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Monday, March 02, 2009
Microsoft Announces New Online Services and User Interfaces at CeBIT 2009

Achim Berg, General Manager of Microsoft Germany, today presented new solutions in the course of the Microsoft main press conference at CeBIT 2009.

The 'Business Productivity Online Suite' (BPOS) offers online applications for staff who use a computer on a daily basis. The second online package, 'Deskless Worker Suite', comprises solutions for employees who spend little of their working time in front of a computer, but who rely on continuous communication with colleagues and partners.

Microsoft Surface, available now in Germany and another nine European countries, offers a new kind of user interface for natural interaction with the computer. The upcoming Windows 7 operating system generation also has an optimized user interface that makes day-to-day work easier.

Cloud computing is one of the topics that is not only making an impact at CeBIT, but is being used increasingly by companies as a supplement or an alternative to locally installed software. Microsoft is placing the emphasis here on 'Software + Services'. The concept regards Internet services and local applications as a single unit. Moreover, it combines locally-installed software with flexible 'hire solutions' that can be integrated into the IT infrastructure.

In line with this strategy, Microsoft has extended its set of solutions and is now offering new online services for companies in the USA and a further 19 countries.

BPOS services consist of Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Communications Online and Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

The company also had news to present in the field of human/computer interaction. Microsoft Surface, a multimedia table now available in Germany, offers a new kind of user interface specially developed for this purpose. It reacts to natural hand movements, contact and the placing of real objects on the screen. Several users can simultaneously work with information, content and physical objects on this large 360-degree horizontal user interface, with the Multitouch interface being able to register up to 52 different inputs at the same time. Microsoft Surface also permits synchronization with devices such as mobile phones or digital cameras.

Intuitive operation also plays a central role in the upcoming Windows 7 operating system. A user, for example, can see all open windows in the task bar and access recently-used documents there. Various mouse operation gestures also make everyday working easier, and Windows 7 offers input possibilities for touch-sensitive screens such as multi-touch. Further improvements to the operating system include a faster working tempo, as well as simpler multimedia and networking functions.

Microsoft also announced today the next generation of its in-car software platform for manufacturers and trade suppliers. Microsoft Auto 4.0 will be available in the spring of 2009 and will now also support Intel architecture processors. The platform contains standard interfaces for radio tuners and CD players, permitting integrated multifunction systems to be developed easily.

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