Equipment Finance Sector to Surpass $740 Billion in 2013

Well this is great news! As seen on NBC News, a survey was conducted by IHS Global Insight and released by Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation showing U.S. businesses and agencies will finance more than $742 billion in equipment acquisitions in 2013.

According to the study, the equipment finance sector has emerged from the Great Recession with finance volumes at an all-time high, as a result of double-digit growth in equipment investment and a favorable interest rate environment. 

KEY FINDINGS
  • Seventy-two percent of companies use some form of financing when acquiring equipment using at least one form of financing (excluding credit cards).
  • Cash as a method of purchasing declined for large companies from 2007 to 2012 as larger companies enjoyed greater access to credit markets.  In the current low-interest-rate environment, financing equipment acquisitions is especially attractive.   
  • Even with the relatively high degree of uncertainty over the economy and regulations/fiscal policy, nearly 30% of companies surveyed anticipated increasing their equipment investment over the next 12 months. 
  • Companies with sales between $25 million and $100 million doubled their share of financing volume from 2006 - when the Foundation's first market-sizing study was conducted - to 2011.  Companies with fewer than 51 employees also doubled their share equipment acquisition via financing in this time period.  This may be in part a reflection of the difficulty in obtaining other forms of credit for these segments of the market! 

"Equipment financing plays a significant role in helping businesses acquire the equipment they need," said William G. Sutton, CAE, President of the Equipment Leasing & Financing Foundation.  "The equipment finance sector not only contributes to businesses' success , but to U.S. economic growth, manufacturing and jobs. 

Metropark's VCP Program provides additional benefits over and above equipment leasing. Make sure you discuss these additional options with your Metropark VCP Sales Executive,

 iPad Air and iPad Mini Now Available on Verizon Wireless

UPDATE - Tuesday, Nov. 12: Verizon Wireless is now offering iPad Mini with Retina Display Wi-Fi + Cellular. Customers can add the iPad Mini with Retina to their Share Everything Plan for $10 per month to connect to the nation's largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.

For a limited time, Verizon Wireless customers can receive $100 off the purchase of any tablet, as well as take advantage of our iPad trade-in program. For more information on availability and pricing, please visit www.verizonwireless.com/ipad. For more information on iPad, please visit www.apple.com/ipad

Oct. 23 - Verizon Wireless today announced that it will offer iPad Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular on Friday, Nov. 1, and iPad mini with Retina display with Wi-Fi + Cellular later in November. Verizon Wireless will offer these new iPads with a range of attractive data plans that will allow customers to connect to its fast 4G LTE network.

“We know customers find great value and usefulness in tablets. In fact, some 34 percent of American adults now own tablets, almost twice as many as those who owned a tablet a year ago,” said Ken Dixon, chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless. “With these new incredible iPads, Verizon Wireless customers can experience all they have to offer on the nation's largest and most reliable 4G LTE network.”

iPad Air features a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display in a new thinner and lighter design. Precision-engineered to weigh just one pound, iPad Air is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth generation iPad, and with a narrower bezel, the borders of iPad Air are dramatically thinner – making content even more immersive. iPad mini with Retina display brings all the pixels from the 9.7-inch iPad to its 7.9-inch screen, delivering razor-sharp text and detail in the same amazingly thin and light design. The new iPads feature the powerful and power-efficient Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, ultrafast wireless with faster built-in Wi-Fi and expanded LTE cellular connectivity, and the newly-designed iOS 7 featuring hundreds of great new features.

Verizon Wireless customers can add a tablet for $10 per month and share the data in their Share Everything Plan. Also, for a limited time, customers will receive $100 off the retail price of any tablet purchased from Verizon Wireless with a new two-year contract.

Customers can buy iPad Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular at all wireless retail location shops beginning Nov. 1. For information on Verizon Wireless’ Trade-in program visit here and for other information visitwww.verizonwireless.com/ipad.

 

 

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 8

SAN FRANCISCO Oct. 29, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today debuted Windows Phone 8, the latest version of the company’s smartphone operating system. Windows Phone 8 offers a truly personal phone experience, connecting you to the people and things that matter most.

As part of the announcement, Microsoft revealed new features, including Kid’s Corner and Rooms, along with details and pricing for a range of beautiful new smartphones from Nokia, Samsung and HTC, each with their own differentiated designs, colors and features. Windows Phone 8 devices will go on sale in November at AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in the U.S., as well as at carriers and retailers around the world.

“We can’t wait for the world to meet Windows Phone 8, the most personal smartphone there is,” said Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of the Windows Phone Division at Microsoft. “Windows Phone 8 comes on a range of phones that are stunning, colorful and unique.”

Most Personal Smartphone

Live Tiles are the heart and soul of Windows Phone, and no other phone has them. People can arrange the iconic Start screen however they want by pinning their favorite people, apps, music, games, photos and more. Three sizes of Live Tiles and 20 bright color choices including cobalt, crimson and lime mean you can personalize your Start screen to be unmistakably yours.

