In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’re got stories on Convergence 2012, the Windows Phone Marketplace accepting submissions for new markets, the State of Minnesota moving to Office 365 and more.

Convergence 2012. This week at the Convergence conference in Houston, Microsoft Business Solutions laid out its roadmap for delivering Microsoft Dynamics ERP offerings in the cloud, delivering on the promise made at last year’s event. The roadmap reflects Microsoft’s customer focused approach, targeting two key market segments — the first wave will target small and mid-market companies, with the second wave expanding those offerings to enterprise customers. For more on Convergence, read this Monday post on The Official Microsoft Blog and this feature story and this press release on the Microsoft News Center. Below is a photo of fans cheering on the New York Jets. The storied NFL franchise uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage a wealth of information.

event_con12Jets03_page

App Hub accepting submissions for new markets soon. In the next two weeks, App Hub will start accepting submissions for the new Windows Phone Marketplaces we recently announced—a great opportunity for you to establish an early toehold on top download charts and get your app in front of eager new phone customers. The 23 new marketplaces are launching this month in Bahrain, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam. That’s in addition to the five stores we opened earlier this year in Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines. Read this March 15 post on The Windows Phone Developer Blog for the rest of the story.

State of Minnesota moves to Office 365. With an eye toward increasing worker productivity and delivering enhanced constituent services, the State of Minnesota moved to Microsoft Office 365 to upgrade its communication and collaboration systems for markedly increased capacity and capability with no reported downtime or disruption during the migration. “One of our requirements for adopting Office 365 cloud services was seamless end-user adoption,” said Tarek Tomes, assistant commissioner, Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology (OET). “Microsoft migration methodology allowed us to achieve that.” Want more detail? Read this press release on the Microsoft News Center.

Ford rolls out new 2013 models, featuring improved MyFord Touch. On a quintessentially cold, wet day in Portland’s Pioneer Square March 13–14, members of the press had their first chance to drive the 2013 models of the Ford Flex and Ford Taurus, both featuring SYNC, powered by Microsoft, with the MyFord Touch Performance Upgrade. The company also rolled out the 2013 Ford Mustang equipped with SYNC AppLink, a factory-installed feature that gives SYNC users voice control of apps stored on their smartphones. Check out this feature story and slideshow on the Microsoft News Center for more. Below is a screenshot of SYNC displaying a five-day weather forecast.

2013 Ford Flex

Application Virtualization 4.6 Service Pack 2 public beta released. A couple weeks ago, Microsoft shared exciting news with the release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the Windows Server “8” Beta, and last week, Erwin Visser shared our Windows 8 for businesses story at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany. Now, we are providing more good news for our business customers by announcing the availability of Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.6 Service Pack 2 Public Beta. For the rest of this story, read this March 15 post on the Windows For Your Business Blog.

WebSockets in Windows Consumer Preview. In Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Server Beta, IE10 and all other Microsoft WebSocket client and server features now support the final version of the IETF WebSocket Protocol. In addition, IE10 implements the W3C WebSocket API Candidate Recommendation. WebSockets are stable and ready for developers to start creating innovative applications and services. This Monday post on the IEBlog provides a simple introduction to the W3C WebSocket API and its underlying WebSocket protocol. The updated Flipbook demo uses the latest version of the API and protocol. Also, don’t miss this March 16 post on the Media Capture prototype.

Windows Azure Community News Roundup. Finally, don’t miss the latest edition of the Windows Azure Community News Roundup in this March 16 post on the Windows Azure Team Blog.

Thanks for reading this edition of The Midweek Download! Drop by The Official Microsoft Blog on Friday for a little Weekend Reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog