Tag Archives: Ignite

From new Microsoft Teams experiences to the all-new Project Cortex—here’s what’s coming soon to Microsoft 365 – Microsoft 365 Blog

Today at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, we announced new Microsoft 365 innovations in six key investment areas: productivity, knowledge, workflow, security, compliance, and management. Microsoft 365 is the world’s productivity cloud, and the consistent theme across these new features is how we’re using artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver amazing new experiences that push the boundaries of productivity. From new Microsoft Teams enhancements to the first new service we’ve launched since Teams, we have a lot to share with you—so let’s get to the news.

Productivity

Microsoft 365’s productivity tools use AI to help people create, collaborate, analyze, write, present, organize, and manage their work. Our innovations in core productivity are focused on two opportunities: creating entirely new experiences that take advantage of the latest innovations and breathing new life into familiar apps and experiences with powerful cloud services.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork. In response to requests from Teams customers, we’re pleased to announce Private channels, Multiwindow chats, meetings and calls, pinned channels, and task integration with To Do and Planner. We’re improving collaboration capabilities between Outlook and Teams, making it easy to send an email thread to a Teams channel for further discussion.

And we’re bringing the Yammer app into Teams, adding the ability for users to pin the app to the left-hand rail and making Teams the hub for both focused team collaboration and broad, open communities. We are also delivering new industry-tailored innovations and experiences including tools for Healthcare and Firstline workers. Healthcare providers can now schedule and conduct B2C virtual consultations through Teams with new Virtual Consults capabilities, and new features like SMS Sign-In and Global Sign-Out make it quick and easy for Firstline workers to securely access Teams from their mobile devices.

The New Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Bing are the web browser and search engine for business. We are pleased to announce that the general availability of the all-new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser is targeted for January 15, 2020. You can download the release candidate today.

The all-new Microsoft Edge offers the enterprise new tab page, where you’ll have direct access to your Microsoft 365 files, sites, and intranet search, making every tab you open a portal to productivity. And with the new Microsoft Search in Bing integration, searching for information at work is as easy as searching the web. You can now access files, people, office floorplans, acronym definitions, and more company information from across your Microsoft 365 ecosystem right from the search bar.

Finally, Microsoft Edge is now available across all your devices—including Windows 10, Windows 8x, Windows 7, macOS, iOS, and Android. Your passwords and favorites will roam seamlessly across all your devices—and with native Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) sign-in, you can search for work files right from your phone.

GIF showing new Microsoft Edge Search

The Office mobile app

We all want to be able to work on the go from mobile devices and we’re always looking to simplify and improve the experience. Today, we’re announcing a new mobile experience for Office that combines three of the suite’s most popular apps—Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—into a single go-to app for mobile productivity. Now you no longer need to download each app separately and will have everything you need to be productive on the go. And with the new Actions pane, you can intuitively complete a variety of common on-the-go tasks, such as creating and signing PDFs and sharing files between devices.

The new Office app uses the unique advantages of mobile devices to make content creation easier. You can snap a picture of a document and turn it into an editable word file, for instance, or transform tables from a printed page into an Excel spreadsheet. Launched today as a public preview, the Office app is available to Android users through the Google Play Store and to iOS users through Apple’s TestFlight program.

Animated image of Office app icons on a desk, coming together in stop motion photography, finally joining together to create a Home screen in the new Office Mobile App.

Fluid Framework

At Build 2019, we announced Fluid Framework, a new technology and set of experiences that will make collaboration seamless by breaking down the barriers between apps. It offers three key capabilities. First, experiences powered by the Fluid Framework will support multi-person coauthoring on web and document content at industry-leading speed and scale. Second, it provides a componentized document model that allows authors to deconstruct content into collaborative building blocks, use them across applications, and combine them in a new, more flexible kind of document. Third, the Fluid Framework makes room for intelligent agents to work alongside humans to translate text, fetch content, suggest edits, perform compliance checks, and more.

Today, we are announcing a public preview of the Fluid Framework end user experience and a private preview for developers. Over time, we expect these capabilities to light up in experiences across Microsoft 365, including within chat in Teams, mail in Outlook, portals in SharePoint, notes in OneNote, and documents in Office.

Animated image of a laptop morphing into a desktop PC, followed by a number of Office app screens appearing, illustrating the power of the Fluid Framework.

Cortana

We’re using AI to bring you personalized experiences in Outlook and making Cortana your personal productivity assistant. Today, we announced Play My Emails in Outlook for iOS to help you catch up and act on emails hands-free. With new natural voice and language recognition, Cortana can intelligently read out your new emails and share changes to your day. A masculine voice option is also now available with Play My Emails, further customizing your personal productivity assistant experience. We’re also announcing that Scheduler in Outlook is shipping in preview; you can use it to hand off scheduling meetings and coordinating participants to Cortana.

Beginning next month, Cortana can also help you prepare for your day by sending you a briefing email that includes a summary of your meetings, relevant documents for your day, and reminders to follow up on commitments you’ve made in email.

Image of four phones side by side illustrating the power of Cortana as a personal assistant. One shows an Outlook inbox, the next two a mobile meeting, and finally an email being flagged by Cortana.

AI in Office

You’re busy and have a lot on your mind—and even more on your to-do list. We get it, and over the past year, we brought the magic of AI to Office to help you get more done. With innovations that include entering data into Excel with a digital pen, audio transcription in Word—which converts a new or existing audio file into a written transcription—and Presenter Coach in PowerPoint (in public preview for the web), which helps business professionals, teachers, and students become more effective presenters, we committed to enlightening Office with AI to help you be more productive.

Today our journey continues. Now Excel supports natural language queries, so users can now ask a question of their data, just like they would if they were talking to a person, and get quick answers—all without having to write a formula. Available to Office Insiders, this new natural language ability is another step towards making data insights and visualization more approachable and accessible to users with various levels of Excel experience.

We’re also making it easier for you to plan time away from work and continue to improve your work best practices. For example, MyAnalytics can help you prepare for time off by automating out of office notification setup, informing collaborators of your time away, resolving meetings you’ll miss, and more. Integrated into the Insights pane in Outlook, MyAnalytics is now able to encourage best practices like booking meetings promptly, adding an agenda, and meeting follow ups, and adding new AI-powered suggestions in Outlook that allow you to delay email delivery when working outside the recipient’s working hours.

Animated image showing Ideas (now in preview) being used in Excel.

