This week, New York will host the National Retail Federation’s 101st Annual Convention & EXPO at the Javits Center, with tens of thousands of attendees, hundreds of speakers, and a keynote from President Bill Clinton.

 With all eyes on the consumer - whose shopping, how much is being spent and, most importantly how they’re shopping in today’s 24/7 digital age, retailers are turning to new technologies – from mobile to virtual to social media - to attract, engage and connect with its customers.

 At NRF this year, Microsoft and its industry partners will showcase how the technology solutions of today can help retailers put customers at the center of their business and deliver the personalized, seamless and differentiated experiences that shoppers have come to expect.

 Here are a few highlights:

  • Inside the Microsoft booth, visitors can step inside the future of shopping for the latest in touch, gesture and augmented reality, seeing first-hand the power of 3D technology for immersive virtual dressing room and in-store planning experiences.
  • Microsoft will give retailers a chance to experience how they can reinvent the customer experience through connected shopping scenarios across multiple digital channels in-store and online. With connected devices - including smartphones like Windows Phone 7, interactive digital signage powered by Windows Embedded with Kinect for Windows, the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface and POS tablets - working seamlessly together, retailers and store associates can provide a new level of interactive and personalized services.
  • Attendees will be able to preview the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail, providing retailers with an end-to-end solution that includes cross channel capabilities, social and mobile commerce, enriched point of sale, and powerful enhancements for merchandising to deliver a complete shopping experience. Retail customers joining us onsite include DavidsTea, Simon Pearce and Mattress Firm.
  • NRF attendees will also be the first to experience the next generation of Microsoft Surface, the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface. The Samsung SUR40 provides users with collaborative and engaging experiences with technology and digital content in a natural and intuitive way and enables companies to advance their business and generate greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.

 More information about Microsoft’s activities at NRF 2012 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/nrf.

 For the latest NRF news, links and photos, follow @msretail, @MSFTDynamicsERP, @MSFTWEB and @Surface on Twitter.