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Windows 11 devices at CES showcase industry-leading sustainability, powerful hybrid work and robust security

CES 2022 is here, and I am excited for another year filled with incredible innovation from our partners! Every year, CES unveils the newest technologies our industry has to offer, and this year, the event is once again setting a new standard for cutting edge devices. Technology brings us together and allows us to collaborate…

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CES 2022 is here, and I am excited for another year filled with incredible innovation from our partners! Every year, CES unveils the newest technologies our industry has to offer, and this year, the event is once again setting a new standard for cutting edge devices. Technology brings us together and allows us to collaborate in a rich environment that meets the needs of businesses, students, educators, gamers and consumers. After a year of tremendous technological advancements, including the launch of Windows 11, CES 2022 gives us a front row seat to see how devices continue to evolve to meet customers’ needs. I am looking forward to what we will see and hear from Microsoft’s partners launching new devices and solutions that include powerful new silicon, plus features and functionality born out of incredible imagination and innovation. These richly capable devices and services are redefining how we work, play, learn and connect.


Devices focus on promise of greater good, improved security and performance

It’s impressive to see the clear commitment to sustainability in the ecosystem, with so many companies designing sustainably minded devices this year. This is truly inspiring to see, and I believe these efforts will lead our entire industry towards better sustainability practices overall. From recycled paper for packaging and ocean-bound plastics used in chassis, screen bezels and keyboards, to purchases that give back, our ecosystem of device partners has clearly made a commitment to developing products with lighter ecological footprints. Even more impressive, is that they accomplished this without compromising on performance.

Themes of hybrid work and security are central to the discussion around devices, and it is clear the past few years have fostered great learnings that our partners have integrated into the design of these devices. These learnings – and the new ways of working – also influenced many of the innovations in the design of Windows 11. Windows 11, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, coupled with new products like Microsoft Viva – an employee experience platform that helps companies navigate how to empower people and teams to do their work from anywhere – on these cutting-edge devices, are extraordinarily powerful for customers. I am proud to see security at the forefront of our Windows 11 offering, and especially the new Microsoft Pluton processor, our collaboration with AMD and Qualcomm. The enhanced security at the core of Windows 11 PCs is incredible, and it’s exciting to see AMD as our first partner to offer Pluton on the x86 platform, with the Lenovo Z Series!

The Power of Partners

Last year, we delivered amazing products together with our Windows ecosystem, and this year, we will continue to innovate with best-in-class technology, silicon innovation, a commitment to sustainability and security, and a deeper understanding of how people want to interact with their devices. It is with that knowledge and understanding that Microsoft, and our partners, will continue to innovate for millions of consumers, students, gamers and businesses around the world. Here are just a few examples of the devices launching at CES 2022:

Acer Vero National Geographic Edition

To showcase their commitment to a more sustainable future, Acer unveiled a special National Geographic edition of their Acer Aspire Vero laptop. This sustainably minded laptop features 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic throughout its chassis, 50% PCR in its keycaps, and has been designed to be easily upgraded and repaired. Powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics, the laptop’s lighter ecological footprint does not mean that it’s light on performance: It comfortably handles productivity and collaboration tasks. Users can enjoy Windows 11 pre-installed, and Wi-Fi 6 offers ultra-reliable connectivity. Each purchase of this sustainably minded laptop helps support the mission of the U.S.-based global nonprofit National Geographic Society in its work to protect our world through exploration, research and education.

ASUS Expertbook B3 Detachable

Designed for education and built for business, ASUS launched the ExpertBook B3 Detachable (B3000). It’s the perfect 2-in-1 portable companion that can be used as a tablet or laptop; or stand it vertically or horizontally for viewing files or entertainment, making it ideal for online classes, study, work meetings, movies and more. It’s also the first device powered by Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 compute platform with a garaged stylus, and it comes pre-installed with Windows 11. The included cover, ExpertStand, is detachable, magnetic and stain-repellent, doubling as a dual-orientation prop, while the ExpertBoard keyboard connects easily for instant, efficient input — making the B3 Detachable as versatile as it is mobile. The stylus also makes it easy to get every detail just right when drawing, taking notes or marking documents.

Dell XPS 13 Plus

The XPS 13 Plus is designed to be minimalist and modern. The sleek zero-lattice keyboard, capacitive touch function row, seamless glass touchpad and palm rest deliver a clean, iconic appearance that is light to the touch and complemented by curved, comfy edges throughout. The XPS 13 Plus is designed with a 12th Gen Intel Core 28W processor (improved from 15W on prior gen) and supported by larger fans that provide 55% better airflow without increasing noise or temperature. And with Express Charge 2.0, the laptop charges to nearly 80% battery life in less than an hour. The XPS 13 Plus is pre-installed with Windows 11 and comes in timeless colors, a light (Platinum) and dark (Graphite) with an enhanced surface finish that is premium and serene. Users will enjoy incredible sound for music, movies, and conferencing with two up-firing speakers hidden underneath the keyboard, while two down-firing speakers are on the base. All-new packaging is made from 100% sustainably sourced and renewable materials with paper documentation that increases its recyclability.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 with pre-installed Windows 11 empowers mobile professionals to bring their best to every meeting. Weighing under 1kg and available in Slate Blue or Natural Silver, the sleek and lightweight HP Elite Dragonfly G3 gives users more screen with a 3:2 aspect screen ratio to keep them productive. Powered by 12th Gen Intel processors, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 features a 13.5-inch clamshell design with recycled magnesium, aluminum and ocean bound plastics.

Enhanced by HP Presence, the Elite Dragonfly delivers an exceptional collaboration experience with audio by Bang & Olufsen and four discrete amps working together to create immersive sound. HP Dynamic Voice Leveling automatically optimizes voice clarity, and hybrid workers will love the AI-based noise reduction 2.0 enhancing audio so people can be heard even while wearing a mask. Equipped with intelligent charging, the battery learns work patterns to optimize power consumption. IT departments will be reassured with the inclusion of HP Wolf Security for Business, which provides a resilient defense against malware and hacking.

Lenovo Z Series

The all-new ThinkPad Z13 and Z16, pre-installed with Windows 11, embrace a new striking and sustainable design with premium color accents and materials including recycled aluminum and recycled black vegan leather. Sustainability extends to the packaging which is made from 100% recyclable and compostable bamboo and sugarcane, and the AC power adapter uses 90% Post-Consumer Content (PCC). The ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 will be the first laptops powered by the very latest AMD Ryzen PRO 6000 Series Mobile Processors with the Microsoft Pluton Security Processor. The Microsoft Pluton Security Processor is designed to help defend against new, sophisticated attacks and offers continuous protection of user identity, data and applications. Other key design and technology features include minimalistic ultra-narrow bezels, and enhanced audio and video conferencing with a new Communications Bar that houses a better FHD webcam with a larger sensor and dual-array microphones. A larger 120mm glass haptic ForcePad that flows seamlessly with the all-glass palm rest is introduced for rapid and easy input. Those familiar with the iconic red TrackPoint will witness a new functionality: Double tap the TrackPoint to launch a Communication QuickMenu for quick access to common camera and microphone settings.

Razer Blade 14

Razer’s 14-inch gaming laptop is back and more powerful than ever before. The new Razer Blade 14 combines the latest AMD️ Ryzen 9 chipset with an improved 16GB of DDR5 memory to create a blazing-fast gaming device that surpasses the previous generation. Blade 14 continues to be a remarkably thin, light and compact device with impeccable performance, now packed with further refinements to make a great gaming laptop that much better. With a newly implemented MUX Switch, the Blade 14 sees increases in gameplay performance by utilizing the discrete GPU to drive games on the internal display. Razer Blade 14 also added the same fingerprint resistant coating and a 1080p Windows️ Hello IR webcam, making video calls twice as clear as before. The new Razer Blade 14 ships with Windows 11 pre-installed, with all its prevalent gaming benefits including DirectStorage, Xbox Game Bar and PC Game Pass.

Here’s to a great CES! Special thanks to the Consumer Technology Association, who continues to bring us these amazing technologies and innovations, and to our amazing Windows ecosystem partners. It is exciting to see what is in store for us in 2022.

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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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Microsoft

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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Business

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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