Microsoft Project

Last week, we announced a major step toward achieving our new vision for project management with the general availability of the new Microsoft Project. The new Project offers a redesigned user experience that is simple and intuitive. Teams can quickly add new members and set up tasks, and then easily switch between grids, boards, or timeline (Gantt) charts to track progress. And because Project is part of the Microsoft 365 family, project teams can save time and do more with built-in connections to familiar apps like Teams and Office. In addition, the new service provides greater visibility into your projects and powerful tools to help you anticipate future needs. Create stunning interactive reports in Power BI, so you can visualize every aspect of each project at a glance. And get the big picture view of all your projects across your organization with visual, interactive cards.

Over the next year, we’ll release more exciting capabilities in the new Project, including resource management, budget analysis, and time and expense tracking. These powerful features will enable you to streamline more complex initiatives and help your business maximize ROI.

Knowledge

We’re excited to announce a brand-new investment area for Microsoft 365—knowledge. Moving your productivity infrastructure to the cloud has many benefits, including cost savings and streamlined operations. But it also unlocks new scenarios. Using AI, Microsoft 365 will now be able to identify, organize, and deliver knowledge across your organization—providing just the right information at just the right time. Productivity isn’t just about being more efficient. It’s also about aggregating and applying the collective knowledge of your organization so that together you can achieve more.

Project Cortex

Today, we’re announcing Project Cortex, the first new service in Microsoft 365 since the launch of Teams. Project Cortex uses AI to create a knowledge network that reasons over your organization’s data and automatically organizes it into shared topics like projects and customers. It also delivers relevant knowledge to people across your organization through topic cards and topic pages in the apps they use every day.

In addition, Project Cortex enables business process efficiency by turning your content into an interactive knowledge repository—with innovations in smart content ingestion—to analyze documents and extract metadata to create sophisticated content models; machine teaching, to allow subject matter experts to teach the system how to understand semi-structured content; and knowledge retrieval, to make it easy for people to access the valuable knowledge that’s so often locked away in documents, conversations, meetings, and videos. Building on the content you already have in SharePoint, Project Cortex connects content across Microsoft 365 and external systems and enables you to manage information and streamline processes with built-in security, compliance, and workflow.

The new Yammer

Yammer has been completely redesigned, with dozens of new capabilities that empower people to connect, build communities, and share knowledge across the organization. The new Yammer delivers a beautiful, intelligent experience across devices and introduces new integrations with Teams, SharePoint, and Outlook. You can now use Yammer to broadcast live and on-demand events with a streamlined production option that uses webcams and desktop sharing. And you can also share video shorts directly from the Yammer mobile app. In addition, we’ve now centralized e-Discovery, data governance, and Yammer administration in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Microsoft Search

Today, we announced new innovations for Microsoft Search to enhance productivity; empower greater discovery of information, insights, and people; develop search driven applications; and extend the benefits of Microsoft Search to content outside of Microsoft 365. We recognize search works best when it brings together information from across your organization. Now with over 100 new Microsoft Search connectors from Microsoft and our partners, you can consolidate information from disparate system into a single search experience in Microsoft 365.

In addition, you can use our new Graph APIs to develop custom applications on top of Microsoft Search to tailor search to your organizations’ needs. We’re also bringing more powerful search experiences to Microsoft 365, including advanced people search using attributes and skills, video search, acronym search, and semantic search.

Screenshot showing a user using Search in SharePoint.

Microsoft Stream

Video is an increasingly powerful medium for capturing and sharing knowledge and learning. Microsoft Stream applies AI to unlock the content in video—including meeting recordings—with automatic transcription. AI also powers the new voice enhance feature, allowing you to focus on the spoken word by reducing background noise. And now people can create short videos from mobile devices and share in Yammer, Teams, and PowerApps, mainstreaming video as the new content type for communications and learning.

Workplace Analytics

Workplace Analytics is making it even easier to gain knowledge about the way people work and its impact on business and organizational outcomes. Business leaders will get at-a-glance insights to quickly understand and improve meeting culture, manager practices, organizational networks, and customer relationships. Industry benchmarks help contextualize common patterns that influence productivity, such as focus time and the ability to unplug outside of working hours. We also enriched the analyst toolset. AI-driven process analysis uses key words like “quarterly business review” to shed light on time and resources invested in specific business activities, enabling improvement over time.

Workflow

Workflow innovations empower you to streamline and improve business processes with little or no code. This approach not only saves time and money, it also ensures process automation is done by the people who are closest to the way things actually work.

Power Platform integration with Teams

With Power Platform, users can automate routine tasks, create custom apps, and easily engage with data. Power Platform integration with Teams makes these tools more discoverable and accessible to users and unlocks a conversational approach to streamlining productivity scenarios—from managing approvals directly in chat to pinning a custom app where a team needs it.

Today, we announced new features to enhance these capabilities. Power Apps creators can now publish their apps as Teams apps, and users will be able to pin those apps to their left rail in Teams. We’re also adding new Power Automate triggers and actions, allowing users to streamline the completion of common team and personal tasks, such as setting custom message actions and sending notifications. And coming soon, rich Power BI previews in Teams chat and an enhanced Power BI tab will allow users to see all their data in Teams and effortlessly discuss data, to speed data-driven decision making.

Office Scripts

Office Scripts simplifies clunky processes and automates repetitive tasks so you can work less while doing more. Today, we introduced scripting in Excel, a new process automation feature that allows you to record your actions inside a workbook and save it to a script. The saved script can then be integrated with Power Automate and scheduled to run automatically or integrate with a larger flow. Office Scripts will be available as a public preview by the end of the year.

Animated image of Office Scripting being used in Microsoft Excel. In the right pane, the user opens a script recorder.

Security

New AI-powered features make it easy for you to secure your organization’s valuable assets while empowering employees to collaborate freely.

Microsoft Authenticator

Any customer with any Azure AD plan, including a free plan, can now use the Microsoft Authenticator app for secure, passwordless access to both Microsoft and non-Microsoft apps. Passwords continue to be the weakest link in cybersecurity. With Azure AD and Microsoft Authenticator, enterprises can go passwordless for a great user experience and lower support costs while also implementing two-factor or multi-factor authentication (MFA) for greater security. Deploying MFA reduces the risk of phishing and other identity-based attacks by 99.9 percent and is the best thing you can do to improve your security. Customers with more than 150 seats can also now contact Microsoft to set up the capability via FastTrack.

New value in Azure AD

Azure AD Cloud Provisioning now makes it easier to move identities to the cloud by eliminating the need for an on-premises sync server though a lightweight on-premises agent. This enables provisioning from multiple, disconnected on-premises Active Directory (AD) forests and harnesses the power of the cloud to tackle common directory challenges like sync complexity and data transformation logic. This capability addresses one of the top needs for large enterprise customers that manage complex organizations or mergers and acquisitions and enables greater availability and decreases implementation and operation costs.

Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

Microsoft Defender ATP endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities are now available in preview for Mac OS devices. We’ll be adding support for Linux servers next. This is part of our commitment to extending multi-platform coverage in our threat protection solutions. Our customers depend on Microsoft for world-class endpoint protection and EDR capabilities for Windows, and most large organizations manage a complex mix of technology platforms, including several operating systems. They need coverage for the full breadth of their environment. This ongoing investment gives them the breadth of coverage they need, with a single unified view for administrators and security operations professionals, enabling enterprise-wide investigation and response to security incidents.

Application Guard for Office

Now available in private preview, Application Guard for Office provides hardware-level and container-based protection against potentially malicious Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. It utilizes Microsoft Defender ATP to establish whether a document is either malicious or trusted.

Compliance

Simplify and automate risk management with new innovations that use AI as a force multiplier to keep you one step ahead of the increasingly complex compliance requirements and ever-evolving insider threats.

Insider Risk Management

A staggering 53 percent of organizations have experienced an insider attack in the last 12 months. The effort required to identify these risks and violations is not trivial, and it requires effective collaboration across security, human resources (HR), and legal—as well as a balanced approach across privacy and risk management. Today, we announced Insider Risk Management in Microsoft 365 to help organizations quickly identify and remediate insider threats, risks, and code of conduct policy violations across Office, Windows, Azure and third-party apps such as HR systems. Insider Risk Management leverages the Microsoft Graph and other services to intelligently correlate multiple signals to identify hidden patterns and potential risks, and provide real-time insight into file activity, communications sentiment, and abnormal user behaviors. Insider Risk Management includes a set of configurable playbooks tailored specifically for risks—such as digital IP theft and confidentiality breach—to help you effectively identify threats and take action. We also designed for privacy, so display names for risky users can be anonymized by default at early stages of investigation.

Compliance Score

It’s more important than ever to have the knowledge and tools you need to work across compliance and risk management teams to effectively assess and monitor risks. To help you implement more effective data protection controls, we’re announcing the public preview of Microsoft Compliance Score, which enables you to simplify and automate risk assessments. With Microsoft Compliance Score, you can now continuously assess and monitor data protection controls, get clear guidance on how to improve the score, and leverage the built-in control mapping to scale your compliance efforts across regulations and standards.

Even if you’re not an expert in complex regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or ISO 27001, you can still quickly learn the actions needed for compliance and contribute towards progress. We also introduced new assessments for California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and for other GDPR-style regulations. Compliance Score is available now in public preview for all Microsoft 365 enterprise plans in the Microsoft 365 compliance center.

Image showing a Microsoft Compliance Score dasy, now in preview.

Management

With new management innovations, Microsoft 365 puts the cloud and AI to work to help you set-up, secure, monitor, and manage all your devices.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Microsoft Endpoint Manager is an integrated solution to centrally and securely manage all the endpoints in your technology estate. Bringing together Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager functionality and data—plus new intelligent actions and analytics—Endpoint Manager delivers seamless, end-to-end management for Windows, Android and Apple devices, apps, and policies without the complexity of a migration or disruption to productivity. Look for Microsoft Endpoint Manager features and experiences to appear in the product over the coming months. And, to help ensure that all our customers are able to take advantage of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, we’re making Intune available to our existing SCCM customers for Windows PC management. Starting December 1, 2019, you can co-manage these devices in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and start using cloud-powered features like Autopilot and Desktop Analytics.

Microsoft Productivity Score

Microsoft Productivity Score focuses on two areas: the Employee experience and the Technology experience. Both provide visibility into how your organization works, insights to identify where you can enable improved experiences, and actions you can take to update skills and systems—so everyone can do their best work.

The Employee experience shows you how Microsoft 365 is helping to create a productive and engaged workforce. By quantifying how people are collaborating on content, working from anywhere, developing a meeting culture, and communicating with each other, you can see the different ways that work gets done. Meanwhile, the Technology experience provides insights by assessing policies, device settings, and hardware and application performance within the organizational environment and recommends actions in Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Managed Meeting Rooms

Productive meetings are essential to success in the modern workplace. Coupled with the rise in remote collaboration, business leaders increasingly associate more effective meetings with having the right meeting room technology and environment. Today, we’re announcing a private preview of Managed Meeting Rooms from Microsoft, a new offer for managing meeting rooms. This cloud-based IT management and security monitoring service ensures that Teams meeting rooms are secured, up to date, and proactively monitored for a great in-room experience. To date, we’ve been working with more than 100 customers to manage more than 1,500 meeting rooms. Now, a private preview is opening this experience to more of you! If you’re interested in participating, let us know.

Global reader

You told us you want to improve your security posture by scoping admin permissions to only those needed to do their jobs. In fact, this is one of our top customer requests. We’re announcing new admin roles in Azure AD and the Microsoft 365 admin center to help you reduce the number of Global admins in your organization. For example, the Global reader role lets an admin view information across Microsoft 365, but does not allow the admin to change any settings or data. Now you can assign the Global reader role to admins in your organization to support reporting, planning, audits, and investigations, without having to grant a higher level of privileges than is necessary. The Global reader role can also be combined with other administrative roles (for example, Exchange admin) to more granularly control and scope the assignment of admin privileges in your organization.

Onboarding Hub

You also told us that you want guidance from Microsoft for improving security and increasing admin efficiency. The Onboarding Hub, in the Microsoft 365 admin center’s setup area, includes new experiences to help you discover, learn about, and use features across Microsoft 365, including Azure AD and other admin portals such as the Security and Compliance Center. We provide intelligent recommendations—based on your current configuration and admin activities—to help you improve your security posture, maintain compliance with data regulations, keep apps up to date, and reduce costs.

Screenshot of the Onboarding hub in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

New recommendations in the Microsoft 365 admin center (admin.microsoft.com).

Using the Global reader role to access the Onboarding Hub is a powerful and safe way to perform planning and auditing activities for Microsoft 365, as a Global reader can view and assess the recommendations, learn about implementation steps and user impact, and see current administrative assignments without making any tenant or configuration changes.

Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups is the membership service that powers collaboration and drives teamwork across Microsoft 365. It’s a core underpinning of more than 20 applications, including Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, Yammer, Microsoft Stream, and more. We’re pleased to announce a number of improvements to the Groups admin experience with new lifecycle management and compliance capabilities, including the ability to quickly create teams for a group, browse and restore deleted groups, edit the group email alias, and use sensitivity labels. You can also enable self-service group creation and management, which empowers users to create teams and Yammer channels that are controlled with guardrails and policies set by IT.

