May 19, 2020

What to Expect from Microsoft HoloLens and Windows 10

Microsoft
Technology
Smartphones
Virtual reality
Annifer Jackson
2 min
What to Expect from Microsoft HoloLens and Windows 10

Microsoft has unveiled its new Windows 10 software alongside a new headset that projects 3D images over a user’s real world vision.

Called the HoloLens, the wireless device will make it seem as if screens, people and gameplay are in front of people, perhaps signalling a step towards virtual reality.

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The tech giant also revealed details on Windows 10, which will be available on smartphones and even the Xbox One console, with Internet Explorer being replaced be a new app called Spartan. The launch also confirmed the return of the ever-popular start menu, criticised in some corners for its disappearance over the past couple of years in Windows 8.

The HoloLens headset appears to be going up against Magic Leap, a company backed by Google, although Microsoft is hoping that its nearest rivals will actually make use of its hologram technology.

Consumers will be able to walk around and make Skype calls with the new headset, while the virtual displays and desktops use tech which maps the room you are in in order to blend the projections into reality.

Back to users with Windows 8.1 - it is good news as Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to Windows 10, reflecting a similar move made by rivals Apple when it launched its newest software package.

Other new features include a Cortana personal assistant to rival Siri, and the ability to create more than one desktop to stay organised e.g. for home and work.

Microsoft also unveiled the Surface Hub, an 84-inch 4K TV with built in cameras, speaklers mics and NFC designed to be used in offices.

Experts and commentators see the upgrade as being the first steps towards correcting the unpopular changes made in Windows 8.

Stuart Miles, founder of technology website Pocket Lint, told the Mail Online: “The initial reaction is that Microsoft had introduced some really good features that will appeal to many and fix many of the annoyances of Windows 8.

“It looks like they are doing everything they can to make amends for the mistakes of Windows 8, but with a long lead time and many unanswered questions like release and price, there is still much left to learn. That said it looks to be a good move from the Redmond based company and one that will benefit many.”

The HoloLens is still a prototype being developed under the codename Project Baraboo, with the sale date for the device yet to be revealed. 

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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