and poor internet connectivity, and on-premises solutions can now come with remote access.”

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Microsoft announces pricing terms for its exchange offers and increases the New 2060 Notes Issue Cap – Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — May 14, 2020 — Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) (“Microsoft”) announced today the pricing terms with respect to its offers to (i) exchange (the “Pool 1 Offer”) the ten series of notes described in the table below (collectively, the “Pool 1 Notes”) for a new series of Microsoft’s 2.525% notes due June 1, 2050 (the “New 2050 Notes”) and a cash payment, as applicable. For each $1,000 principal amount of Pool 1 Notes validly tendered and not validly withdrawn prior to 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on May 28, 2020 (the “Expiration Time”) and accepted by Microsoft, the following table sets forth the yield, the total exchange consideration, the principal amount of the New 2050 Notes and the amount of the cash payment, as applicable:

Pool 1 Table(1)
Title of
Acceptance Priority Level Reference
UST Security(2)
Yield(3) Early
of New
Cash Payment(4)
4.875% Notes due 2043


1 30-year +110 2.375% $30 $1,441.62 $1,000.00 $441.62
5.300% Notes due 2041


2 30-year +105 2.325% $30 $1,486.31 $1,000.00 $486.31
4.450% Notes due 2045


3 30-year +110 2.375% $30 $1,388.59 $1,000.00 $388.59
4.250% Notes due 2047

594918CA0 4 30-year +110 2.375% $30 $1,363.95 $1,000.00 $363.95
5.200% Notes due 2039

594918AD6 5 30-year +95 2.225% $30 $1,458.92 $1,000.00 $458.92
4.500% Notes due 2040

594918AJ3 6 30-year +100 2.275% $30 $1,360.57 $1,000.00 $360.57
3.750% Notes due 2043


7 30-year +110 2.375% $30 $1,237.91 $1,000.00 $237.91
3.750% Notes due 2045


8 30-year +110 2.375% $30 $1,251.94 $1,000.00 $251.94
4.100% Notes due 2037

594918BZ6 9 30-year +87 2.145% $30 $1,266.05 $1,000.00 $266.05
4.200% Notes due 2035 594918BK9 10 30-year +75 2.025% $30 $1,278.89 $1,000.00 $278.89
  1. The figures in this table assume a settlement date of June 1, 2020.
  2. The “30-year Reference UST Security” refers to the 2.375% U.S. Treasury Notes due November 15, 2049.
  3. Reflects the bid-side yield of the 30-year Reference UST Security as of the pricing time of 1.275% plus the applicable Fixed Spread, calculated in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Prospectus.
  4. Per $1,000 principal amount of Pool 1 Notes.
  5. Holders who validly tender Pool 1 Notes after 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 13, 2020 (the “Early Exchange Time”) will not be eligible to receive the Early Exchange Premium of $30 principal amount of the New 2050 Notes for each $1,000 principal amount of Pool 1 Notes validly tendered and not withdrawn. For the avoidance of doubt, the $30 per $1,000 Early Exchange Premium is included within the total exchange consideration and is not in addition to the total exchange c
  6. Does not reflect any accrued and unpaid interest. The Company will pay accrued and unpaid interest on the Existing Notes up to, but not including, the settlement date.

and (ii) exchange (the “Pool 2 Offer” and, together with the Pool 1 Offer, the “Exchange Offers”) the four series of notes described in the table below (collectively, the “Pool 2 Notes” and, together with the Pool 1 Notes, the “Existing Notes”) for a new series of Microsoft 2.675% notes due June 1, 2060 (the “New 2060 Notes” and, together with the New 2050 Notes, the “New Notes”) and a cash payment, as applicable. For each $1,000 principal amount of Pool 2 Notes validly tendered and not validly withdrawn prior to the Expiration Time and accepted by Microsoft, the following table sets forth the yield, the total exchange consideration, the principal amount of the New 2060 Notes and the amount of the cash payment, as applicable:

Pool 2 Table(1)
Title of
Acceptance Priority Level Reference
UST Security(2)
Yield(3) Early
of New
Cash Payment(4)
4.750% Notes due 2055

