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Monday, September 25, 2017
Microsoft Announces First Windows S Devices, Brings cloud, AI and Mixed Reality to Businesses


Microsoft Ignite kicked off today in Orlando, Fla. and the news come from Microsoft's commercial businesses - Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Security + Mobility and much more.

"Digital technology is impacting all aspects of our society and economies, creating unprecedented opportunity for organizations of all sizes," said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. "I'm optimistic and inspired by the ingenuity of customers, partners and developers everywhere that are pushing the frontiers of what's possible with mixed reality and artificial intelligence infused across Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure, to transform and have impact in the world."

Microsoft announced the creation of a new programming language optimized for exploiting scalable quantum computers and deep integration of the programming language into Visual Studio, providing developers with debugging and other support and simulators that can run locally or on Microsoft Azure. The tools will be available for free by year's end. Developers can join Microsoft's quantum community today by signing up at www.microsoft.com/quantum.

A new culture of work

Microsoft announced the expansion of Microsoft 365 with two new solutions. The company also introduced new intelligent search capabilities, a vision for intelligent communications centering on Microsoft Teams, and security and IT management enhancements including meeting the General Data Protection Regulation.

  • Microsoft 365 F1 brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security to empower the firstline workers worldwide who serve as the first point of contact between a company and its customers or who are directly involved in making products.
  • Microsoft 365 Education includes Office 365 for Education, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Minecraft: Education Edition. It gives students, faculty and staff everything they need to create and collaborate, securely.
  • Microsoft 365-powered devices, including new commercial Windows 10 S devices from HP Inc., Lenovo, Acer and Fujitsu starting at $275, offer self-service deployment and simplified management, staying always up-to-date.

Windows 10 S offers integration with hosted VMs for remote desktop and apps for firstline worker scenarios. And it is fully integrated with OneDrive. Applications built on the Universal Windows Platform or Centennial are delivered via the Windows Store ensuring they have been verified for security and integrity. And with Microsoft Edge, Firstline Workers are protected against phishing attacks and malicious software.

Windows 10 S was designed with Modern IT in mind, including cloud-based identity and management with Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Intune. Together with Windows Update for Business, organizations can manage and update Windows 10 S devices using the power and convenience of the cloud.

  • Microsoft introduced a new vision for intelligent communications, including plans to bring Skype for Business Online capabilities into Microsoft Teams, along with cognitive and data services, making Teams the true hub for teamwork in Office 365, including persistent chat, voice and video.
  • The company announced new Skype voice and video technology that adds advanced calling capabilities to Teams, the instant messaging tool for professionals that is bundled in Microsoft Office 365.
  • Microsoft plans to continue supporting Skype for Business, especially for companies that run the software on their own data centers, but Microsoft expects its subscription-based Office 365 users to migrate to Teams over time as more communication features are added.
  • Intelligent search experiences use AI and machine learning to deliver more relevant search results everywhere you search across Microsoft 365. New experiences include Bing for business private preview, which provides a unified view of personalized, contextual search results from inside and outside your organization.
  • New LinkedIn in Microsoft profile cards now provide the ability to see information from LinkedIn profiles in Microsoft apps and services. The experience is rolling out now for first release customers in Outlook Web Access, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business.
  • HP Inc. and Lenovo will join Surface in supporting Windows AutoPilot by providing device IDs to companies on select orders beginning January 2018. This enables users to easily set up a new device complete with the company configuration and apps ready to go and removes the need for IT to touch the device or manage updates in person.
  • Microsoft 365 is delivering improved Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) features like enhanced anti-phishing capabilities; expanded protection to SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Teams; and integration between cloud and on-premises identity threat detection capabilities.

Modernizing business processes with cloud and AI

Microsoft expanded Dynamics 365 with new AI solutions.

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI solutions are designed to tackle complex enterprise scenarios and tailored to existing processes, systems and data. The first solution includes an intelligent virtual agent for customer care, an intelligent assistant for customer service staff and conversation management tools, all powered by Microsoft AI.
  • Modular apps for Dynamics 365 to help Microsoft's customers quickly transform high-impact processes by integrating with existing systems and augmenting them with workflow and insights from Dynamics 365, LinkedIn and Office 365. The first two modular apps, Attract and Onboard, will help companies recruit the most qualified candidates and ensure their success with personalized onboarding. Both will be available as part of Dynamics 365 for Talent later this year.
  • Deeper integration between PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Now, any business user familiar with InfoPath forms, Access databases or SharePoint can build apps that extend and automate their business processes with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.

Enterprise cloud

  • Azure Stack shipping through OEM partners including Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo. An extension of Azure, Azure Stack is unique in the marketplace, enabling consistency that allows organizations to build and deploy apps using the exact same APIs, tools and experiences they would have in the Azure cloud.
  • SQL Server on Linux, Windows and Docker availability with SQL Server 2017 GA. SQL Server is the first born-in-the-cloud database that is also available on-premises. SQL Server 2017 brings the power of SQL Server to Windows, Linux and Docker containers for the first time, enabling developers to build intelligent applications using their preferred language and environments.
  • The fully automated Database Migration Service and SQL DB Managed Instance is now available for Microsoft's customers to easily lift and shift their on-premises SQL Server databases to an Azure SQL database.
  • SQL Data Warehouse delivers a new optimized-for-compute performance tier, significantly improving performance of analytics in the cloud. This new compute-optimized performance tier also scales further than before, up to 30,000 compute Data Warehouse Units. The preview will be available in the fall.
  • Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server will let Microsoft's customers maximize existing license investments with discounted rates, further extending the promise of hybrid across our customers' data investments.
  • Azure Cost Management services by Cloudyn will help manage and optimize cloud spend via a single, unified view across multicloud environments.
  • Azure Security Center will include new integrated security capabilities focused on reducing vulnerability and increasing threat protection, as well as extending to secure hybrid workloads.
  • The preview of new updates to Azure Machine Learning will provide AI developers and data scientists with a new set of tools to develop and manage machine learning and AI models anywhere - in the cloud, on-premises or on the edge. These new updates will also make AI developers and data scientists more productive by leveraging the most popular open source frameworks, tools and runtimes.
  • Azure CosmosDB and Azure Functions integration.
  • Updates to Microsoft Cognitive Services, a collection of intelligent APIs that allows developers to add AI capabilities to their applications. Today's updates include the general availability of text analytics, a cloud-based service for language processing, such as sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction and language detection of text. Next month, Microsoft will also make generally available Bing Custom Search, a customized search experience for a section of the Web, and Bing Search v7, which will provide more relevant results using Bing Web, news, video, image search, as well as a new version of autosuggest and spellcheck.


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