and create lasting connections with customers and suppliers, all with a single-vendor


While most eyes this week were trained on Las Vegas and the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft was gearing up to speak with retailers at the National Retail Federation's annual Conference and Expo in New York City running tomorrow through Tuesday. The company announced yesterday that it will be demonstrating new products to help retailers differentiate the customer interactions through connected experiences. Microsoft focuses mainly on verticals of distribution, food and drug, general merchandise and specialty retail.

Part of Connected Experiences for Retail, Redmond reportedly will demonstrate self-service retail devices with central management, a digital signage platform for retail and hospitality markets, and a new digital marketing solution built around Microsoft Commerce Server 2009. The company also will demonstrate advances in its business intelligence platform as well as the forthcoming Dynamics AX for Retail, an enterprise resource planning tool that helps to connect consumer behavior, store activities and e-commerce systems to provide intelligence into operations end to end for "better insight and control of key business processes," the company said.

About the Author

I am Technical Editor of the [url=]CRN Test Center[/url], a kind of computer-centric "Consumer Reports" for retailers and VARs ([url=][/url]). I bought my first computer in 1980, an Atari 800. In addition to adventure games like Zork, I also played with the hardware, dabbling with ROM dumps and mods to the 810 disk drive. That's also where I learned BASIC programming. After 1984, I moved to PCs, clones and NetWare, and then to Apple IIs and Macs until around 1990. In July of that year I got my first job at a publishing company, supporting about 25 Mac users (including the staff of "MacWeek").

Between '06 and '09 I was editor of [URL=]ST&P[/URL], a software testing trade magazine. I also wrote a software [URL=]Test & QA [/URL]newsletter, and was chairman of the [url=]Software Test & Performance conference[/url].

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