594918BM5 1 30-year +125 2.525% $30 $1,514.30 $1,138.86 $375.44
4.000% Notes due 2055

594918BE3 2 30-year +125 2.525% $30 $1,336.46 $1,000.00 $336.46
4.500% Notes due 2057

594918CB8 3 30-year +125 2.525% $30 $1,466.62 $1,107.32 $359.30
3.950% Notes due 2056 594918BU7 4 30-year +125 2.525% $30 $1,333.83 $1,000.00 $333.83
  1. The figures in this table reflect any optional adjustments of the total exchange consideration as permitted under the terms and conditions in the Prospectus forming part of the Registration Statement and assume a settlement date of June 1, 2020.
  2. The “30-year Reference UST Security” refers to the 2.375% U.S. Treasury Notes due November 15, 2049.
  3. Reflects the buy-side yield of the 30-year Reference UST Security as of the pricing time of 1.275% plus the applicable Fixed Spread, calculated in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Prospectus.
  4. Per $1,000 principal amount of Pool 2 Notes.
  5. Holders who validly tender Pool 2 Notes after the Early Exchange Time will not be eligible to receive the Early Exchange Premium of $30 principal amount of the New 2060 Notes for each $1,000 principal amount of Pool 2 Notes validly tendered and not withdrawn. For the avoidance of doubt, the $30 per $1,000 Early Exchange Premium is included within the total exchange consideration and is not in addition to the total exchange c
  6. Does not reflect any accrued and unpaid interest. The Company will pay accrued and unpaid interest on the Existing Notes up to, but not including, the settlement date.

The aggregate principal amount of Pool 1 Notes and Pool 2 Notes of each series that are accepted for exchange will be based on the order of acceptance priority for such series, as applicable, as set forth in the tables above, up to $6,250,000,000 aggregate principal amount (the “New 2050 Notes Issue Cap”) and up to $3,750,000,000 aggregate principal amount (the “New 2060 Notes Issue Cap,” increased from $3,000,000,000), respectively. Holders who validly tender the Existing Notes after the Early Exchange Time but on or before the Expiration Time will only be eligible to receive the Exchange Consideration, which equals the Total Exchange Consideration minus the Early Exchange Premium as detailed in the tables above.

As permitted under the terms and conditions in the Registration Statement (as defined below), the Company has elected to increase the Cash Payment Percent of Premium on the 4.750% Notes due 2055 from 70% to 73%, the 4.500% Notes due 2057 from 70% to 77%, and the 3.950% Notes due 2056 from 90% to 100%. These changes are reflected in the Cash Payment amounts shown in the tables above.

In addition to the principal amount of New Notes and applicable cash payment specified in the tables above, holders with Existing Notes that are accepted for exchange will receive a cash payment representing (i) all or a portion of the accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the settlement date, and (ii) amounts due in lieu of any fractional amounts of New Notes, in each case, as described in the Prospectus.

A Registration Statement on Form S-4, including a prospectus (the “Prospectus”), which is subject to change, relating to the New Notes has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on April 30, 2020 (the “Registration Statement”) but has not yet become effective. The New Notes may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the Registration Statement becomes effective. If and when issued, the New Notes will be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. This news release does not constitute an offer or a solicitation by Microsoft of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any state in which such offer or solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.

Consummation of the Exchange Offers is subject to a number of conditions as set forth in the Prospectus included in the Registration Statement, including, among other things, the Registration Statement of which the Prospectus forms a part having been declared effective by the SEC and remaining effective on the settlement date.

The Exchange Offers are made only by and pursuant to the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Prospectus, which forms a part of the Registration Statement after it is declared effective by the SEC, and the information in this news release is qualified by reference to such Prospectus and the Registration Statement. None of Microsoft, the dealer managers, or the information agent and exchange agent makes any recommendations as to whether holders should tender their Existing Notes pursuant to the Exchange Offers. Holders must make their own decisions as to whether to tender Existing Notes and, if so, the principal amount of Existing Notes to tender.

