Brad Anderson

The IT industry is undergoing a major transformation as cloud computing grows in popularity, and it’s not just in the U.S., it’s worldwide. On the heels of TechEd North America, thousands of IT professionals and developers are gathering in Amsterdam this week – at Microsoft’s full capacity TechEd Europe event - to hear first-hand what the new era of the cloud operating system (OS) is all about. From my keynote to the hundreds of deep technical sessions, attendees will learn about the transformative changes brought about with the cloud and how it can bring new and more efficient opportunities for their business.

Connected Clouds and Devices

They will also hear how these recent releases from Microsoft make it even easier for customers to leverage one modern operating system across public, private and hybrid clouds and manage a multitude of devices connected to those clouds.

· Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC). Released May 31, the Windows Server 2012 RC is available for customers to download and evaluate today. Advancements in storage, networking and scalability have been drawn from Microsoft’s experience running public cloud services and driven into Windows Server 2012.

· Windows Azure. Windows Azure is newly updated with preview support for Virtual Machine and Virtual Network, support for Windows and Linux images, and additional support for Java and Python. This enables organizations to move their existing VMs and apps to Azure.

· Windows Intune. The next release of Windows Intune, now available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windowsintune/pc-management.aspx, includes expanded management and security benefits through heterogeneous mobile device management and adds people-centric management capabilities and upgrade rights to the latest version of Windows.

And they will hear about Microsoft’s comprehensive developer solutions, which support a breadth of tools and technologies. These solutions also enable developers to build consumer and business applications that span devices and services and can run on-and-off-premises.

· Visual Studio LightSwitch. Originally announced at TechEd North America and available today in the Visual Studio 2012 release candidate, Microsoft LightSwitch will now render HTML5. Integrating HTML5 into LightSwitch will enable developers using the tool to target any device or platform supporting HTML5.

· Visual Studio Team Foundation Service Public Preview. Team Foundation Service is an application lifecycle management tool hosted on Windows Azure. Updated features include collaboration tools, a code repository and powerful reporting and traceability tools to help teams more effectively manage software development. A public preview of Team Foundation Service is available at http://tfspreview.com.

European Customers Already Betting on the Cloud OS

Every customer I talk to is moving to the cloud – in different ways and at their own speed. Doing this requires flexibility for the many unique ways customers will architect, develop and deploy applications and IT solutions– be it on-premises, in the cloud or a mix of both.

The aviation industry is a great example. It’s a fiercely competitive industry that is continually looking for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. While many in the aviation industry have reduced costs through mergers and acquisitions, some of our European customers are turning to a variety of Microsoft’s cloud solutions to rapidly scale their infrastructure, increase customer responsiveness and improve customer service.

· Menzies Aviation, carrying precious cargo across the globe: One of the fastest growing ground and cargo handling organizations in the world, Menzies has operations at 129 airports in 31 countries, annual revenues in excess of US$1.3 billion and employs some 18,000 highly trained people. As part of the Windows Server 2012 Rapid Deployment Program, Menzies Aviation’s IT department is betting on Windows Server 2012, Microsoft’s new cloud optimized OS, to rapidly scale their infrastructure up or down and to stay ahead of the business.

· Lufthansa Systems, being agile and responsive to growing customer needs: Lufthansa Systems is one of the leading IT service providers for the aviation industry. Their private cloud on Windows Server and System Center solution enables them to automate and control many key processes, making them more responsive to customers’ needs. Read more: “System Center 2012: Where Public and Private Clouds Meet”

· easyJet, shrinking wait times and saving millions: easyJet, Europe’s leading low-fare airline with 550 routes across 30 countries, used Windows Azure Service Bus to create a highly secure mobile service that enabled the company to improve customer service by reducing lines, airport infrastructure rental fees and expediting the check-in process. When “Halo” is rolled out across the 130-plus airports where easyJet operates, the airline anticipates saving millions of pounds annually in Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) rental fees, in addition to giving customers a better airport experience by eliminating or reducing the time spent standing in lines. Read more: “Airline Aims to Save Millions, Shorten Airport Waits with Cloud-Based Mobile Services.”

The customers and partners I talk to want their applications, whether on premise or in the cloud, to work together and only Microsoft brings it all together in a modern, yet familiar, platform that empowers you to connect with the cloud on your terms. I encourage you to watch my keynote or check out the press site for more information.

Posted by Brad Anderson
Corporate Vice President, Management and Security Division, Microsoft