Send us your feedback

Every innovation we make with Microsoft 365, the world’s productivity cloud, is designed to help you and your organization unlock new forms of productivity to achieve more. We’re excited to share these new features with you, and look forward to your feedback and insights.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

The Big Announcements from Microsoft Ignite 2019

Yesterday wrapped up Day 1 of the 2019 Microsoft Ignite event. As always there was no shortage of announcements for IT professionals of all walks of life. In this blog post we’re going to talk about some of the bigger announcements that have impacts in the infrastructure space, as well as office services as well. So let’s dive in!

Azure Arc

There is no doubt that Azure Arc was the headline of the show for many attendees. In short, Azure Arc is designed to be a control plane for Multi-Cloud / Multi-Edge Deployments. Meaning, single-pane-of-glass management for all computing resources regardless of where they live. Many organizations have compute resources in many locations, including on-premises, Azure, other cloud environments…etc..etc, and the big challenge has always been maintaining effective management of these disparate systems. Azure Arc is designed to address this issue.

With Azure Arc, your on-premises resources actually appear in the Azure Console and can be managed in much the same way as you would manage a VM running in Azure. The on-prem resources could then be integrated with Azure services such as Log Analytics and Azure Policies. Additionally, as a demo during the Azure technical keynote, an instance of the Azure SQL DB service was actually pushed down to one of the on-premises VMs, just as if it was another Azure resource!

If you’d like more details on this feature, we’ll be putting together some content in the near future. In the meantime check out the video below that’s been put out by the Azure Advocacy Team.

[embedded content]

Project Cortex

Another noteworthy announcement from the keynotes today was Project Cortex. The stated goal of Project Cortex is to take all of the data that resides in an organization’s Office 365 tenant and create usable knowledge out of it by leveraging AI. For example, you set a meeting with a co-worker. This feature would see that you’ve set a meeting with your co-worker and would do things like show you the last couple of documents you shared with that person. Or, another example would be topic centers and knowledge centers. These assets are automatically created and updated by AI and present applicable information to people in various office applications. The whole goal is to more readily present the information you need when you need it. More preliminary information on Project Cortex can be found here.

Azure Quantum

A year or two back at a previous Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft showed off some enhancements in the realm of quantum computing. If you follow the news in quantum computing, you likely know that it’s a radically different computing model and will fundamentally alter the tech scene. Azure Quantum is a collection of quantum services from Microsoft and a number of other vendors that is designed to enable open access to quantum resources. The other thing regarding this service that’s nice to see is that it’s being done with openness in mind. Open source is a key design decision and will help benefit everyone involved in bringing quantum computing to the masses in the coming years.

If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about these new features, Microsoft has a website now setup for Azure Quantum here.

Additional Options for the Intelligent Edge and Azure Stack

As you likely know from previous years, Azure Stack was designed to bring a purpose-built appliance with Azure services to your datacenter. It’s seen widespread adoption since its release, especially in the enterprise and service provider space. However, Microsoft sees edge use cases (think branch offices and remote locations) as a key area where Azure stack can be leveraged extensively. With this in mind, Microsoft has created several different variants of Azure Stack for a vast swath of compute use cases. These use-cases ranged from branch office retail stores with a small Azure Stack Edge Device in their building, to search and rescue teams needing to process drone data, from “Ruggedized” Azure Stack instances in their backpacks!

We’ll be talking more about Azure Stack in the coming weeks and months, but if you’re interested in more information regarding how all these options fit together, Microsoft has updated its Azure Stack product site with many of these new offerings.

Interview with Jeffery Snover

[embedded content]

Further Information

The announcements mentioned here are simply the tip of the iceberg. There were several other smaller announcements that came out of Microsoft today, including things like new VM sizes in Azure IaaS, a new Performance Monitor application, and GA of Windows Admin Center 1910. We’ll be bringing you updated information on these topics as the week progresses, and also be on the lookout for blogs on each of these areas on the Altaro blogs in the near future!

Stay tuned for more information!

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Author: Andy Syrewicze

Microsoft cybersecurity strategy, hybrid cloud in focus at Ignite

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has hinted that the big news at the company’s Ignite conference will involve cybersecurity and updates to its approach to hybrid and distributed cloud applications.

“Rising cyber threats and increasing regulation mean security and compliance is a strategic priority for every organization,” Nadella said on Microsoft’s earnings call for the first quarter of 2020 this week. He highlighted that the company has offerings across identity, security and compliance that span people, devices, apps, developer tools, data and infrastructure “to protect customers in today’s zero trust environment.”

In addition to Microsoft cybersecurity-related comments, Nadella addressed investor questions about the company’s hybrid cloud business.

“Our approach has always been about this distributed computing fabric, or thinking about hybrid not as some transitory phase, but as a long-term vision for how computing will meet the real-world needs,” he replied in the call.

Satya NadellaSatya Nadella

Microsoft’s hybrid cloud offerings include Azure Stack, which takes a subset of Azure’s software foundation and installs it on specialized hardware to be run in customer-controlled environments.

At Ignite, “you will see us take the next leap forward even in terms of how we think about the architecture inclusive of the application models, programming models on what distributed computing looks like going forward,” Nadella said.

Microsoft targets cybersecurity, hybrid cloud

Given that cybersecurity and hybrid cloud computing are two of the hottest areas in enterprise tech today, Nadella’s teases aren’t especially surprising. But the specific details of what Microsoft has planned are worth delving into, analysts said.

It was a bit surprising that Nadella didn’t mention Azure Stack in his remarks on the conference call, given the progress that product has made in the market, said Holger Mueller, an analyst with Constellation Research in Cupertino, Calif.

However, Ignite’s session agenda includes a fair number of Azure Stack sessions, covering matters such as migration planning and operational best practices. One possibility is that Microsoft will announce expansions of Azure Stack’s footprint so it’s more on par with the Azure cloud’s full capabilities, Mueller added. 

Azure CTO Mark Russinovich is scheduled to speak at Ignite on multiple occasions. One session will focus on new innovations in Azure’s global architecture and another targets next-generation application development and deployment.

On Twitter, Russinovich said he’ll discuss matters such as DAPR, Microsoft’s recently launched open source runtime for microservices applications. He also plans to talk about Open Application Model, a specification for cloud-native app development, and Rudr, a reference implementation of the Open Application Model (OAM).

The OAM is a project under the Open Web Foundation. It serves as a specification so the application description is separated from the details of how the application is deployed and managed by the infrastructure 

According to a source familiar with the company’s plans, Microsoft released OAM because it is designed to be built by developers but then passed on for execution by an operations team, adding that DAPR is a way to build applications that are designed to be componentized.

“Developers don’t have to worry about where (an application) will run,” the source said. “They just describe its resource requirements, focus on building a microservices application and not to worry about how each component will communicate with the others,” he said. Going into Ignite, the hyperscale cloud market is being driven by a couple of factors, said Jay Lyman, an analyst with 451 Research.