Copies of the Prospectus pursuant to which the Exchange Offers are being made, may be obtained from D.F. King & Co., Inc., the information agent and exchange agent for the Exchange Offers, at 212-269-5552 (to exchange), at 800-431-9645 (for information U.S. Toll-free), at 212-269-5550 (information for brokers), at www.dfking.com/microsoft, or at [email protected].  Questions regarding the terms and conditions of the Exchange Offers should be directed to the following joint lead dealer managers:

  BofA Securities

620 South Tryon Street, 20th Floor

Charlotte, NC 28255

Toll Free: (888) 292-0070

Collect: (980) 387-3907

Attn: Liability Management Group

    Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

60 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

Toll Free: (866) 627-0391

Collect: (212) 250-2955

Attn: Liability Management Group

In order to participate in any Exchange Offer, holders of the Existing Notes located or resident in Canada are required to complete, sign and submit to the exchange agent a Canadian Eligibility Form, which may be obtained from D.F. King & Co., Inc. contacts above, to confirm they satisfy applicable Canadian eligibility requirements and to provide certain additional information.

Any holder of the Existing Notes located in any Member State of the European Economic Area or in the United Kingdom that is a retain investor will not be able to participate in the Exchange Offers. For these purposes, a retain investor means a person who is one or more of the following: (i) a retail client as defined in point (11) of Article 4(1) of the EU Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments (2014/65/EU) (as amended, “MiFID II”); or (ii) a customer within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/97, where that customer would not qualify as a professional client as defined in point (10) of Article (4)(1) of MiFID II.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this news release are “forward-looking statements” based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors described above as well as:

  • intense competition in all of our markets that may lead to lower revenue or operating margins;
  • increasing focus on cloud-based services presenting execution and competitive risks;
  • significant investments in products and services that may not achieve expected returns;
  • acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances that may have an adverse effect on our business;
  • impairment of goodwill or amortizable intangible assets causing a significant charge to earnings;
  • cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities that could lead to reduced revenue, increased costs, liability claims, or harm to our reputation or competitive position;
  • disclosure and misuse of personal data that could cause liability and harm to our reputation;
  • the possibility that we may not be able to protect information stored in our products and services from use by others;
  • abuse of our advertising or social platforms that may harm our reputation or user engagement;
  • the development of the internet of things presenting security, privacy, and execution risks;
  • issues about the use of artificial intelligence in our offerings that may result in competitive harm, legal liability, or reputational harm;
  • excessive outages, data losses, and disruptions of our online services if we fail to maintain an adequate operations infrastructure;
  • quality or supply problems;
  • the possibility that we may fail to protect our source code;
  • legal changes, our evolving business model, piracy, and other factors may decrease the value of our intellectual property;
  • claims that Microsoft has infringed the intellectual property rights of others;
  • claims against us that may result in adverse outcomes in legal disputes;
  • government litigation and regulatory activity relating to competition rules that may limit how we design and market our products;
  • potential liability under trade protection, anti-corruption, and other laws resulting from our global operations;
  • laws and regulations relating to the handling of personal data that may impede the adoption of our services or result in increased costs, legal claims, fines, or reputational damage;
  • additional tax liabilities;
  • damage to our reputation or our brands that may harm our business and operating results;
  • exposure to increased economic and operational uncertainties from operating a global business, including the effects of foreign currency exchange;
  • uncertainties relating to our business with government customers;
  • adverse economic or market conditions that may harm our business;
  • catastrophic events or geopolitical conditions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, that may disrupt our business; and
  • the dependence of our business on our ability to attract and retain talented employees.

For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with Microsoft’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of Microsoft’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q that are incorporated by reference in the Prospectus forming a part of the Registration Statement, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Microsoft’s Investor Relations department at (800) 285-7772 or at Microsoft’s Investor Relations website at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

IT spending now expected to decline 5.1% in face of pandemic

IDC recently further revised its worldwide IT spending forecast for 2020, from an earlier projection of a 2.7% decrease in constant currency to a 5.1% decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, IDC had predicted a 5% increase in worldwide IT spending.

