March 18, 2012, 7:22 AM — Developers have come up with a Windows 8 CRM app called Ultimate Beer Ranger to automate the sales team at New Belgium Brewing, which has already decided it will adopt Windows 8 on mobile devices.
Why? The brewery is a Microsoft shop and it wants to use its in-house Windows expertise as it pushes its CRM to mobile devices that the sales team -- beer rangers -- carry with them. The Windows 8 tablets will replace a smartphone app that was too clunky for the rangers to buy into, says Jim Steger, a principal with Sonoma Partners, which wrote the app.
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The application will take advantage of Windows 8 touch capabilities as well as the tablets' internal GPS to steer rangers to nearby potential customers. It will also enable accessing and inputting data to the brewery's back end.
New Belgium still has to wait for Windows 8 itself and tablets that support it to hit the market before it can deploy to its 100 or so beer rangers.
Here is a sampling of other Windows 8 news from the past week.
Windows 8 controls cop car
A Geekwire video shows a police car's internal systems being controlled via voice command through Windows 8 laptops. By talking to the machines, developers of the app, Modularis, open car doors, turn on wipers and sound the siren and incidentally startle a nearby cabbie. They say they've made provision for preventing the voices of perps in the back seat from taking control.
Fixingwindows8.com is broken
A cranky former Microsoft employee launched a blog earlier this month called Fixing Windows 8 in which he described his experiences working with the consumer preview of the operating system, but now the blog has disappeared.
He had a lot of complaints about having to learn new things in order to navigate the Metro-style touch-based system on a mouse and keyboard machine.
In some cases he'd rant about how unattractive a feature of Windows 8 was, and then write about it again later saying the feature was actually pretty good once you got used to it. He might have trouble ascending the learning curve.
No word yet on what happened to the blog.
Gartner: Windows 8 is key to 2013 PC sales