“AWS, Microsoft and Google sort of define the modern enterprise IT operational paradigm with their breadth of services, innovation and competition,” Lyman said. “At the same time, the market serves as a discipline for them.”

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft announce something around support for other public clouds.
Jay LymanAnalyst, 451 Research

Hybrid cloud is an example of this, having emerged to meet customer needs to run on-premises infrastructure in a similar manner to public clouds, he added. Azure Stack, Google Kubernetes Engine On-Prem and AWS Outposts are some early answers to the problem.

Meanwhile, Google’s Anthos and IBM Red Hat’s OpenShift platform target multi-cloud application deployments.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft announce something around support for other public clouds,” Lyman said.

Microsoft cybersecurity portfolio gains gravity

Some analysts believe Microsoft is already well positioned in the cybersecurity market on the proven reliability of Windows Defender, Active Directory, the Azure Active Directory, Azure Sentinel and Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection.

“Many enterprises trust Microsoft to manage the identities of their users accessing information both from on-prem and cloud-based applications,” said Doug Cahill, senior analyst and group director at the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) in Milford, Ma. “They’re already a formidable cybersecurity competitor,” he said.

In a recent survey conducted by ESG, IT pros said one of the most important attributes they look for in an enterprise-class cybersecurity vendor is the reliability of products across their portfolio and that they are “well-aligned” with their particular IT initiatives.

“Obviously, Microsoft is one of the leading IT vendors,” Cahill said. “They have Active Directory, which is broadly adopted, serving as a foundational piece of their cybersecurity strategy,” he said.

Logically, the next step for Microsoft is to extend its platform out to so it plays across the broader attack surface, which includes the rapidly growing Office 365.

During the earnings call, Nadella ran down what he believes are the individual strengths of the company’s cybersecurity offerings. He made special note of the cloud-based Sentinel and its ability to analyze security vulnerabilities across an entire organization using AI to “detect, investigate and automatically remediate threats.”

Nadella said the company would reveal more details about its “expanding opportunities in the cybersecurity market” at Ignite.

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Join the Bing Maps APIs team at Microsoft Ignite 2018 in Orlando

The Bing Maps team will be at Microsoft Ignite 2018, in Orlando, Florida, September 24th through the 28th. If you are registered for the event, stop by the Bing Maps APIs for Enterprise booth in the Modern Workplace area of the Expo, to learn more about the latest features and updates to our Bing Maps platform, as well as attend our sessions.

Bing Maps APIs sessions details:

Theater session ID: THR1127

Microsoft Bing Maps APIs – Solutions Built for the Enterprise

The Microsoft Bing Maps APIs platform provides mapping services for the enterprise, with advanced data visualization, website and mobile application solutions, fleet and logistics management and more. In this session, we’ll provide an overview of the Bing Maps APIs platform (what it is and what’s new) and how it can add value to your business solution.

Theater session ID: THR1128

Cost effective, productivity solutions with fleet management tools from Microsoft Bing Maps APIs
The Bing Maps API platform includes advanced fleet and asset management solutions, such as the Distance Matrix, Truck Routing, Isochrone, and Snap-to-Road APIs that can help your business reduce costs and increase productivity. Come learn more about our fleet management solutions as well as see a short demo on how you can quickly set up and deploy a fleet tracking solution.

If you are not able to attend Microsoft Ignite 2018, we will share news and updates on the blog after the conference and post recordings of the Bing Maps APIs sessions on http://www.microsoft.com/maps.

For more information about the Bing Maps Platform, go to https://www.microsoft.com/maps/choose-your-bing-maps-API.aspx.

– Bing Maps Team

Visio Online and Visio’s new cloud innovations help you unlock creativity

This year at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Microsoft presented several new product capabilities that extend the Microsoft 365 solution set—including a greater emphasis on cloud-first technologies. Visio Online is one of Microsoft’s newest solutions that further unlocks employee creativity in the modern workplace. Visio Online is available today to commercial customers for $5 per user per month with an annual commitment.

Extending Visio to new audiences

Information workers today want a simple yet powerful way to work visually. As a web-based, lightweight diagramming tool, Visio Online is the perfect solution: with it you can create, edit, and share diagrams online, helping you visualize information in new ways from anywhere. Plus, diagrams are available for anyone in your organization to view—even those without a Visio Online license—so you can get feedback on critical diagrams from all important stakeholders.

Visio Online comes with a host of templates for a variety of audiences, including starter diagrams for basic flowcharts, process diagrams, timelines, business matrixes, SDL diagrams, and many more. Visualizing information is easy—just drag and drop shapes onto the canvas, change a shape’s color or the overall diagram theme, and quickly link one shape to another with connectors. Plus, you can securely share web-based diagrams through OneDrive for Business. (Visio Online Plan 1 and Plan 2 include 2 GB of OneDrive storage. See below for more details about these plans.)

Image of Visio Online displayed on a tablet.

Visio Online comes with diagramming templates to help you get started fast.

“All in all, Visio Online is fantastic, especially for me. Normally, I just make quick drawings to use in documentation, etc., and I think that will be a lot easier with this product.” —Graves Kilsgaard, systems developer at KMC Foods

Cloud-first innovations

Since the beginning of last year, Visio has been committed to releasing innovative, cloud-first capabilities that unlock creativity for professional diagram creators. This continuous, accelerated innovation has resulted in a host of major releases that, in addition to Visio Online, extend Visio’s diagramming tool set.

Here’s a look at each of the capabilities that are only available in the cloud:

  • Power BI is Microsoft’s cloud-based data visualization tool that helps companies gain actionable insights from complex datasets. Today, Power BI includes a new visual—Visio diagrams—which can be linked to live data and embedded within a Power BI dashboard. The Visio and Power BI integration is currently in public preview and planned for release next year. Learn more about this new Power BI feature.
  • Data Visualizer converts process map data in Excel into data-driven diagrams in Visio. Using highly visual diagrams instead of table-based numbers, you can surface new process insights that lead to creative solutions for complex problems.
  • Visio Viewer for iOS allows you to view and interact with Visio diagrams on both iPad and iPhone. You can easily share diagrams through OneDrive or SharePoint and then access them on your favorite iOS device.
  • PowerPoint Slide Snippets enables you select specific diagram parts, give them a title, and export them as slides in PowerPoint. In this way you can create an entire PowerPoint presentation to break down complex diagrams into individual pieces for easier comprehension.