Despite the drop to a projected $2.25 trillion in spending, IT infrastructure spending is still expected to rise by almost 4%. Analysts see other reasons to be optimistic.

“In the long term, this won’t disrupt the general trend toward digital transformation — in fact, it might just accelerate it,” said Stephen Minton, program vice president of customer insights and analysis at IDC. “The crisis will likely provide us with proof points which show that companies that were further along the road with things like cloud adoption and digital transformation in general were best positioned to withstand this kind of event.”

Businesses also have to be careful about their business continuity plans and how they proceed with making cuts and how they look at this unique situation in a long-term lens.

“[Businesses] have to get a handle on [their spending and budgeting]. They need to know where they are and they also need to know, assess and come up with scenarios for where the potential for growth is, vs. contraction,” said Howard Dresner, founder and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services. “You know where you should be investing, because if you can do across-the-board cuts, you’re cutting your growth business, too.”

Double-digit decrease in device spending

Devices will be hardest hit, with companies spending 12.4% less on PCs and mobile devices in 2020. Companies were planning to reduce spending on PCs due to last year’s commercial refresh cycle, but mobile devices were expected to see a boost with the impending launches of 5G service and products.

Minton said there is a chance that companies may spend more on devices, however, given the rise in work-from-home initiatives due to shelter-in-place orders.

Businesses have to evaluate which technologies can help them to not only keep operating during the period of social distancing, but also to come out of the crisis at something like full speed.
Stephen MintonProgram vice president, IDC

“There could be some cuts in spending on mobile devices and apps, for example, because people are not currently very mobile,” Minton said. “On the other hand, there’s a lot of crossover between mobile and working from home, so it’s not a simple equation. Businesses have to evaluate which technologies can help them to not only keep operating during the period of social distancing, but also to come out of the crisis at something like full speed, so cutting too much can be just as damaging as not cutting enough in some cases.”

IT infrastructure spending to rise

Although overall IT spending will decrease, infrastructure spending is expected to increase 5.3% this year, mainly due to enterprise spending on infrastructure-as-a-service projects.

“The most long-term impact is probably going to be that this will be a tipping point for cloud, which sees a lot of the laggards finally embrace off-premise public and hybrid cloud services, and begin to scale back or even close down their own data centers and server rooms,” Minton said.

This comes after a strong fourth quarter in 2019 that brought in $14.9 billion in spending for cloud infrastructure, after two consecutive quarters of steady decrease.

IT conferences and events affecting spending

Although technology conferences worldwide have either been canceled out of precaution for attendees, been postponed or gone digital, Minton said they won’t directly affect projected IT spending. The results of the upended conference calendar may be seen down the line, however.

“It impacts the launch of new products and the general process of evaluating and comparing new technologies,” Minton said. “The lack of face-to-face contact in general will have a chilling effect on things like new projects and buying decisions.”

A recent Gartner report, “Addressing Disruptions to Tradeshow and Event Marketing Plans Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19),” contingency plans can help minimize the effects that COVID-19 has had on tech events and conferences. The report found that 11% of their marketing budget is pushed on third-party tradeshows and Gartner recommends companies reallocate their budgets in case of these cancellations.

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For Sale – Razer Blade Stealth 13 – Iris Plus, i7-1065G7, 256GB, 16GB, Full HD, White

Brand new boxed and sealed 2020 model

OS – Windows 10 Home
Processor – 25W Quad-Core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7 Processor
Graphics – Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics
Display – 13.3″ FHD Matte w/ 4.9mm slim side bezel
Storage – 256GB
Memory – 16GB dual-channel (fixed)
Battery – Up to 10 hours (53.1Wh)
Keyboard – Single-zone RGB powered by Razer Chroma™
Finish – Anodized mercury white finish, tone on tone Razer logo
Dimensions – 0.60″ x 11.99″ x 8.27″ / 15.3mm x 304.6mm x 210mm

£1,100 incl Next Day Delivery UK

Price and currency
Delivery cost included
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New homepage, features, and more! – From the Myxer

