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

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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.