It’s a new place for high-tech ‘show-and-tell’ where users can see, use and evaluate the latest technologies and partner products.
The comfy chairs aren’t bad, either!
Microsoft has opened its first Canadian product test facility in Mississauga, ON, one of some 30 collaborative environments that the tech giant has opened worldwide where customers can check out the company’s products and services before implementing them for themselves.
Located in Mississauga, the new $20 million dollar Microsoft Technology Centre has the latest phones and tablets on display, the Surface tabletop computer and other touch screen devices, as well as Microsoft products like Xbox and Kinect.
The facility has been funded by Microsoft Canada and its technology partners, including top Canadian tech innovators and product developers.
MTCs are described as collaborative environments that give business customers access to new technologies that can be applied to business challenges and opportunities. IT resources like software and hardware, as well as services and expertise, are gathered in one place; partner technologies that extend and augment Microsoft products are also integrated into the offerings.
Among the many Microsoft partners, storage industry innovator X-IO Technologies, which has been named as a hardware partner for the worldwide network of Tech Centres; enterprise customers can test new intelligent storage elements, and learn more about cloud-based software as a service.
Microsoft’s enterprise services have been extended from the enterprise to the SME and sole proprietorships with products like the popular Office suite, now offered in online subscriptions as Office 365.
Helping MTC staff make more engaging presentations about their products and partner services, interactive whiteboards, pens and displays, integrated with Smart Meeting Pro software and Bridgit conferencing software from Calgary, AB-based SMART Technologies.
Following a 2010 installation of SMART hardware and software products at the MTC in Irvine, California, SMART was invited to join the Microsoft Alliances program so it could include its products in other centres.
“The Microsoft Technology Centre will have a huge impact as a Canadian innovation hub, reimagining what’s possible in Canadian business and helping to drive this country’s economy forward,” explained Staci Trackey Meagher, Vice President, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft Canada. “Despite the global economic uncertainty in recent years, Microsoft Corporation has continued to steadily increase its R&D investments, and this new $20-million facility is just the latest example of our long-standing commitment to make Canadian businesses worldwide leaders in technology.”
The new MTC is the 31st in the world, with 12 centres in the United States and 18 internationally.
“The centre will allow Canadian enterprises to better compete by unleashing the power of Microsoft’s products and technology partners’ solutions in their own businesses,” said Ross Mistry, national director, Microsoft Technology Centres at Microsoft Canada.
“With Windows 8, Windows Phone, Surface and the variety of on-premise and cloud-based offerings, Canadian businesses can build tailored applications and solutions which will move these businesses forward.”
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation.