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Microsoft releases availability of the new Microsoft technology platforms for businesses

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In a big simultaneous software launch since Microsoft Windows 95 and Office 95, Microsoft Australia and New Zealand, has released the global availability of the new Microsoft technology platforms for businesses, from Sydney.

Designed to enable businesses to thrive in a world of instant communication, expanding information and constant change, the new products provide a platform that will transform the way people turn information into opportunity and growth.

The release of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system are available to volume licensing customers marks the beginning of a significant product launch in Microsoft history and the first simultaneous release of Microsoft’s flagship products, since the joint launch of Windows 95 and Office 95 more than a decade ago.

Exchange Server 2007 is slated for release to organisations with volume license agreements by the second week of December 2006. Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system will be released to consumers and organisations without volume license agreements on the 30th of January 2007.

According to Microsoft, the new versions of Windows, Office system and Exchange Server are the result of an unprecedented collaboration between Microsoft and its customers. Real-life scenarios guided product development through feedback from customers who volunteered to let Microsoft watch them work in more than one billion user sessions. These products deliver game-changing innovation and Microsoft has made extraordinary investments in research and development, and Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system and Exchange Server have gone through extensive testing.

According to Microsoft, approximately 86,000 beta versions of Office 2007 and Windows Vista have been downloaded in Australia by technology enthusiasts who are excited to see how its new products can help them and their organisations be more productive. The feedback they have received has been overwhelmingly positive.

Microsoft’s partner community has also been extremely supportive. Microsoft has been working closely with a number of partners who are assisting its early adopter customers with their roll out. These customers are eager to keep pace with the competitive advantages that these new Microsoft technologies can provide.

Early adopters see clear business value

Accounting and consulting organisation, BDO, was one of the first Australian organisations to run a pilot project of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Windows Vista and Exchange Server 2007. The pilot project was seen as an opportunity to build a set of practical and powerful information tools that enable BDO to leverage its intellectual property, work more thoroughly with clients and increase employee satisfaction.

According to BDO, the pilot project proved that the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Windows Vista and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 have the potential to radically enhance BDO’s service and offerings to clients.

BDO worked with Microsoft partner, Ensyst, to trial the technology with 50 users from across the firm, including the Corporate Finance business unit.

With the three products timed together, BDO saw the pilot as an opportunity to see how Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Exchange Server 2007 work together to improve business processes, communication and collaboration.

BDO highlighted the ease of deployment as a major benefit of the project. The interface was so familiar, it was essentially the tools they had been using, with a much greater level of functionality.

The benefits of the technology have extended beyond the internal BDO team to the wider client base.

When clients see that BDO staff have these Microsoft tools available to them, it reassures them that they are partnering with a truly leading and modern firm

Leading Australasian alcoholic beverage manufacturer and distributor, Lion Nathan, trialled Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 to support multiple sites across Australia and New Zealand.

An enterprise-wide roll out of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will see Lion Nathan consolidate 10 servers into three and improve productivity by providing staff with advanced mobile access and calendar features.

According to Lion Nathan, the combined functionality of Exchange Server 2007 and Office Outlook 2007 creates a high availability environment, powerful mobility features, improved staff productivity and streamlined administration.

After a trial with 100 users, Lion Nathan has committed to implementing Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, citing a number of strategic and operational benefits.

Lion Nathan plans a full organisation-wide roll out of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. This will significantly reduce our messaging server hardware and software licensing costs over the long term.

Industry poised to take advantage of new opportunities

Since the release of Windows 95 and Office 95, Microsoft has delivered critical platform advances with each major release of its two flagship products: TCP/IP in Windows 95 helped pave the way for the growth of the Internet, for example, while wireless capabilities in Windows XP made mobile computing commonplace. New capabilities in Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system, such as significant advances in graphics and pervasive support for XML and other technologies provide the framework for creating new experiences for end users. Significant server investments make the 2007 Office system a powerful platform for developing business applications to eliminate the barriers between organisations, systems, processes and information.

According to Microsoft, they applauded the 640,000 strong worldwide partner ecosystem that has worked closely with Microsoft to prepare for today’s launch. In addition, many of the world’s leading solution integrators are prepared to deploy the new products for enterprise organisations.

Delivering the promise of the people-ready business

According to Microsoft Australia, the starting point for the new capabilities in Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Exchange Server 2007 is Microsoft’s belief that people are the driving force behind business success.

These products will enable companies to unleash the full potential of their people to build profitable relationships with customers, spearhead new innovations and drive business success.

Although many customers will deploy these products separately, together they will fundamentally change the way companies get value from business information.

Together, the three products focus on four critical areas:

Simplifying how people work together. From new Windows capabilities designed for mobile workers and unified messaging enabled by Exchange Server 2007 to workflow and collaboration tools in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, the new products revolutionise the way people work in teams and on the go.

Finding information and improving business insight. Deep platform integration and availability of new search technologies and powerful, easy-to-use business intelligence tools will help enable employees to find and use information more easily, streamlining the path from idea to execution.

Helping protect and manage content. Advanced content management and document retention tools combined with features to better protect data confidentiality make content authoring the starting point for automated business processes and regulatory compliance.

Increasing security and helping reduce IT costs. With enhanced security by design and by default, the new versions of Windows, the 2007 release and Exchange Server 2007 deliver breakthrough security features. They streamline deployment and management, helping reduce costs and enabling IT departments to focus on providing new capabilities that deliver strategic advantage.

Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Exchange Server 2007 also provide the core platform that will enable businesses to take advantage of the benefits of Internet-based software services. All three products incorporate key XML and Web services technologies that will help companies tap into online services and select the mix of on-premise and hosted applications to deliver the right balance of control, convenience, cost-effectiveness and security while helping increase productivity.

According to Microsoft, during the last decade, Windows 95 and Office 95 have transformed the way people work. Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007 are some of the advanced technologies Microsoft has developed, and it believes they signal the beginning of a new wave of innovation that will have a profound impact during the next decade.

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