The December holidays provide an opportunity to reflect on the past and look to the future and for 2012, it has been a very busy year for us at Microsoft. The Power & Utilities team closed out the year with two marquee events. First was our annual Microsoft Global Utilities Summit with more than 164 Utility executives and partners in attendance. This year’s conference focused on the value-driven utility.  We heard from Utilities and partners around Big Data, Cloud, and Mobility.  image We saw the latest Windows 8 applications and devices for utilities.  And, we learned about how utilities are reshaping their business operations to provide value to their customers and stakeholders.  It was our best Summit ever!  And, for those of you that could not attend, our team has launched a virtual version of the Summit where you can experience the highlights from the comfort of your home or office. You can access the Virtual Utilities Summit here www.msglobalutilitiessummit.com.

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The second event was our sponsorship of the UK 2012 Utility Industry Achievement Awards with our partner OSIsoft.  This is a unique event as it is a who’s who of UK Utility executives in attendance with more than 1,300 guests.  We at Microsoft would like to congratulate all the winners as well as our UK Utility guests that joined us for this grand event.

At the close of 2012 we also launched the future as we re-imagined Windows from the chipset to the user interface with the launch of Windows 8 and have started a “Touch Revolution.”  We also launched Windows Phone 8 which now shares a common development core with Windows 8 as developers can now build native Windows Phone 8 apps and use common APIs that work across phones, tablets and desktops.  One doesn’t need a crystal ball to see what is coming as our partners and many Utilities are already flocking to this new development environment and a good example is SAP’s announcement to deliver six new SAP mobile apps for Windows 8.

The future is very bright and we at Microsoft want to thank you for your support and business. We hope you had a great holiday and we wish you a very happy, successful and prosperous New Year! – Jon C. Arnold