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Ignite 2015 – Keynote Review & New Product Announcements

ignite mainThe Microsoft Ignite Conference 2015 kicked off today with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Lots of marketing fluff to start the presentation, which is to be expected. Microsoft’s new vision is Cloud First | Mobile First – Empowering I.T., Developers, and Consumers to come together.
Next, he outlined the three key pillars that span Devices, Apps, Data, and Cloud:

  1. Security & Privacy
  2. Data Sovereignty
  3. Regulations

Coming into the conference, I expected to hear lots about Security. The #1 concern of the enterprise is security, so this focus is no surprise.
After the marketing fluff, Satya did hit us with some specifics around new product announcements.
Windows Update for Business – details were sparse, but sounded like a customizable update platform for your internal I.T.
Windows Server 2016 & System Center 2016 – no real detail, only that they are coming
Azure Stack – get Azure services on your premises, no detail, but sounds real interesting for cloud averse organizations
Operations Management Suite – a singular plane to manage I.T. – combines cloud and on-premises resources
Advanced Threat Analytics – behavior analysis on authentication events (logins), see who is logging in from where, if someone logged in from Chicago and then logged in 30 minutes later from S. Korea, you know you have a problem
Good job, Satya, very nice presentation.
Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President was next to the mic. Joe demonstrated a ton of new features in Windows 10, here are the highlights:
Intelligent Personal Assistant – connect Cortana to your business data for spoken queries
Edge Browser (Project Spartan) – reading pane is very functional, auto translate, and OneNote integration
Universal App Platform – build your app in one code base for any device, this was the promise originally with Windows 8, but they never got there with the kernel, glad to see this one coming to fruition.
Well done, Joe!
Next was Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate Vice President. More marketing fluff and standard messaging from Gurdeep. He handed off to Julia White, General Manager, for a demo. Julia showed lots of new productivity and collaboration features –
Group integration into Delve
Next Gen Enterprise Search and visualization
Delve Analytics – personal PowerBI powered dashboard for really interesting metrics –

  • How much time spent on email
  • How many hours worked outside normal business hours
  • Amount of time spent in meetings

Really cool to see the usage of Office Graph to show me how good/bad my Work-Life-Balance is.
Finally, Julia showed some new integrations with Skype for Business and Co-Authoring.
The last speaker, Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, discussed the four layers of protection necessary for any organization – Devices, Apps, Files, and Identity.
Brad talked a little bit about Windows Device Guard, a new application to protect your devices.
Next, Brad discussed Data Leakage and the various was in which data can accidentally leave your organization. Sufficient to say, that’s never an intended consequence of moving data. Brad showed some really cool new features in Windows 10 and Office 2016 that will block copy and paste into personal apps from business apps – based on your identity and context, Windows will know which you are accessing.
Brad also discussed Azure Remote App – which allows you to publish a windows based desktop app to the cloud, enabling all users to access it securely from the web.
Finally, Brad demonstrated some of the new threat analytics visualizations and how you can better protect your organization from an external intrusion. Really cool stuff going on with this, and I’m glad to see Microsoft taking a lead role in developing these tools.
All in all, the keynote was a good way to kick off the conference. I’m looking forward to more announcements and product deep-dive sessions. Stay tuned to this blog for more information!

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Joe Crabtree

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