We’re barely into 2020, and yet so much has happened in such a short time. We know many of you, like the Mixer team here in Redmond, are practicing “social distancing,” learning how to “flatten the curve,” and otherwise taking precautions amid the outbreak of COVID-19. We’re proud and heartened by the stories you’ve shared and the ways we’ve seen Mixer streamers and their communities using Mixer to stay in touch digitally and support each other during this challenging time. Thank you for continuing to make the Mixer community shine as a positive and welcoming place for new and existing members alike.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes on a set of new features and capabilities based on feedback we’ve heard from you. These are focused on improving discoverability, empowering communities of all sizes and making it easier to find your new favorite Mixer creators. We’re rolling them out starting today.

  • New Mixer homepage – We’ve refreshed the Mixer homepage across all platforms to give more focus to featured content as well as provide smart, AI-powered recommendations. The most immediate change you’ll notice on your homepage is that we’re introducing a new layout that displays all featured creators at the same time.

    Below the “Featured,” “Top Category,” and “Partner Spotlight” sections, you’ll also find brand new content rows. These rows will highlight and recommend streams from community events, cultural moments, and more tailored content as time goes on. The rows will be a mix of AI-powered personalized recommendations and editorially programmed content, ensuring you can discover and join even more communities across Mixer.

  • Auto-Hosting for everyone – We’ve spent the last month testing Auto-Hosting with Mixer Partners and now we’re excited to share it with every streamer. With this feature, you’ll be able to create a list of specific streamers that you want to automatically host when you’re offline. We’ve added a host of customization options as well.

    You’ll be able to set your Auto-Host list to host in a priority order or to pick at random. With showcase, you’ll be able to set custom Auto-Host time durations. This means Auto-Host could switch to a new streamer from your list every hour (you determine the time) instead of when that hosted streamer goes offline.

    You can access your Auto-Hosting setting in the Broadcast dashboard.

  • Higher-Quality Emotes – This top community ask is no longer “Soon™”, it’s finally here! Starting today, we’re enhancing all emotes to 28 pixels across all platforms, introducing new prefixing requirements and completely refreshing our global emotes. New global emotes will be visible today and all partner emotes will be updated over the next few weeks.
  • Ad Break (Beta) – Our Mixer Partners have been testing advertising pre-roll for the last few months and now we’re expanding our advertising testing with an Ad-Break beta. With this, Partners can choose when they want to run ads during their stream. This was a request from the Mixer Partner community, and we’re excited to be testing it as part of the full package of monetization opportunities on Mixer.
  • Xbox Viewing Improvements – We’re continuing to add more features to the new Mixer viewing experience on Xbox. This new experience is built from the ground up to get you to your favorite streamers as fast as possible. With the April Xbox One system update that’s in some Insider rings now, you’ll see the additions of emotes and subscriber badging in chat.

    Ember messages will also get the flair they deserve to help them stand out. We’ve also made it easier to access stream settings for selecting chat layout or video quality. Outside of this latest Xbox One system update, we also expect to have Gift Subs available in the new experience in the coming weeks.

  • Partner Badging on Homepage – To make it easier to find Mixer Partner channels, we’re adding the new badging to the homepage as well.

  • Notifications UX Improvements – We’ve added a new notification bell to the pages of channels you follow, so you have better control over which channels will trigger “go live” notifications.

  • Clips Creation Improvements – Clip creation is now available for more viewers of Mixer Partners and Verified channels in the Mixer app on iOS and Android. Clip creation on mobile respects the Rank, Subscriber, and Moderator permissions that the channel owner has set.

There’s much more coming, and we’re excited to share details soon. Going forward, we will be posting more frequent community updates on this blog. They’ll cover everything from events, to community news and features! Stay tuned for more updates and please keep sharing your feedback on Twitter with us at @WatchMixer.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

ONC, CMS information blocking, interoperability rules finalized

The 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition may have been canceled Thursday due to coronavirus concerns, but federal regulators wasted no time in announcing that two long-awaited health IT rules finally have been released.

