Highlights of Microsoft Inspire 2022

Microsoft to add 10 new data centres in 10 markets to deliver faster access to services and help address data residency needs.
Highlights of Microsoft Inspire 2022
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By 2025, nearly 95 per cent of all new digital workloads will be deployed on the Cloud, said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. 

“Across our offerings, we offer the best value at every stage of the cloud migration,” he stated. “To just share two examples, it’s up to 80 per cent less expensive to run Windows Server VMs (virtual machines) on Azure and SQL Server VMs on Azure than our main competitor”, Nadella said while kicking off Microsoft Inspire 2022, the tech giant’s annual conference, with a different take on digital transformation. The limelight was on cloud computing and its growing relevance in the hybrid environment commonised due to the pandemic.

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“Every customer I speak with is clear-eyed about aligning their IT investments to scale with demand. Moving to the Cloud allows them to do that – converting their spending from CapEx to OpEx”, Nadella told the partner community.

Upbeat on increasing cloud migration, Microsoft is ready to add ten new data centre regions in ten different markets to deliver faster access to services and help address data residency needs. 

Focusing on the relevance of cloud computing and its demand in the age of hybrid work, he stated that by 2025 the demand for cloud solutions is estimated to exceed USD 1 trillion.

In the keynote session, Nadella urged partners to go beyond “talking about digital transformation to delivering on the digital imperative for every organisation.”

Microsoft announced new beneficial plans for the ‘ISV Success Programme‘, designed to help independent software vendors (ISVs) rapidly design and build well-architected applications, publish them to Microsoft’s commercial marketplace and grow their sales.

Frank X Shaw, corporate vice-president of communications at Microsoft, outlined that the programme is currently in preview and intends to be the pathway to ISV success in the company’s Cloud Partner Programme.

The company also announced Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, designed specifically for the government sector. Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty’s current customers will continue benefiting from the company’s global security signals, analysing over 24 trillion signals daily to identify and help protect against local attacks.

On Artificial Intelligence, Nadella said that by 2025, 10 per cent of all data would be produced by generative AI models.

“Analytics is moving from backend processes to being a critical part of the product experience,” he said.

Other key announcements

– The new Digital Contact Centre Platform combines several Microsoft products, including Nuance – which Microsoft acquired earlier this year – Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, into an open and collaborative platform to create a seamless, user-friendly experience.

– New Teams collaboration feature: With the new Collaborative Annotation, all meeting participants can type, draw, or react to content being screen-shared with a new toolset powered by Microsoft Whiteboard, allowing presentations to become much more interactive.

  • Live share (in public preview): Powered by the Fluid Framework, this is a way for developers to make any app collaborative within Teams, synchronising state, media, and control actions with just front-end development.
  • Chat with self (generally available now): The feature lets you send yourself notes and files to access later quickly.
  • Excel Live is now a part of Microsoft’s Live Share tool in Microsoft Teams. Users won’t need Excel installed or running on their device to use the Excel live functionality.

– Viva Goals and Engage: The employee experience platform Microsoft Viva provides resources for employee productivity and well-being. It features modules that facilitate a great workplace environment – connection, learning, insights and information. Some new ones introduced now are Viva Goals, which helps employees set targets, and Viva Engage, which “brings consumer-like social networking to the workplace.” AI powers Viva to extract, categorise relevant information and provide helpful recommendations for employee wellness. These will all be generally available on August 1.

– Azure Orbital: Azure Orbital is a fully managed Ground Station As-a-Service (GSaaS!) that enables customers with satellites or spacecraft to communicate, downlink, and process data from their units. This is done on a pay-as-you-go basis, without the need to build satellite ground stations independently. Orbital allows for easy and integrated data processing at scale with operations directly from Azure, so customers can use familiar Azure services to manage out-of-this-world data.

– Windows 365: Windows 365 allows people to work from anywhere. Launched last year at Inspire for hyper-connectivity in business that costs up to 50 per cent less than Microsoft’s competitors. Recently announced features include Citrix HDX Plus for Windows 365, Windows 365 Government, Point-in-Time Restore for Windows 365 Business, and Microsoft Dev Box.

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Tasmia Ansari
Tasmia is a tech journalist at AIM, looking to bring a fresh perspective to emerging technologies and trends in data science, analytics, and artificial intelligence.

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