Microsoft Ignite is one of the largest annual events for IT pros, organizations, architects, developers, and other professionals to know more about the company’s stack of tools and services. The event always draws a large and enthusiastic crowd — although Microsoft Ignite 2020 was held entirely online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also a platform for developers and IT pros across the globe to get any of their questions regarding Microsoft products or services answered by Microsoft experts. As with every year, Microsoft had a slew of announcements lined up for this year’s virtual event.
The tech giant has been very focused on evolving its lineup of productivity apps and services for both individuals as well as organizations. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella presided over Microsoft Ignite 2020, which took place on several days last week.
At Ignite 2020, Microsoft had a long list of new features and services integrated into its red-hot Microsoft Teams app. (For more on the new Microsoft Teams features unveiled at Microsoft Ignite 2020, click here.) The company also announced a few new integrations, security features, endpoint management, and other productivity-focused products and services.
Let’s look at some of the big news and announcements from Microsoft Ignite 2020.
Microsoft Azure and Flight Simulator
This year’s keynote began not with workplace productivity announcements but with a blast from the past. Microsoft promoted its new Flight Simulator in its Xbox division. The game, a long-awaited update of the 37-year-old franchise, is one of the most advanced technological accomplishments by Microsoft in the field of gaming. Satya Nadella said that this advanced software was achieved by the power of Azure AI. And speaking of Azure, Microsoft had lots of information about the tools and services that are available in 61 countries worldwide.
Azure data services are now enabled for Azure Arc. This means that users outside of the Azure cloud platform can also leverage Azure data services. Nadella said that this provides “the ability to run Azure’s fully managed data services across multiple clouds, datacenters, and at the edge even in a fully disconnected state,”
He also announced that Azure SQL Edge now brings the SQL data engine to IoT devices. It also supports data streaming, storage, and comes with the potential to implement AI in various connected and disconnected environments. Azure Sphere, on the other hand, is the company’s high-level security platform securing millions of NCU-powered IoT devices. The company also detailed its space-satellite data-accessing capabilities through Azure Orbital.
Microsoft Developer Tools
Microsoft also took a portion of the online event to showcase its developer tools. Microsoft-owned GitHub is one of the world’s largest source code and version controlling tools for developers. The company has been iteratively working on helping developers collaborate and build software together. The company is pushing its Azure cloud services to allow developers to better use the already existing developer platforms effectively through several integrations.
Microsoft also focused on Azure Communication Services to allow developers to develop and build rich communication APIs into their application platforms.
Microsoft Power Platform
Nadella promoted the company’s Power Platform as “the bridge between professional developers and citizen developers.” Power Platform has been serving as a rapid application development platform that provides everyone with the necessary tools to develop applications, build and automate workflow, and even to analyze data.
Nadella further added an example where the Power Platform has helped individuals automate their work. The company has been focusing on the point that one needs not to a tech expert to use the Power Platform to build applications and to automate activities and workflows.
Security and compliance
Microsoft debuted Customer Key for Teams to add a layer of security for the data.
Customer Key is built on service encryption and lets you provide and control encryption keys. The same encryption will then secure all data at rest.
Customer Key also enhances the ability of the companies and organizations to meet the compliance demands of cloud service providers. With Customer Key, users will be able to encrypt SharePoint Online, Teams’ files, Exchange Online mailboxes, and files resting in OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business.
Microsoft also debuted Graph API for Teams for archival support. Using Graph API, users of Microsoft Teams can now index, extract, retain, classify, and regulate several aspects of Teams, including chat, attachments, emojis, and user mentions.
Satya Nadella added how his company helped millions of users during these tough pandemic times using Microsoft 365. Remote working has turned into the norm for many industries on a global level. The need for collaboration has been at an all-time high, and this is precisely where the company’s Microsoft Teams shines.
Microsoft Teams is now capable of handling the entire workflow for organizations of all shapes and sizes. It covers all the essentials of collaboration by serving users with a whole set of tools and services to manage the work. Teams is also integrated with several features to make it an effective online learning tool.
Microsoft Ignite 2020: A big boost for the Microsoft ecosystem
Apart from these announcements, the company also revealed more information about Project Natick -- the company’s underwater datacenter along with the company’s all-new 85-inch Surface Hub 2S monitor. Availability and launch of Productivity Score and Microsoft Tunnel were among the other major announcements made.
Microsoft is employing everything in its arsenal to get organizations to move to Microsoft’s technology stack. The company has been beefing up its products and services to suit almost all the organizations with varied requirements. The company has also used the pandemic to its advantage by providing several essential integrations into its Microsoft Teams collaboration tool. Teams is now more than just a collaboration tool for workplaces. It is used in e-learning, timesheet management, product/project development and management, and more in several industries across the globe.