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A wise man once said that names don't matter, because what something's called won't change how mustard tastes. Microsoft has clearly taken that wisdom to its heart, spending two seconds (we hope) in deciding that official title of Windows Server 8 will be... Windows Server 2012. In other news, System Center 2012 -- Microsoft's private cloud software for enterprise users -- is now available for evaluation and purchase. Carry on.

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Customers Find Success With Microsoft Private Cloud

IT professionals use new System Center 2012 to embrace cloud computing for business.

LAS VEGAS - April 17, 2012 - Today at the sold-out Microsoft Management Summit, Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson spoke to nearly 5,000 IT professionals about their opportunity to deliver fast, reliable services with cloud computing. His keynote speech highlighted how customers around the world are already using Microsoft System Center 2012, available today for evaluation and purchase, to create private clouds. Anderson also discussed how IT professionals can evolve their roles with cloud computing to help their businesses be more competitive.

"Cloud computing gives IT professionals an opportunity to increase their strategic value to their businesses while building new skills," Anderson said. "Microsoft's private cloud solutions help IT professionals become cloud innovators for their companies, managing and delivering the applications people need to be productive across private, hybrid and public clouds."

In addition, Anderson provided a preview of how Microsoft's private cloud will become even more powerful with Windows Server "8" and announced that the operating system will officially be named Windows Server 2012. The new "cloud-optimized OS" is due out later this year.

Management Makes the Difference for Customers

IT organizations that use System Center 2012 and Windows Server with Hyper-V for cloud computing are helping their companies move faster, save money and compete better. For example, EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services, a luxury car service headquartered in New Jersey, has used a Microsoft private cloud to reduce datacenter costs by 50 percent amid 30 percent company growth during the past 18 months. With more than 1,000 employees, EmpireCLS relies on the Microsoft private cloud to deliver a reliable reservation system to customers in more than 700 cities around the world. Using System Center 2012, EmpireCLS also used its cloud environment to create a new business with its BeTransported software as a service offering. The application is now in use broadly within the car service industry.

Similarly, The Walsh Group, a construction firm based in Chicago, switched to a Microsoft private cloud to automate delivery of virtualized servers and applications for 5,000 employees. In addition to business efficiencies, the company has been able to reduce hardware and energy costs by 20 percent.

"With Microsoft, we are moving beyond virtualization to cloud computing, so we can automate and manage our IT environment as a whole," said Patrick Wirtz, manager of Technology Innovation at The Walsh Group. "It's all about giving our engineers, tradespeople and software developers the computing resources they need to build roadways, bridges and high-rises."

In another case, Apartments.com, a national online apartment search service in Chicago, needed a more dynamic and responsive IT infrastructure to stay competitive in the market and deliver faster service to its 6 million site visitors each month. With Microsoft's private cloud, the company realized 50 percent faster server provisioning for new services and 75 percent lower licensing costs.