Dynamics AX 2012 R2 GA; Windows Phone Store in 42 Markets, Adds Privacy URL; Microsoft Explains Windows To Go; Patents Picture Password

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Generally Available as on December 1 in 36 countries! "Microsoft Dynamics AX is the complete ERP solution for enterprises that provides a purpose-built foundation across multiple industries, along with comprehensive, core ERP functionality for financial, human resources and operations management," Microsoft stated. "Our global network of partners has extended this […]

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Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Generally Available as on December 1 in 36 countries!

"Microsoft Dynamics AX is the complete ERP solution for enterprises that provides a purpose-built foundation across multiple industries, along with comprehensive, core ERP functionality for financial, human resources and operations management," Microsoft stated. "Our global network of partners has extended this powerful foundation with packaged solutions and specialized services tailored to specific industries."

Dynamics AX 2012 R2 allows for multiple languages and legislations to be run from within a single instance.

"This provides centralized insights into the operations and a platform to find synergies between the locations. With the country localizations in one solution and centralized deployment, planned rollout to additional locations will be easier with an astounding average of one country per month for the next year," the company stated.

AX 2012 R2 also introduces breakthrough business intelligence capabilities based on Microsoft SQL Server. "Important information to all parts of a business is provided quickly, intuitively and in context of what the individual user is doing. This ease of use and speed is critically important for better decision-making in a business."

If you are interested to learn more about this release, visit the Microsoft Dynamics AX web site.

Microsoft just shared how Windows To Go works in Windows 8 Enterprise, which comes with a variety of features designed to address the needs of business customers.

""Windows To Go," is a fully manageable, secure corporate Windows 8 OS image installed on a bootable, certified USB stick. And, it can can be encrypted with BitLocker technology, so all data and apps are protected, even if the USB stick is lost or stolen."

The feature allows employees to work from any location on practically any PC that meets hardware certification requirements for Windows 7 (or higher). "Businesses might use Windows To Go to reduce the need for employees to transport their computers to different locations, especially in supporting workers in more mobile environments, such as military, police officers or people working on remote construction sites," Micosoft posted.

Here're a few important enterprise scenarios for Windows To Go:

  • Employees work from home with provisioning apps that an employee can use on the USB stick on their home PC. "Employees with enterprise network access can even use a virtual private network (VPN) connection or DirectAccess to access corporate resources." Further, IT organization can manage the security of the Windows image that is used remotely.
  • Employees bring their own device to work. Let IT department permit access to the enterprise network on a personal device, so employees are able to stay productive whatever their choice of PC.
  • Employees that are temporary or contract workers can use the PCs with Windows To Go. By having this device boot from the Windows To Go drive, the contractor runs the corporate supported image and has access to the files or apps he or she requires for their work.
  • Employees need to quickly get up and running on Windows 8 on their existing hardware before it's deployed on their PC, which makes it significantly easier to drive broad corporate adoption of other technologies - including internal apps or any custom internal configuration as a part of the standard corporate image on the Windows To Go stick.
  • Employees may remain productive during disaster recovery that may comprise a user's primary PC or work location, a booted Windows To Go drive on a secondary device will provide an employee everything they need to maintain business productivity as recovery efforts commence.

Windows 8 also offer some other important mobility features including:

  • Native support for 3G/4G mobile broadband with metering.
  • DirectAccess is much easier to deploy with Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, as customers no longer need to migrate the network to IPv6 to take advantage of this feature.
  • BranchCache: In Windows 8, multiple cache servers can now be used in a single office, making it easier to deploy the operating system, no matter how large or small the business. "BranchCache also takes advantage of Windows file server's technology to divide files into small pieces and eliminate duplicates, giving customers more bandwidth savings and better network performance - helping improving the experience for people who are mobile and on the go," Microsoft wrote.

Also, available today is the Windows 8 Accessibility Factsheet--"Windows 8 includes accessibility options and programs that make it easier to see, hear, and use your computer including Ease of Access and Personalization options. The built-in assistive technologies in Windows 8 work with both Windows 8 applications, and with desktop software, to provide seamless access to the entire Windows experience"

Download Windows 8 Accessibility Factsheet here.

Windows 8's "Picture Password" feature that allows users to simply log in by drawing a set of predefined gestures on a displayed photo -- has now been patented. As, the 'devices and services' company has filed for a patent briefly describing the patent as "picture gesture authentication."

"At its core, your picture password is comprised of two complimentary parts. There is a picture from your picture collection and a set of gestures that you draw upon it. Instead of having you pick from a canned set of Microsoft images, you provide the picture, because it increases both the security and the memorability of the password," reads Microsoft's description of the feature.

"In one embodiment, a picture signature password system may use a picture signature password to determine access to a computing device or service. A display screen 172 may display a personalized digital image 310," the patent reads.

"A user input device 160 may receive a user drawing set executed by a user over the personalized digital image 310. A processor 120 may authenticate access to the user session if the user drawing set matches a library drawing set associated with the user," the patent.

The video below demonstrates Picture Password:

Windows Phone Store as well as the Windows Phone Dev Center, getting some updates along with "the Store is now expanded in 42 new markets and now has the ability to add a privacy URL to apps."

"With the 42 new markets, Windows Phone Store is now available online to customers in 113 markets worldwide," Microsoft stated.

These updates offer several behind-the-scenes changes designed to help further improve the reliability and performance of the Dev Center, in addition to "the app submission process," and "the Store now has a new local ratings requirements for games made available to users in Taiwan and Russia," the company blogged.

Microsoft has also added the ability to add a privacy URL for an app. "With ever-increasing attention to app privacy practices, we encourage you to have an adequate privacy notice in place. By adding a link to your privacy notice, we can surface this important information in the Windows Phone Store for review by users prior to downloading your app," Microsoft said.

Microsoft has also added the ability to validate beta tester email addresses, during the submission process, which will help minimize errors and delays in the app submission process, at least according to Microsoft.

Lastly, "the keyword field length is decreased to 30 characters to keep the keywords focused on those that best describe your app and to deliver the most accurate search results," Microsoft added.

windows phone store now has 'add a privacy url' feature

windows phone store: ability to validate beta tester email addresses as part of the submission process

Update 12/04: In addition to Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft announced that additional product refreshes will be available later this month, including:

  • "Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, expected to be available Dec. 19, introduces significant new features and capabilities designed to help small and midsize businesses (SMBs) grow their businesses with powerful business solutions that are quick to implement and simple to use. This release introduces an innovative new Web client, more than 125 feature enhancements, streamlined management and rich interoperability with other Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft Office 365.
  • Microsoft Dynamics December 2012 CRM Service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (beginning mid-December). "The new service update re-imagines the way sales, customer service and marketing professionals work with CRM. Moving away from the traditional data-centric approach, this service update adds new experiences that simply and visually guide users through their business processes. In addition, the new service update brings customers deeper connection to Yammer and Skype, embedded Bing Maps, compatibility with the new Microsoft Office, and cross-browser support enabling new levels of communications and collaboration for customers."," informs Micorosoft.