The finalized interoperability and information blocking rules from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will require healthcare organizations give patients access to data through standardized APIs within the next two years, said Don Rucker, national coordinator for ONC, during a media briefing Monday. The rules also focus on data sharing between health insurers, as well as exceptions to information blocking, or situations that do not constitute healthcare organizations keeping data from patients.

Both ONC’s information blocking and interoperability rule, and CMS’ patient data access rule, were finalized amid concerns about patient privacy. Organizations, including EHR vendor Epic, voiced concerns that there weren’t enough privacy protections in place to keep patient data safe.

Proposals for the two rules were unveiled at last year’s event and it was rumored they would drop in conjunction with President Trump’s last-minute addition to this year’s HIMSS speaker lineup, which was slated to start today.

ONC’s interoperability rule

ONC’s interoperability rule mandates that healthcare organizations use FHIR-based APIs to connect patient-facing and consumer-grade apps to patient EHRs. It’s part of the Trump administration’s push to consumerize healthcare.

At the start of the year, one of the biggest EHR vendors, Epic, publicly expressed concerns on sharing patient data with third-party apps because of the lack of outlined privacy protections. During the media briefing, Rucker addressed those concerns head on, saying that the apps will use the same, secure API technology used in banking apps. Additionally, Rucker said providers will be able to let patients know in a “deliberate, straight-forward way” what information they’re consenting to sharing through a patient authentication process.  

“That is not snuck in on the side,” Rucker said. “It’s central to the way that patients allow an app to get access to their information. We’ve empowered providers to communicate the privacy issues in that process.” 

Rucker said a second part of the finalized ONC rule identifies activities that do not constitute information blocking, which is the interference of a healthcare organization with the sharing of health data, and establishes new rules to prevent information blocking practices by healthcare providers, developers of certified health IT and health information exchange networks, as required by the 21st Century Cures Act.

The rule also requires health IT developers to meet certification requirements to ensure interoperability.  Health IT developers must comply with requirements such as assuring that they are not restricting communication about a product’s usability or security so that nurses and doctors are able to discuss safety and usability issues without being bound by what Rucker said has historically been called a “gag clause.”

The finalized ONC rule also replaces the Common Clinical Data Set (CCDS) data elements standard with the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) data set for the exchange of data within APIs. The USCDI is a defined set of data that includes clinical notes such as allergies and medications. The data set will support data exchange, Rucker said.

“These are standardized sets of data classes and data elements … to help improve this flow of information,” he said.

CMS patient access rule

The ONC rule goes hand in hand with the CMS rule, which aims to open data sharing between the health insurance system and patients.

Starting in 2021, the CMS patient data access rule will require all health plans that do business with the federal government to share data with patients through a standards-based API. The push to make it easier for patients to access health data follows a model CMS implemented with Blue Button 2.0, an API which gives Medicare beneficiaries the ability to connect their claims data to apps of their choosing, such as research apps.

The rule also requires health plans to make their provider directory available through an API, so patients know if their physician is in their insurance network.

“This will allow innovative third parties to design apps that will help patients evaluate which plan networks are right for them and potentially avoid surprise billing by having a clear picture of which clinicians are in network,” CMS administrator Seema Verma said during Monday’s media briefing.

Starting in 2022, Verma said insurance plans will also be required to share patient information with each other, which will enable patients to take data with them as they move between plans.

Additionally, effective six months from today, CMS is changing the participation conditions for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating hospitals as part of the rule. To ensure they are supporting care coordination for patients, Verma said the rule requires the hospitals to send admission, discharge and transfer notifications so patients receive a “timelier follow-up supporting better care and better health outcomes.”

“The Trump administration is pushing the healthcare system forward,” Verma said. “We are breaking down barriers to a seamless, data-driven healthcare system. The result of these two rules will be a more intuitive and convenient experience for American patients.”  

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Microsoft announces it will be carbon negative by 2030 – Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 16, 2020 — Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove its carbon footprint. By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.

At an event at its Redmond campus, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, President Brad Smith, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa announced the company’s new goals and a detailed plan to become carbon negative.