New innovations, new subscription models

Visio Online is available in Visio Online Plan 1. It is also included in our most comprehensive Visio cloud offering, Visio Online Plan 2 (previously Visio Pro for Office 365). Viewing diagrams is free for most Office 365 customers. The innovations described above are only available in Visio Online Plan 2. You can compare Visio versions to learn more about each Visio offer.

Please visit the Visio website for more details on each plan, as well as options for trying the Visio Online experience and our cloud-first innovations for free. We also invite you to submit ideas for more cloud innovations on our UserVoice site. For questions about our latest releases, please email us at [email protected] To stay informed of the latest Visio releases, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, as well as check in with the latest Visio news.

—The Visio team

Frequently asked questions

Q. Do I need to install anything to start using Visio Online?

A. No. Visio Online is a web-based application. Customers can also sign in directly at microsoft.com/visio.

Q. Do I need a Visio Online subscription to view Visio Online diagrams?

A. No. Anyone with an Office 365 subscription can view diagrams created and shared through Visio Online. This way the entire organization can be involved in the diagramming process.

Q. Where can I read more about starting Visio Online?

A. Please read this support article to learn more.

Q. Are there more differences between Visio Online Plans 1 and 2 than mentioned here?

A. Yes. Please visit the Visio website for more details on each plan.

Q. Does Visio Online Plan 2 include more than 2 GB of OneDrive storage?

A. Both Visio Online Plans 1 and 2 come with 2 GB of OneDrive for Business storage. Customers can buy additional OneDrive storage if needed.

Q. How do the new capabilities and plans affect Visio Services and Visio Pro for Office 365.

A. Visio Online is replacing Visio Services for SharePoint Online customers, and Visio Online Plan 2 is the new name for Visio Pro for Office 365.

Skype for Business users face Microsoft Teams migration questions

At Microsoft Ignite last week in Orlando, Fla., Microsoft used its annual customer conference to showcase its new and upgraded Teams product, which competes with Cisco Spark, Slack, Mitel MiTeam, Avaya Zang Spaces and many other similar products. At the conference, Microsoft Teams sessions were well-attended, which shows there’s significant interest in the product.

As Skype for Business users consider a Microsoft Teams migration, they’ll face several interesting questions. Some common questions include:

Is Microsoft Teams ready for prime time? I believe the product is. The new version includes several features that were added to compete with other similar products. New capabilities include voicemail, application sharing and coediting of documents. In addition, other notable features include:

  • guest access for business-to-business usage;
  • PSTN dialing, but the Microsoft PSTN service must be used;
  • importing contacts from Skype for Business;
  • sharing presence with Skype for Business; and 
  • pulling organizational information from Active Directory.

The product is now ready to stand on its own as a full-fledged team collaboration tool, and it’s worth Skype for Business users’ consideration.

Does the on-premises version of Skype for Business go away? No. On-premises Skype for Business is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Microsoft’s installed base of on-premises Skype for Business users is massive. If Microsoft suddenly pulled the plug on Skype for Business Server, it would leave many customers in the lurch.

Many large customers or companies with regulatory requirements want to keep the product on premises for greater control, archiving capabilities or security concerns. At Ignite, Microsoft announced another version of the Skype for Business on-premises server is coming near the end of 2018. Microsoft has to support that version through the normal lifecycle of five years or so.

If you’re a customer using the on-premises version, don’t worry; it’s here to stay, and Microsoft is still adding new features to it. However, some new capabilities, like Teams, are only available through cloud-based Office 365. So, if businesses want to use the team collaboration capabilities, they need to use the cloud.

If you’re a customer using the on-premises version, don’t worry; it’s here to stay, and Microsoft is still adding new features to it.

Can I run Teams and Skype for Business in hybrid mode? The answer is both yes and no. A hybrid model makes a lot of sense for many companies. Use Skype for Business for calls or chat and presence, and run Teams for application sharing or team messaging.

In a sense, the business will be running two unified communications (UC) clients, which is a bit of an oxymoron, since unified client implies a single product. But this two-client strategy is a viable, low-risk way of getting workers used to this new way of working. 

What you can’t do is use Skype for Business and then burst to the Teams cloud when capacity is maxed out. That would be ideal, but the products don’t interoperate that way — at least not yet.

What about all the third-party peripherals I bought for Skype for Business? Many Skype for Business users have made significant investments in third-party peripherals from vendors like Polycom, Crestron and Logitech that provide desktop handsets and conference room systems. Microsoft has said all existing phones and room systems will work with Teams. In fact, at Ignite, Microsoft announced Lenovo, Pexip and Blue Jeans now have certified room systems to work with Microsoft UC.

How do I migrate users from Skype for Business to Teams? Moving users from one product to another is never easy. Once a worker gets used to doing things a certain way, there’s always hesitation in doing things differently. To help get over these hurdles, Microsoft offers three models for migration.

The first model is to run Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams side by side, as outlined above, which could go on for an indefinite period of time. Another option is called “side by side with notify,” in which there’s a date set to flip users from Skype for Business to Teams, and a banner appears in Skype for Business to warn the user when the cutover date is. The third option is to go to Teams only where workers are put on the new product immediately. 

Microsoft provides an administrator portal where these three models can be mixed, so a handful of Skype for Business users can be set to flip immediately, others set to side by side with notify and others left to run both clients until the policy changes.

A training bot has been set up to help users with usage. But a couple users at Ignite told me they tried the bot and it often had problems understanding the questions and giving answers. This is an area Microsoft needs to beef up if the product is to go mainstream.

New advancements in Azure for IT digital transformation

I’m at Ignite this week, where more than 20,000 of us are talking about how we can drive our businesses forward in a climate of constant technology change. We are in a time where technology is one of the core ways companies can better serve customers and differentiate versus competitors. It is an awesome responsibility. The pace of change is fast, and constant – but with that comes great opportunity for innovation, and true business transformation.

Here at Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. I believe that mission has a special meaning for the IT audience, particularly in the era of cloud computing. Collectively we are working with each of you to take advantage of new possibilities in this exciting time. That’s the reason we are building Azure – for all of you. The trusted scale and resiliency of our Azure infrastructure, the productivity of our Azure services for building and delivering modern applications, and our unmatched hybrid capabilities, are the foundation that can help propel your business forward. With 42 regions announced around the world and an expansive network spanning more than 4,500 points of presence– we’re the backbone for your business.

Core Infrastructure

Cloud usage goes far beyond the development and test workloads people originally started with. Enterprises are driving a second wave of cloud adoption, including putting their most mission-critical, demanding systems in the cloud. We are the preferred cloud for the enterprise, with more than 90% of the Fortune 500 choosing the Microsoft cloud. Today at Ignite, we’re making several announcements about advancements in Azure infrastructure:

  • New VM sizes. We continue to expand our compute options at a rapid rate. In my general session, I will demonstrate SAP HANA running on both M-series and purpose-built infrastructure, the largest of their kind in the cloud. I will discuss the preview of the B-series VM for burstable workloads, and announce the upcoming Fv2-, NCv2-, ND-series which offer the innovation of new processor types like Intel’s Scalable Xeon and NVIDIA’s Tesla P100 and P40 GPUs.
  • The preview of Azure File Sync, offering secure, centralized file share management in the cloud. This new service provides more redundancy and removes complexity when it comes to sharing files, eliminating the need for special configuration or code changes.
  • A new enterprise NFS service, powered by NetApp. Building on the partnership with NetApp announced in June, Microsoft will deliver a first-party, native NFS v3/v4 service based on NetApp’s proven ONTAP® and other hybrid cloud data services, with preview available in early 2018. This service will deliver enterprise-grade data storage, management, security, and protection for customers moving to Microsoft Azure. We will also enable this service to advance hybrid cloud scenarios, providing visibility and control across Azure, on-premises and hosted NFS workloads. 
  • The preview of a new Azure networking service called Azure DDoS Protection, which helps protect publicly accessible endpoints from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Azure DDoS Protection learns an application’s normal traffic patterns and automatically applies traffic scrubbing when attacks are detected to ensure only legitimate traffic reaches the service.
  • The introduction of two new cloud governance services – Azure Cost Management and Azure Policy – to help you monitor and optimize cloud spend and cloud compliance. We are making Azure Cost Management free for Azure customers, and you can sign up now for a preview of Azure Policy. 
  • Integration of the native security and management experience. New updates in the Azure portal simplify the process of backing up, monitoring, and configuring diaster recovery for virtual machines. We are also announcing update management will now be free for Azure customers.
  • A preview of the new Azure Migrate service, which helps discover and migrate virtual machines and servers. The new service captures all on-premises applications, workloads, and data, and helps map migration dependencies over to Azure, making IT’s jobs immensely easier. Azure Migrate also integrates with the Database Migration Services we released today.
  • A preview of the new Azure Data Box, which provides a secure way to transfer very large datasets to Azure. This integrates seamlessly with Azure services like Backup and Site Recovery as well as partner solutions from CommVault, Netapp, Veritas, Veeam, and others.

Building on the news from last week about the preview of Azure Availability Zones, later today I will also talk about the unique measures we are taking in Azure to help customers ensure business continuity. As the only cloud provider with single VM SLAs, 21 announced region pairs for disaster recovery, Azure offers differentiated rich high availability and disaster recovery capabilities. This means you have the best support, resiliency, and availability for your mission-critical workloads.

Modern Applications

Applications are central to every digital transformation strategy. One of the compelling and more recent technologies that is helping in the modernization of applications is containers. Having received more attention from developers to date, containers are now accelerating application deployment and streamlining the way IT operations and development teams collaborate to deliver applications. Today we are announcing even more exciting advancements in this space:

  • Windows Server containers were introduced with Windows Server 2016. The first Semi-Annual Channel release of Windows Server, version 1709, introduces further advances in container technology, including an optimized Nano Server Container image (80% smaller!), new support for Linux containers on Hyper-V, and the ability to run native Linux tools with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (aka Bash for Windows).
  • Azure supports containers broadly, offering many options to deploy, from simple infrastructure to richly managed. Azure Container Instances (ACI) provide the simplest way to create and deploy new containers in the cloud with just a few simple clicks, and today I’m announcing Azure Container Instances now support Windows Server in addition to Linux.
  • Azure Service Fabric offers a generalized hosting and container orchestration platform designed for highly scalable applications, and today we are announcing the general availability of Linux support.

Hybrid Cloud

Nearly 85 percent of organizations tell us they have a cloud strategy that is hybrid, and even more – 91 percent – say they believe that hybrid cloud will be a long-term approach. Hybrid cloud capabilities help you adopt the cloud faster. What is unique about Microsoft’s hybrid cloud approach is that we build consistency between on-premises and the cloud. Consistency helps take the complexity of hybrid cloud out because it means you don’t need two different systems for everything. We build that consistency across identity, data, development, and security and management. Today we’re advancing our hybrid cloud leadership even further via the following developments:

  • Azure Stack is now shipping from our partners Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Lenovo. You can see all of these integrated systems on the show floor at Ignite. As an extension of Azure, Azure Stack brings the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to on-premises environments. Only Azure Stack lets you deliver Azure services from your organization’s datacenter, while balancing the right amount of flexibility and control – for truly-consistent hybrid cloud deployments.
  • Our fully managed Azure SQL Database service now has 100 percent SQL Server compatibility for no code changes via Managed Instance. And today, we are introducing a new Azure Database Migration Service that enables a near-zero downtime migration. Now customers can migrate all of their data to Azure without hassle or high cost.
  • Azure Security Center can now be used to secure workloads running on-premises and in other clouds. We’re also releasing today new capabilities to better defend against threats and respond quickly, including Just in Time (JIT) access, dynamic app whitelisting, and being able to drill down into an attack end to end with interactive investigation paths and mapping.

Beyond all of the product innovation above, one of the areas I’m proud of is the work we’re doing to save customers money. For example, the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and the newly announced Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server allow customers to use their existing licenses to get discounts in Azure, making Azure the most economical choice and path to the cloud for these customers. Together with the new Azure Reserved VM Instances we just announced, customers will be able to save up to 82 percent on Windows Server VMs. The free Azure Cost Management capabilities I mentioned above help customers save money by optimizing how they run things in Azure. And we are now offering the new Azure free account which introduces the free use of many popular services for 12 months, in addition to the $200 free credit we provide.

It’s an exciting time for IT, and we’re equally excited that you are our trusted partners in this era of digital transformation. I look forward to hearing your questions or feedback so that we can further your trust in us and empower each of you to achieve more.

Finding what you need at work just got easier with Bing for business

Today, at the Microsoft Ignite Conference in Orlando, we announced Bing for business – a new intelligent search experience for Office 365 and Microsoft 365, which uses AI and the Microsoft Graph to deliver more relevant search results based on your organizational context. This new experience from Bing for your enterprise, school, or organization helps users save time by intelligently and securely retrieving information from enterprise resources such as company data, people, documents, sites and locations as well as public web results, displaying them in a single experience. Bing for business can be used with a browser on any device, transforming the way employees search for information at work, ultimately making them more productive.

Bing for business is available for private preview starting today and will be available as part of existing subscriptions to Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E5, F1, Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Education E5 subscriptions. If you are interested in receiving an invitation to participate in the private preview, visit http://aka.ms/b4bprivatepreview.

Intelligent search to help increase productivity and save time

In our work and personal lives, we spend lot of time in the browser searching for information. Analyzing web search traffic at Microsoft, we realized that as our employees searched the web, a significant amount of search traffic was for internal business-related content. We knew that this wasn’t just the case for Microsoft, but for many organizations, and it prompted the question – If Bing can tell me how high Mt. Rainier is, why can’t it quickly find what a colleague is working on or what are the employee benefits? Bing for business started with these pain points in mind. As we talked with more customers about their challenges in this space, we realized there was an opportunity to create something truly compelling. Our goal was twofold. For end users, we wanted to create an offering that can increase productivity by getting them the relevant and contextual information as quickly as possible. For administrators, we wanted to provide something that is easy to deploy and manage, offers enhanced protection for business search traffic while reducing costs associated with help desk calls. Bing for business provides these benefits to users and administrators with quick and seamless access to internal company information directly within Bing’s web results while keeping the results protected.

For example, let’s say you have an upcoming meeting about a project with a new colleague. Through Bing for business, you can quickly look up their contact information, find out who they report to, see the Office 365 groups they are a part of and much more. Additionally, you will also have web search which may highlight a publicly available blog/portfolio, or other relevant content. This would normally take six or more different searches across multiple locations. Bing for business pulls this data from across the Microsoft Graph and the web to create an experience where you get all this information in one place, so you save time searching.

Bing for business - Intelligent search

Bing for business also help you quickly find internal company resources. When you’re trying to find the time card site, trying to figure out vacation policy, or simply trying to find out how much vacation you have left, Bing for business can bring you links to these resources from just searching for “time off.” These bookmarks can be manually curated by the IT Admin or created based on frequency of search terms. Using bookmarks saves you time by helping you get to the right company resources simply by searching for the relevant term all from within Bing.

BIng for business - Intelligent search time off example

Bing for businesses key features include:
  • Enterprise Bookmarks – Bookmarks provide the fastest way for you to find sites, tools, and other information within the enterprise. Bookmarks can range from timely topics with a short life span like a company event to more permanent bookmarks, such as linking to the internal time and reporting tool.
  • People Search – With Bing for business, people search is a quick way to help you search and find a person and understand their role within the company, who they work for, see what they are working on, find out where they are located and get directions through integrated building and office floor maps.
  • Organizational Chart – Quick access to the organizational chart to understand a person’s place within the company and further browse their peers, management, and direct reports. 
  • Building and Floor Plans – Buildings and floor plans help you quickly find your way or locate where a colleague is sitting or to learn your way around a new building.
  • Document Search – Allows you to search and find contextual and relevant documents saved on SharePoint and other sources within the Microsoft Graph.
  • Office 365 Groups – You will be able to explore the Groups a person belongs to as part of people search and browse their contents. Additionally, they will be able to search for groups by their name.
  • Bing for business Industry News – Bing works with your company to understand your job and tasks. Over time, Bing learns which business news matters to you – such as news about your company, competitors, and industry.  This feature is a personalized newsfeed on Bing.com, helping you make timely, informed decisions.
  • Management and Analytics – IT admins can quickly configure, create bookmarks, and define the search triggers, words or phrases. IT admins will also have a better understanding on how people within the organization are searching the web.

Intelligent search leveraging AI to save you time

Bing for business is built on the Microsoft Graph and uses AI to provide contextual, boundless, and relevant results for your Bing search. These results help employees save time increase productivity.

For example, you have a question on how to set up your work VPN, or how to reset your Bitlocker password. Today, getting these questions answered could include calling tech support and potentially incurring costs associated with the call, searching the public web or the corporate intranet, and browsing knowledge base articles. Bing for business uses Machine Reading Comprehension and Deep Learning to understand the intent of the question across all documents in your enterprise. And since it knows who you are based on your authentication session, it can synthesize the best answer for your specific query across all the documents you can access – from the public internet to your private intranet.

Enterprise grade protection, manageability, and analytics

Bing for business offers enhanced protection for your Bing web searches and treats your enterprise data in a compliant way. Searching with Bing for business requires Azure Active Directory authentication to access results, and the results that are returned are ones the authenticated user has access to, coming directly from the trusted cloud. Search queries are anonymized, aggregated across all companies and separated from public Bing search traffic. Additionally, these queries are not used for displaying targeted ad based on your work or company identity, and company-specific queries are not viewable by advertisers. This provides a level of protection unavailable anywhere else in the industry.

In addition to enhanced protections, Bing for business is easy to manage and deploy. Available as part of Office 365, Bing for business can be easily deployed by adding Bing to your tenant from the Office 365 admin panel. Once added, a quick configuration to set the logo, name, and color is all that is required to set up Bing for business. From there, users that have been enabled for Bing for business can access it at www.bing.com.

Private Preview

Today, Bing for business is in private preview as we move towards general availability next year. During this period, we are interested in partnering with a diverse group of customers to try out the feature, and help us shape future versions. If you would like to request an invitation to participate in the private preview, please visit http://aka.ms/b4bprivatepreview. We look forward to receiving your feedback as we continue to add features and capabilities to Bing for business.

– Deen King-Smith
Sr. Product Marketing Manager | Search, Edge, and AI

Reality meets imagination at Microsoft Ignite – The Official Microsoft Blog

It’s fantastic to be in Orlando at Microsoft Ignite and Microsoft Envision, with more than 25,000 customers and partners from around the world. The technologies we announced today give every organization new ways to grow their business, now and into the future. There is a lot to see, hear and experience at Microsoft Ignite, but here is my rundown of the top five announcements we made:

  1. Not-so-secret-ingredients: During his keynote, Satya showed how Microsoft is infusing AI and Mixed Reality into our products to help customers be the disruptors, not the disrupted. Just ask Ford or HP.
  2. All workers welcome: With Microsoft 365 for firstline workers and students, we’ve expanded our effort to change the culture of work. #WorkSmartTogether
  3. Bridge to the cloud: Azure Stack is now available through Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo for ready-made hybrid cloud. Oh, and bonus, we’re helping customers save some serious cabbage with Azure Cost Management services by Cloudyn.
  4. Finding insights in petabytes: The new release of the world’s most popular database, SQL Server 2017, and enhancements to Azure Machine Learning will foster a new generation of intelligent apps and AI models.
  5. Quantum quest: We’ve been working on quantum computing for 12 years. Now we’re giving developers a new programming language and tools to ask the big questions and get even bigger answers, from a billion parallel universes.

And while quantum theory and computing are based on imaginary numbers, there is nothing imaginary about all the advancements coming out of Microsoft Ignite. Go to microsoft.com/ignite to learn more.

Tags: Microsoft Ignite 2017