Weekly #WhyMSFT Round-Up 12/9/2011

Each week, we round up industry news and articles you might have missed. Enjoy this week’s selections.

Microsoft, HP Unveil Joint Cloud Offering
The Microsoft applications that will be available in a private cloud via HP Enterprise Cloud Services include Exchange, SharePoint and Lync Server, all delivered as a service.  The public cloud option will involve Microsoft Office 365 delivered via Microsoft's cloud. Hybrid offerings that combine public and private clouds will be offered as well.

HP, Microsoft Forge Four-Year Cloud Pact
HP (NYSE:HPQ) Enterprise Services and Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) have joined forces to offer global public and private cloud services, a four-year deal that will offer packaged bundles of HP and Microsoft gear and through which HP will resell Microsoft Office 365. The two tech titans said Thursday that the goal of the pact is to bring customers into the cloud and help them make the shift from capital IT expenses to operational expenses. 
What's New in Exchange 2010 SP2
Exchange SP2's hybrid configuration wizard provides that seamless integration between the two environments, as well as moves and configures mailboxes easily through the Exchange Management Console. You have one console for managing both on-premise Exchange and Office 365.

Microsoft Office 365 Now Available for Trial in Saudi Arabia
With Office 365, professionals and small businesses can be up and running with Office Web Apps, Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and an external website in just 15 minutes, for $6 (U.S.) or 22.5 Riyals per user, per month.

Microsoft Office 365 Now in South Africa
People can start the trial at www.office365.co.za. Microsoft says once the product becomes commercially available next year, users will be given the option to subscribe and continue using the accounts they set up during the trial.

Updates for Office 365, SkyDrive Announced by Microsoft
Other new features include support for Windows Phone 7.5 in SharePoint Online, support for Lync for Mac and the Mac OS X Lion operating system, and the ability for administrators to reset their passwords by e-mail or SMS text message. A list of all of the new Office 365 updates is available here.

Sprint Calls on Microsoft Lync, Saves Big with UC
Sprint weathered the challenges and reaped the rewards of killing off PBX systems and moving to a unified communications suite with Microsoft Lync. Here's how this transition made life easier for Sprint workers and saved millions in reduced technology and real estate costs.

Microsoft Answers Your Azure Questions
The Windows Azure platform abstracts most of the operating system level details and allows you to focus on the application itself. It provides services for the kinds of things you need to develop for every type of application, from consumer web to enterprise, such as compute and storage, access control, caching, a CDN, and business intelligence based on SQL Server among others.

Microsoft's New App Store Offers Better Revenue Share Than Rivals
Antoine Leblond, vice President of Windows web services, says: “There’s perhaps no more material expression of our commitment to the economic viability of Windows developers than the amount of money the Store will generate for developers… We intend to offer the industry’s best terms, so that the best apps make developers a lot more money on Windows than on any other platform.”

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