“While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.”

The Official Microsoft Blog has more information about the company’s bold goal and detailed plan to remove its carbon footprint: https://blogs.microsoft.com/?p=52558785.

The company announced an aggressive program to cut carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain. This includes driving down our own direct emissions and emissions related to the energy we use to near zero by the middle of this decade. It also announced a new initiative to use Microsoft technology to help our suppliers and customers around the world reduce their own carbon footprints and a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture and removal technologies. Beginning next year, the company will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of our procurement processes for our supply chain. A new annual Environmental Sustainability Report will detail Microsoft’s carbon impact and reduction journey. And lastly, the company will use its voice and advocacy to support public policy that will accelerate carbon reduction and removal opportunities.

More information can be found at the Microsoft microsite: https://news.microsoft.com/climate.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. 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 https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

CES 2020: PC Gaming Experiences Designed for Everyone – Xbox Wire

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas kicked off 2020 with a look at what’s in store for a variety of players this year, with exciting innovations for PC gaming and Microsoft’s device partners announcing some of the best upcoming hardware and software in the industry.

From the thinnest and lightest gaming laptops yet, to immersive monitors giving players a deeper, more robust experience, in addition to new gaming desktops and graphics cards, there’s plenty for PC gamers to be excited for in the year ahead.

To catch you up on all the news from last week, we’ve wrapped up all the CES 2020 announcements from Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and iBuyPower below.


Acer introduced new Predator monitors offering gamers a more immersive and expansive view of their play.

  • The Predator CG552K features a huge 55-inch 4K OLED panel that’s Adaptive Sync and HDMI VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) compatible, making it ideal for hardcore PC and console gamers wanting a higher vantage point. The 37.5-inch monitor increases gaming immersion with a 2300R curved UWQHD+ panel and Vesa DisplayHDR 400 certification that makes colors pop.
  • The 32-inch Predator X32 gaming monitor reproduces brilliant visuals with Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate, Vesa Display HDR 1400 certification and 89.5% Rec. 2020, perfect for gamers who also create their own videos.


Asus released new Strix gaming desktops, the Zephyrus G14 laptop and TUF laptops presenting device options for every type of gamer.

  • Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) debuted a handful of new Strix models: Strix GA35 and GT35 gaming desktops to get players tournament-ready for competitive esports. They’re engineered to sustain smooth gameplay under serious pressure and offer the flexibility to do everything from producing top-quality streams to developing games. In addition to those new gaming devices, Asus ROG also announced new Strix GA15 and GT15 gaming desktops that focus on gaming fundamentals for competitive esports players on a budget. Lean and lightweight, these leverage powerful, latest generation processors to capably handle hardcore gaming, streaming and multitasking. These use the latest 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen CPUs and upcoming 10th Generation Intel Core processors.
  • The Zephyrus G14 brings premium innovations to a wider audience with an ultra-slim form factor at just 17.9mm thin and 1.6kg, all without compromising performance. The Zephyrus G14 gaming notebook features RTX graphics for high frame rates when playing popular games, and also lets gamers choose between high refresh or high resolution for their display; the choice of 120Hz refresh rate or WQHD resolution panels allows users to optimize for gaming or creating content. G14 has an optional AniMe Matrix display that deepens personalization, enabling users to show custom graphics, animations and other effects across more than a thousand mini LEDs embedded in the lid.
  • The 15-inch TUF Gaming A15 and F15, along with their 17-inch A17 and F17 siblings, deliver an unprecedented experience for the price. Key to the experience is potent processing power, thanks to a choice between 4th Gen AMD Ryzen Mobile CPUs and upcoming 10th Gen Intel Core processors. Nvidia Turing-based GPUs up to the GeForce RTX 2060 feed frames into fast displays that refresh at up to 144Hz and use AMD FreeSync technology to ensure smoother, tear-free gaming across a wide range of titles.


Dell announced the new Alienware gaming monitor and a redesigned Dell G5 15 SE laptop with new features and enhanced performance.

