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It has been over a week (close to two as of date of publication) since Microsoft Ignite 2022 has taken place and a lot of interesting features and apps have been announced by Microsoft.
A variety of developers and IT professionals attended the annual conference from different parts of the world, where they would be able to take part in discussions with Microsoft specialists (This would include Ask The Experts, Product Roundtables, One-to-One Consultations, and other Connect and Learn topics), learn new methods and skills from a goodly amount of sessions as well as be able to witness product unveilings.
In this article, we will only be focusing on the announcements that were given within this year’s Microsoft Ignite event. We will be going through the following sections:
As Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, has stated in the Opening Keynote for this year’s Ignite event, “It has become essential to how hundreds of millions of people meet, call, chat, collaborate and do business.”
Microsoft has introduced 450+ new features over the past year and are announcing new Microsoft Teams features:
- Microsoft Teams Premium: Delivers advanced meeting protection.
- Intelligent recap for Microsoft Teams meetings: Uses AI to assign tasks during meetings and call out important moments in the recording.
- Cisco is now a certified Microsoft Teams device partner: This is coming to early 2023, which will help run Teams Rooms on android natively. This will include multiple meeting devices.
- Microsoft Places: This will help coordinate where work happens to achieve the desirable outcomes, modernize physical spaces with intelligent technology, and optimize space and cost based on changing needs.
- Edge Workspaces: Enables everyone working on a project to see the same set of websites, web apps and files in one place.
- New Microsoft Defender for Cloud innovations: Includes:
- Enhanced security posture management - Helps focus on the most critical risks and provide multi-cloud security recommendations
- Microsoft Defender for DevOps – Helps you secure the entire development lifecycle in the unified DevOps security management across multiple environments.
- Built-in security benchmark
- Automatic attack disruption for Microsoft Defender: Used to limit lateral movement and help users stop ransomware before the organization’s data is encrypted.
- Microsoft Entra Identity Governance: Provides more control over digital identities across the cloud and on-premises to only authorized personnel are granted access.
For those that are using Microsoft Azure or who are currently learning how to use it, we know that the cloud computing platform has diverse methods of usage. Its most popular uses involve the running of virtual machines or containers within the cloud.
“Azure is the only cloud that supports all organizations and all workloads from enterprises to start-ups to highly regulated industries - Azure is the world’s computer.”, Nadella stated in the beginning of the Opening Keynote.
After stating such a fact, he has presented the following features that would improve the Azure experience:
- Azure Arc: Extends the Azure Platform that allows the user to build applications with Azure services that can run across On-premises, Edge and Multi-cloud environments.
- Azure Kubernetes Service enabled by Azure Arc: This new service allows the user to run Azure Arc with Azure Kubernetes, which enables the user to run containerized applications on Windows Server, Azure Stack HCI, Windows IOT, and Windows Devices – This enables a consistent Azure experience, On-premises and Edge. Additionally, this service will expand on Azure Hybrid Benefit so that it includes Azure Kubernetes hybrid deployments at no additional cost. Nadella has also mentioned that they will enable Azure Kubernetes to run on more platforms in the future.
- Azure VMs featuring Ampere Altra Arm-based processors: To help modernize a company’s infrastructure, taking a system’s level approach starting with compute, Microsoft has made these processors generally available, which is more cost effective without negatively affecting performance and operates at the highest clock speed of any Arm-based processors available in the cloud today.
- Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage: Offers the most advanced general purpose block storage solution designed for performance critical workloads that consistently need sub-millisecond latency. So in layman’s terms, this helps an organization that has a large SQL Server database that needs fast and consistent disk access.
- Elastic SAN: This offers a cost-effective and scalable storage solution for a variety of compute option. Nadella stated that this is the industry’s first Cloud-native, fully managed storage area network service and is currently in preview.
- Azure Managed Confidential Consortium Framework: Allows developers to build, deploy and manage highly sensitive, multi-party applications. This is currently in preview.
- Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL: This offers the scalability and high performance of a NoSQL as well as the familiarity and benefits of a relational database. This is generally available.
- Azure Synapse Analytics: Offers out-of-the-box connectors for Azure SQL, Cosmos DB and Dataverse. Nadella stated that Microsoft is working with their partners to deliver more link connectors for more hybrid and multi-cloud data sources. With Azure Synapse Data Explorer, Microsoft offers a best-in-class solution for real-time analytics so that organizations can go through streaming data in near real-time.
Regarding AI within Microsoft services, Nadella stated the following:
“When it comes to doing more with less, AI is the ultimate amplifier. It is going to change what an application looks like, what the design language of an application is, and how it gets built, and how it gets delivered. We are committed to making the promise of AI real for you and doing this responsibly.”
Announcements involving AI related services is as follows:
- Azure Container for PyTorch: Includes the latest PyTorch version, with the best optimization software for training.
- Responsible AI dashboard: Helps evaluate performance and fairness of your model.
- Microsoft Designer: Is a new designer app that is a personal design generator powered by AI models that also include DALL E 2. For example, if a user were to type in some keywords, Microsoft Designer would start generating templates for the user based on the inputted keywords and can also get custom-made images based on the user’s ideas. If the user specifies what they like, Microsoft Designer will be tailored to the user’s preferences and easily share the final product online.
- Natural language to cloud flow in Power Automate: Allows user to describe what they want to automate, and it will generate suggested flows to jump start the user’s flow creation. The user will also need to setup the connectors and finalise the flow design.
- AI Builder enhancements in Power Platform: These capabilities include Feedback loop, New languages for Invoice Processing, Multipage tables and multi-line fields, Co-edit AI Models and Unstructured Document Processing GA.
- Microsoft Syntex: Uses Microsoft’s AI Builder and Power Automate capabilities to automatically retag an index high volume of content and surface it where it is needed. This includes the following:
- Automatic classification, summarization, and translation.
- Content assembly, advanced search, and e-signature.
- Archiving, backup, and security management.
- It is integrated into Microsoft 365.
I hope that this summary has been enlightening to those who have read it. I wish the best for your future endeavours.