In addition to Live Tiles, Windows Phone 8 offers a range of new features to make your smartphone experience even more personal, including these:

  • The only phone with Live Apps. Live Apps bring information right to the Start screen, such as the Groupon deal of the day, flight information and news headlines. With Windows Phone 8, Live Apps such as Facebook can even deliver real-time information right to your lock screen with updated wallpaper.

  • Top apps. The Windows Phone Store has 120,000 apps to choose from, with hundreds added every day and hits coming this holiday, such as “Angry Birds Star Wars,” “Cut the Rope Experiments,” “Disney’s Where’s My Water,” “LivingSocial,” “Temple Run,” “Urbanspoon” and many more. Today Microsoft announced that Pandora, the leading Internet radio service, is coming to Windows Phone in early 2013 with one year of ad-free music.

  • Kid’s Corner. Exclusive to Windows Phone 8, Kid’s Corner is a worry-free way to share your phone with your kids, so they can play “Angry Birds” without texting your angry boss. Parents can now hand over their phones to the kids without worrying about deleted photos, misdirected emails, unapproved purchases or accidental phone calls. After a simple setup, parents can activate a specialized place on the phone for kids to play — complete with their own customizable Start screens — where they can access only the apps, games, music and videos picked by parents.

  • Rooms. Sometimes you want to share and chat with one group, not your entire social network. Rooms allow you to create private groups of people who have Windows Phone 8 — like your family members best friends or fantasy football league — and easily connect with just them. Chat, share calendars, shopping lists or photos in an ongoing conversation where only those invited can join in. You can share some aspects of Rooms with friends and family on other smartphones as well.

  • Data Sense. This new feature helps you surf more and do more — without worrying about going over your data limit. Data sense helps conserve your data allowance by compressing Web images, deferring data tasks to free Wi-Fi and automatically adjusting your usage as you get closer to your plan limits. Data Sense also shows how much data is used per app. As you approach your limit, Data Sense notifies you so you can get the most out of your plan. Data Sense will roll out to select mobile operators this holiday and additional partners next year. Verizon will be the first to offer Data Sense in the U.S.

  • Wallet and near-field communications. Windows Phone 8 brings together the best of new wallet technologies, including payments via near-field communications (NFC).(1) The Wallet can also store your debit, credit, loyalty and membership card information on your phone.

  • Always-on, premium Skype experience. With the new Skype app, coming soon to Windows Phone 8, you can make and receive Skype calls just like a regular phone call. Simply tap a friend or family member’s contact card in the People Hub, or just pick up when the phone rings. Skype is always on and available so you can choose how to connect with people.

Stunning Phones

Leading up to today’s launch, Nokia, Samsung and HTC have announced an array of phones for Windows Phone 8, featuring large, vivid screens, new camera innovations, NFC capabilities, and bold colors such as red, yellow, blue, black and white.(2) Each phone offers unique features and comes in a variety of price points.

  • Nokia. The Nokia Lumia 920 offers state-of-the-art photography that fits in your pocket, and it is the world’s only smartphone to include Optical Image Stabilization. The Nokia Lumia 822, 820 and 810 offer a ClearBlack display and removable back exchangeable shells in a range of vibrant colors.(3) Both the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 offer wireless charging.

  • HTC. The Windows Phone 8X by HTC was designed with sleek lines and radiant colors to match Windows Phone’s new Live Tiles. This phone also breaks new ground in optics with 1080p video recording, f2.0 aperture and a dedicated HTC ImageChip on the main 8-megapixel camera and an ultrawide-angle lens on the front camera that lets you fit up to four people in the frame for a premium Skype experience. The 8X and its smaller sibling, the 8S, both boast a killer music experience with Beats Audio and exclusive built-in amps that pair perfectly with Xbox Music.

  • Samsung. The Samsung ATIV S brings the biggest screen to Windows Phone, with a bright 4.8-inch touch screen and large battery for extended battery life. Wrapped in brushed aluminum, the ATIV S balances high-end materials and technology with a hairline design and light weight. The ATIV Odyssey was announced today as the latest Windows Phone from Samsung with more details to come.

Perfect Companion for Your Windows Devices

With a similar look and feel, the same technology core, and the same built-in SkyDrive cloud service, Windows Phone 8 is built to work seamlessly with Windows 8 PCs, Microsoft Surface devices and the Xbox 360 console. For example, now you can edit a document on the go with Windows Phone 8 and pick right up again on your PC when you get home. Or access your music including your albums, songs and playlists, wherever and whenever on Xbox Music.(4) Create a playlist from your PC, walk out the door and cue up that same list from your phone. It’s all possible with Windows.

