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Convergence 2012: Microsoft Hints Windows 8 e-Reader, Shows Off Windows 8 Business Apps ‘Cconcepts’

At the Convergence conference in Houston for Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM customers and partners, which kicked off on March 19, Microsoft’s Dynamics team demonstrating to the around 10,000 attendees what the company’s concept apps would look when optimized for Windows 8.

“Concept apps are Windows 8 HTML5 “Metro-style” (a.k.a. WinRT-based) clients that connect to Dynamics ERP and CRM back-end services.”

Here are a couple of screenshots from the demos:

Start screen is an example of what the Microsoft Dynamics Start page in Metro style would look like. The UI would provide an immersive experience which can be personalized by each user.

Project approval could look on a Windows 8 tablet device. The Metro-style app will provide the optimal experience for users across different device types, including tablet devices.

A Dynamics AX evangelist and blogger Brandon George recently inside Microsoft’s own “statement of direction” documentation discovered that Microsoft is planning to deliver a Windows 8 version of its Dyanmics AX 7 client in 2013/2014. (via MJF)

Microsoft won’t be the only company demonstrating early Windows 8 app prototypes at Convergence. Microsoft CRM partner Sonoma Partners is showing off what it’s calling the first Windows 8 tablet app for the enterprise at the conference.

Also, there are hints that Windows 8-based dedicated e-readers sporting the Metro UI are in the works. According to the Register, “Microsoft has given its strongest hint yet that Windows 8 on ARM (WoA) will run on a new generation of Kindle-style e-readers.”

Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, who kicked off the keynote at the Dynamics 2012 Convergence conference on March 19, mentioned readers as one of a handful of form factors where Metro will play by rattling off a list of devices that’ll benefit from a consistent user interface because Windows 8 runs on both x86 and ARM architectures.

He said Windows 8 will be the “first operating system on the planet” to provide the same user interface from handheld gadgets powered by ARM Systems-on-a-Chip (SoC) to fatter boxes with x86 chips from Intel and AMD.

“Microsoft will be this year the first company on the planet to have a consistent UI from the smart phone to the tablet to the slate, to the reader to the rich client and to the TV with our Metro UI,” he said. “We know the power of getting that consistent user experience is something our whole product portfolio will benefit from.”

On the roadmap for Dynamics in 2012 is support in the online versions of Microsoft’s CRM gear for non-Redmond browsers and devices, and “social” interaction and customer care. Microsoft’s Great Plains and Navision 2013, meanwhile, will run on Windows Azure.

Also at the Dynamics event in Houston, Texas, Microsoft demonstrated its ERP and CRM software running with a Metro-style tiled UI. This will come in 2013.

Microsoft has also posted a case study comparing iPad app development to Windows 8 Metro-style tablet development.

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