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Our top new features to help you save time and money and stay safer online as you get ready for back-to-school

Summer is in full swing.  It’s hard to imagine but back-to-school is quickly approaching. There is still a lot of uncertainty in terms of what form the new school year will take. Regardless of whether our children will be returning to school in person, hybrid or online, every parent knows that back-to-school usually requires planning…

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Summer is in full swing.  It’s hard to imagine but back-to-school is quickly approaching. There is still a lot of uncertainty in terms of what form the new school year will take. Regardless of whether our children will be returning to school in person, hybrid or online, every parent knows that back-to-school usually requires planning and shopping. Staying organized while maximizing precious time is key. This month, the Microsoft Edge Team is excited to introduce new features to help you make the most of your time online, save money while you shop and help keep your family safer online.

If you’re running a Windows PC, you already have Microsoft Edge installed, so launch it and check it out! For those of you who haven’t tried Microsoft Edge yet, download it and please let us know what you think.

Here’s what’s new in web experiences this month:

Plan your shopping with Microsoft Edge and the Back-to-School hub on Microsoft Bing

 Regular readers of this blog know that I love shopping online. However, back-to-school can be a very stressful time and shopping can be time-consuming and expensive. That’s why I’m excited to announce our Back to School hub on Microsoft Bing. The hub aggregates relevant products and shows me deals, helping me save time and money as I get my children ready for a new school year!

Microsoft Bing organizes results into top product categories so I can see everything from must-have supplies to extras to help make my kids’ brand new school year great. The Back-to-School hub also layers in additional information where available to help me find what I need quickly, such as price drop notifications, similar products, item details and more.

This experience is then made even better when shopping in Microsoft Edge, with built-in tools to provide the best online shopping experience of any internet browser. With features like coupons, cash back rebates, price history and more, I can shop with confidence that I’ve maximized my time and savings.

Stay safer online with Microsoft Edge

A new school year, virtual or in-person, usually comes with sign-ups for a lot of things: school billing accounts, school-related apps, extra-curricular activities and more. Sign-ups for those are usually online, which means more log-in credentials to create and manage. I know it’s important to ensure everyone in my family is using strong, unique passwords across multiple accounts to better protect against online threats. However, it’s not always obvious what makes a strong password and sometimes, in a rush, we default to passwords we’ve used before! That’s why I’m so excited to announce the password health dashboard. Microsoft Edge will now tell me whether the password I’ve saved is strong enough, and it will also indicate whether I’ve used that password across other sites.

On top of all of this, I am excited to announce a new feature that allows me to use my saved credentials to sign into other apps and browsers on my mobile phone.  Microsoft Edge on mobile makes it easy to take my saved login information from my browser and use it to log into the apps I use on my phone like Instagram, Pinterest and more! This entire suite of security features is of course rounded out with Password Monitor in Microsoft Edge, which has been keeping me safer by letting me know whether my saved credentials have been found in a known data breach. I also use password generator which helps me create new, strong passwords, and I can have autofill remember it on my behalf. All of this is designed to put you first and help you – and the ones you love – stay safer online.

Stay on top of your inbox and calendar with the Microsoft Outlook extension

Like you, I’m juggling a lot during the day. Any tool that can make it easier to stay focused is always welcome. This month, I’m excited to introduce a new extension in Microsoft Edge to help you do just that. The Microsoft Outlook browser extension brings you the power of mail, calendar, contacts and tasks while letting you stay focused on the web page you’re visiting. Without opening a new tab, I can send and receive email, and manage my calendar, tasks and more. I can quickly access my Outlook work account or personal Outlook.com or Hotmail account without switching to another tab or app. Download the extension from the Edge Add-Ons store to try it out today.

Save your web captures to Collections

During the school year, I like to have dinners for the week planned out, and I usually search the web to find new foodie recipes. I have been using the web capture feature in Microsoft Edge to screenshot recipes and mark them up to highlight ingredients I need. One of the top pieces of feedback we have received is to offer the opportunity to save web captures to Collections. So, this month, we’re giving you another way to save and revisit your captures, with an option to save to a new or existing collection in Microsoft Edge. We hope this addition continues to help you organize the content you find across the web. To save web captures to Collections, select Add to Collections.