Pricing and Availability

Major mobile operators in the United States will start selling Windows Phone 8 in the coming weeks:

  • Microsoft and Verizon Wireless have opened a new chapter in a long partnership. Verizon Wireless will carry the Windows Phone 8X by HTC for $199.99 with a two-year contract, and the Nokia Lumia 822, exclusive to Verizon, for $99.99 with a two-year contract. Both will be available by Thanksgiving. In addition the Samsung ATIV Odyssey, also exclusive to Verizon, will be available in December. 

  • AT&T will carry the Nokia Lumia 920, the Lumia 820 and the Windows Phone 8X by HTC, all going on sale in November. AT&T will have more to share on prices in the coming weeks. 

  • T-Mobile will carry the Windows Phone 8X by HTC starting at $149.99(6) for the 16GB version and the Nokia Lumia 810 from $99.99.(6) T-Mobile is expecting customers to be able to purchase these Windows Phones on Nov. 14.

All 65 Microsoft Stores open this holiday will carry every phone available for sale in the U.S., and every color option will be available through its online store at http://www.microsoftstore.com.

Learn More

The Windows Phone blog has even more features details on Windows Phone 8 at www.windowsteamblog.com/windowsphone. The webcast of the press conference is available for replay at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/windowsphone.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Wallet payments require compatible NFC-enabled devices and mobile operator support.

2 Color availability may vary; see carrier for details.

3 Shells sold separately; color availability may vary.

4 Compatible devices (Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 360) and Internet access or data connection required; carrier fees apply. Xbox Music Pass (sold separately) required for music not purchased from the Xbox Music Store. On Xbox 360, content is streaming only and requires an Xbox LIVE Gold membership (sold separately). See xbox.com/music.

5 AT&T: Pricing after a two-year service agreement.

6 T-Mobile: Pricing after a two-year service agreement on qualifying voice and data plans and optional plans.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Skype Launches New Online Platform for Small Businesses

LONDON and PALO ALTO, Calif. — Nov. 8, 2012 — Skype today launched to the public Skype in the workspace (SITW), a new online platform for small businesses to instantly connect with potential customers, partners and suppliers across the globe.

The free-to-use tool makes use of the huge network already offered by Skype, allowing millions of small businesses to promote their products and services to new networks and connections. Users can improve existing connections and establish new ones by instantly sending messages and talking to or meeting face-to-face with peers and business prospects over Skype.

The SITW community is already active because today’s launch comes at the end of a six-month beta trial, which enabled 500 businesses, offering more than 140 different services, to sign up, try out and test the platform.

“With more than 280 million connected users each month, Skype offers a huge range of contacts for the small-business community,” said Ural Cebeci, head of SMB Marketing at Skype. “We aim to connect millions of small businesses with Skype in the workspace and believe that, by taking advantage of this shared network, businesses can develop the range of tools they need to grow, regardless of location or industry. From the designer in San Francisco looking to source textile suppliers in Thailand to the London consultant connecting with clients in Milan, the possibilities are endless.”

SITW will provide a central hub for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses to connect with experts, coaches and consultants who can help them develop their businesses. Users join the community using their existing Skype accounts, then through a series of promotional tools can create public “offers” or “opportunities” inviting community members to live sessions on Skype to demonstrate services or products to a wider audience. Users can also book appointments with potential customers or suppliers and keep track of them with a meeting notification service. When an opportunity is over, users can instantly give testimonials on the product or service offered.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy,” Cebeci said. “For these businesses to survive and grow in what is still a tough economic climate, we understand that good communication and connections are key to their success.

“This is why today we are opening the Skype in the workspace platform to the public,” Cebeci said. “We feel we’re helping connect businesses face-to-face with their customers and prospects, no matter where they are located. It opens up a world of opportunity for them.”

Alison Coward, an avid user of Skype and owner of the London creative collaboration agency Bracket, said, “Skype in the workspace is a real breakthrough. It’s the perfect platform for me to promote my business and connect with the people who can help it to grow. My business is about getting in front of people and helping them to solve their problems. With Skype in the workspace, I am visible to quality leads without even leaving the office. With no travel time to contend with, it’s also now far more feasible for me to grow my business outside the U.K. into Europe and the U.S.”

Jorge Parra, an avid user of Skype and owner of Florida-based Jorge Parra photography, said, “There’s a big difference between a professional network and a social network, and Skype in the workspace seems to understand this distinction. It is the perfect companion to my existing online presence and generates connections that will actually bring me business.”

Cindy Bidar, owner of All Quality Websites, a U.S. startup providing expert advice on how to design, build and maintain an online presence, added, “Skype in the workspace has offered something other online platforms couldn’t — a community of business-focused individuals who can explore my services and interact with me in real time.”

SITW is available to all Skype users starting today. Those wanting to sign up for the community can register their details here.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

 

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.