  • Built for speed with a 99% sRGB color coverage, the new Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor features fast IPS technology that offers rich colors, a 240Hz refresh rate and a 1 millisecond response time, all in native FHD resolution. It also has AMD Radeon FreeSync and is G-Sync compatible.
  • The newly redesigned Dell G5 15 SE (Special Edition) is the first Dell G Series laptop to feature 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen 4000 H-Series Mobile Processors (up to 8 cores and 16 threads) paired with the latest AMD Radeon RX 5000M Series graphics. The two chips work seamlessly together using AMD SmartShift technology to optimize performance by automatically shifting power as needed between the Ryzen processor and Radeon graphics, giving gamers precisely what they want at each moment of play.


Lenovo released a number of new performance monitors and laptops, giving gamers a variety of devices to choose how they want to enhance their battle experience.

  • With the new premium Lenovo Q27h Monitor, users can seamlessly switch between entertainment and their latest creative project. Its 27-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) provides IPS high-resolution ​and 350 nits of brightness. The four-sided near-edgeless bezel brings a noticeably wider viewing experience when playing the hottest gaming titles in your spare time with super-fast 4ms response time, and a smooth 75Hz refresh rate to reduce motion blur in the game.
  • The Lenovo Legion Y740S is Lenovo’s thinnest and lightest gaming laptop yet with up to eight hours of battery life. It’s got up to 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processors (coming soon) reaching more than 5 GHz and Q-Control, with which users can shift gears with a simple press of their Fn+Q keys. Jump into Performance Mode for higher frame rates, down-shift into Quiet Mode for better battery life to watch a movie or stay the course in Balance Mode for day-to-day usage. Made with long-term gaming usage in mind, enjoy the new tactile feel of the Lenovo Legion keyboards, featuring quick response time with 100% anti-ghosting, improved ergonomic key size and responsive switches designed for smoother typing and gameplay.
  • Stay focused on the game with the new Lenovo Legion Y25-25 Gaming Monitor with a 24.5-inch, Full HD IPS panel display built into the near-edgeless chassis. Crank up refresh rates all the way to 240Hz—more FPS means that more data flows between the GPU and monitor, helping to eliminate tearing in most multiplayer games. It comes with anti-glare panel and up to 400 nits of brightness and is TÜV Rheinland Eye Comfort Certified to reduce eye strain. Curved monitors make gaming more immersive and comfortable, as the curve simulates a more natural viewing experience for your eyes, neck and head—allowing the gamer to see all the action at once.
  • The new 31.5-inch Lenovo G32qc Gaming Monitor has near-edgeless bezel QHD (2560 x 1440) screen resolution for clear visuals and superior picture quality. Catch every player movement with its wide viewing angle, high-screen brightness and excellent contrast ratio.
  • Or, choose the heavy-duty yet compact 27-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution display on the Lenovo G27c Gaming Monitor — both monitors have a curvature of 1500R for complete game immersion. The latter is engineered to deliver virtually tear-free and stutter-free gameplay and is capable of an amazingly high refresh rate of up to 165Hz, helping to rid gaming distractions such as choppy images, streaks and motion blur.


 iBuyPower showed off an expansion of its Element Case line and next gen Revolt Series.

  • For a different take on the traditional PC layout, the Element Dual features a binary chamber design. With the PSU mounted vertically on the bottom right side of the case and hidden behind the motherboard tray, users will be left with an open aesthetic on the left side and substantial space for maximum component compatibility. The Element CL case is pre-built systems is designed with an integrated front panel distribution plate for easier bends and less complicated routing.
  • The Revolt GT3 will take on a new aesthetic compared to the asymmetrical design of its predecessors, housing small form factor systems and providing support for ITX motherboards and SFX power supplies up to 750W. Systems constructed in it will be mounted to and suspended inside an outer frame by flexible rubber supports designed to add both cushion from shock and vibration damping.

These are just some of the new products that are bringing powerful experiences to Windows 10 gamers in 2020. Check back on Xbox Wire or the Windows Experience blog to keep up with the latest PC gaming product releases and news.

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Author: Microsoft News Center