Share your response to the news and headlines on the New Tab Page

Now on my New Tab Page in Microsoft Edge, I can use emojis to like, love, or share other thoughts about the news and content feeds I’m interested in, and I can see an aggregate count of how others have responded, too. I can read comments from others, or sign in, set up a profile and take part in the conversation. This feature of the New Tab Page is currently available in a limited number of countries, but we will be expanding within the coming months.

We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and that you continue to stay safe in these uncertain times. We also hope that our new features help you save time and money and stay safer online. Please continue to send us your feedback as we work to make the web more innovative and open for everyone!

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Microsoft

Minions DLC update lands on Minecraft

Illumination’s Minions mashup just got an update that Minecraft players can access now. “Playing as Gru, your quest is to become the biggest, baddest super-villain, and to do that you’ll need to gather gadgets, Minions and your courage to take on the Vicious 6: a team of supervillains who aren’t thrilled about your attempts to…

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Illumination’s Minions mashup just got an update that Minecraft players can access now.

“Playing as Gru, your quest is to become the biggest, baddest super-villain, and to do that you’ll need to gather gadgets, Minions and your courage to take on the Vicious 6: a team of supervillains who aren’t thrilled about your attempts to steal their thunder,” writes Sophie Austin on Minecraft.net. “As your devious plans take shape, you’ll need to fill up your villain-o-meter by sneaking, racing and directing your Minions in increasingly crafty ways before facing your foes in a fiery final showdown.”

Also, to celebrate the launch of this update and the new Minions movie, you can get a free in-game Minion hoodie in the Dressing Room.

If you’ve already bought the Minions x Minecraft mash-up, the new update will be available free of charge. If you haven’t, head on over to Minecraft Marketplace, where you can buy the downloadable content.

Visit Minecraft.net to find out more.

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Play Sea of Thieves’ fifth free adventure, ‘The Forsaken Hunter,’ until July 14

Hey Sea of Thieves players: Swap your pirate hat for a detective’s cap as you uncover clues and find out the fate of the missing Merrick in “The Forsaken Hunter,” the game’s latest narrative-driven adventure, from June 30 to July 14. This update is available for free to all Sea of Thieves players who have…

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Hey Sea of Thieves players: Swap your pirate hat for a detective’s cap as you uncover clues and find out the fate of the missing Merrick in “The Forsaken Hunter,” the game’s latest narrative-driven adventure, from June 30 to July 14.

This update is available for free to all Sea of Thieves players who have bought the game on Windows 10/11 PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One or via Steam, or players who have access to it with Xbox Game Pass. Simply download and install the latest Sea of Thieves update to get access.

Head over to Xbox Wire to watch the trailer and find out more.

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Customers share their stories on migrating to Dynamics 365

At some point, we’ve all experienced regret over not doing something. Opportunity passes us due to our over analysis, indecision, and uncertainty. Even though we’ve all done this, we rarely seek the advice of others, thinking our situation is somehow unique or different. This rationale is common among the on-premises organizations we speak to. They…

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At some point, we’ve all experienced regret over not doing something.

Opportunity passes us due to our over analysis, indecision, and uncertainty. Even though we’ve all done this, we rarely seek the advice of others, thinking our situation is somehow unique or different.

This rationale is common among the on-premises organizations we speak to. They understand the benefits for moving to the cloud but chose to focus on all the reasons not to—aging infrastructure, manual processes, and siloed data notwithstanding.

Hearing how others are approaching this critical technological evolution can be invaluable. Not to mention relatable. Here are a few customer stories we’ve collected; perhaps you might recognize yourself or the circumstances?

Discover other Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM customer stories to learn about migration best practices and the benefits others are seeing in the cloud.

A small company with sizeable goals

Sonee Sports, is a small 28-year-old, family-run retail chain in the Maldives. The company moved its Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 in the cloud to streamline its resource planning, point of sale, and relationship management activities. Sonee Sports has grown from a single desk in a hardware store to 10 stores across the Maldives however, this growth didn’t come without challenges, particularly when it came to technology.

Maumoon Abdullah, Sonee Sports’s co-founder, has long advocated for using technology to understand, retain, and engage new customers. “In 2016, we had a customer churn rate of 10 percent—not good. We knew that technology was key to keeping our business afloat,” Abdullah said. However, their previous enterprise resource planning (ERP) took hours to generate reports, the data was inaccurate, so decision makers stopped using it. In time, Sonee Sports realized it had to move its entire business to the cloud.

With help from Mumbai-based CloudFronts, a Microsoft Partner Network partner, Sonee Sports upgraded to Microsoft Dynamics 365, deployed Microsoft Power BI for analytics, and rolled out a cloud-based e-commerce system. “We needed an all-around ERP system that was reliable, easy to use, and mobile-friendly and that offered a host of options for accessing information. Dynamics 365 Retail fits these criteria very well.” Abdullah says. 

With this setup, Sonee Sports has cut its IT maintenance costs by 38 percent and improved customer retention by over 8 percent.

“With Dynamics 365, we finally have the data we need to understand our customers.” Abdullah says. “The value of this is priceless.”

Read more about Sonee Sport’s migration to Dynamics 365.

A growing city with changing needs

It can be easy to forget that cities are a lot like corporations—they provide services to their “customers,” often relying on technology to deliver the goods.

Bristol is a diverse city in southwest England, with more than 90 languages spoken and a population of just over 463,000. Bristol City Council is the unitary authority and is responsible for a wide range of services including taxation, waste management, education, etc. Like many struggling municipalities, Bristol City Council felt it could no longer rely on its IT system to meet day-to-day demands of the city. Its systems weren’t agile or mobile-friendly and lacked a unified platform to support collaboration or leverage data insights.

“The council was historically, deeply dissatisfied with its IT systems and processes.” says Simon Oliver, Director of Digital Transformation at Bristol City Council. 

Bristol City Council realized the only way forward was to modernize its Dynamics CRM 2016 instance to Dynamics 365, which would improve efficiency and collaboration. Moving, however, was a significant undertaking, involving migrating 54 workloads and orchestrating nearly 500 ecosystem partners, and staff.

Built on Microsoft Azure, with Microsoft Power Platform and Office 365, Bristol City Council deployed Dynamics 365 alongside toolsets to increase productivity. “Working with Microsoft has given us an opportunity to look at our entire approach to delivering IT services, to reshape our way of thinking and the culture of the IT department,” explains Oliver. 

Read more about the Bristol City Council transformation.

An industry leader looking to drive purpose

Peet Limited, a leader in Australia’s property industry, believes in helping people gain peace of mind through property ownership. And their commitment to IT innovation has enabled them to remain competitive through market disruptions.

As part of its ongoing mission to offer quality service, the company partnered with Microsoft to upgrade its IT systems and move critical line-of-business applications to the cloud. Justyn Bridge, IT Manager at Peet Limited, explained, “Microsoft 365 is a complete, intelligent solution…it empowers Peet employees to be creative and work together.” Peet Limited had confidence in Microsoft because the organization was already using both Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX, for its customer relationship management (CRM) and ERP, respectively.

Peet Limited designed its cloud strategy around security with the goal of end-to-end protection in mind; for them, security promoted value. Bridge explains that one of the best benefits of using Microsoft 365 is having a “single pane of glass” to view Peet Limited’s security landscape. Using Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Analytics, Peet Limited had a succinct, real-time view of an attack timeline with the ability to analyze and identify normal versus suspicious user or device behavior.

Considering the project, Bridge notes, “We sought better end-to-end protection, and Microsoft 365 gave us that. Our business has gained security in both protection and mindset.”

Read more about Peet Limited’s story.

When you’re ready to migrate, Microsoft is here to help

We all have stories that define us. Organizations are no different. Whether you’re looking to grow your footprint, improve services, or modernize your underlying technology, the Microsoft Cloud can meet your changing needs. While migrating to the cloud should be a business priority, the experiences above illustrate the importance of planning. When you’re ready to migrate your on-premises solution to the cloud, Microsoft is here to support your journey.

Learn from the other Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM migration stories in our library. Visit the Dynamics 365 Migration Community to access partner discovery resources and other assets to help you migrate with confidence.

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