Technology 7 min read

Microsoft Ignite 2017: Latest Microsoft Product Announcements

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, at the Microsoft Ignite 2017 in Orlando | Microsoft |

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, at the Microsoft Ignite 2017 in Orlando | Microsoft |

Microsoft Ignite 2017, this year’s unified enterprise technology conference of Microsoft officially began yesterday with an announcement from the company.

Microsoft Ignite 2017, the 3rd year of the massive enterprise tech event, kicks off Monday in Orlando, Florida. The three-day event that will end on Friday will give Microsoft the opportunity to showcase its enterprise products and services.

In addition to showcasing its up and coming products, the company will also provide valuable IT training and a platform for IT professionals from around the world to collaborate and network.

#MicrosoftIgnite2017 kicks off Monday in Orlando! Latest in Microsoft products and services announced!Click To Tweet

This year’s Ignite conference is brimming with news and announcements about enterprise-level products and services. That includes news about Windows, Azure, Office 365, Skype, and just everything that Microsoft holds in its arsenal.

Here are some of the most mind-blowing and exciting announcements from Microsoft Ignite 2017 that has been gathered by Edgy Labs.

Microsoft Ignite 2017: Newest Enterprise Products and Services

Microsoft 365 for Education

Microsoft Office 365 for Education announced at Microsoft Ignite 2017
Microsoft |

Following Microsoft’s July debut of a commercial suite software Microsoft 365, the company announced in Microsoft Ignite 2017 the debut of Microsoft 365 for Education. The suite was said to be made with the education market in mind.

Microsoft 365 for Education includes productivity applications such as Office 365 together with Windows 10 and device management.

Microsoft 365 for Education is the third version of the Microsoft enterprise suite which is also bundled with Minecraft: Education Edition, as well as the Enterprise Mobility and Security suite.

Microsoft 365 F1

Another software bundle announced in Ignite was the Microsoft 365 F1 which according to the company is for so-called front-line workers like cashiers, truck drivers, and factory employees.

The Microsoft 365 F1 offers the StaffHub, a recently launched app for managing shifts which gives employees the flexibility to check their schedule anywhere. Like the Microsoft 365 for Education, it also comes with Office 365 together with Windows 10, and the Enterprise Mobility and Security suite.

Microsoft Teams to Replace Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams to Replace Skype for Business at Microsoft Ignite 2017
Microsoft Teams | Microsoft |

Replacing Microsoft’s Skype for Business as the company’s primary teamwork software is Microsoft Teams. The move was said to be Microsoft’s solution to the threat posed by the upstart company Slack in the collaboration software market.

Announced in Ignite, Teams, the instant messaging app bundled with Office 365, will be equipped with a new Skype voice and video technology that will give it more advanced calling capabilities.

Ron Markezich, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Office 365, said in a press briefing:

“Microsoft Teams will evolve as the core communications client. We will make Microsoft Teams the hero and primary experience for all voice, video, and meetings.”

Advanced Threat Protection Enhancements

Another announcement from the Microsoft Ignite 2017 conference was the improvements that the Office 365 will be getting to its Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) capabilities. Apparently, it will be equipped with enhanced features against phishing, impersonation, and domain spoofing.

The Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection service will also cover links and files shared in SharePoint Online, OneDrive for business and Teams. Aside from the Office 365, the Azure and Windows Defender ATPs will also receive enhancements.

Azure ATP, for instance, will now look at who is accessing which files at what time and from where to scan for unusual behavior. The new feature will also aid in speeding up security incident investigations.

Chatbots for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Chatbots for Microsoft Dynamics 365 announced at Microsoft Ignite 2017
Microsoft |

The Microsoft Dynamic 365 will also receive improvements and new features. According to the announcement made by the company at the Ignite conference, the newest Dynamic 365 development is focused on bringing artificial intelligence to the business process.

Apparently, the Dynamic 365 will now include a pre-built chatbot that can be used to field customer service inquiries.

Currently, businesses such as HP and Macy’s are already using the new chatbot feature in handling customer queries which helps provide faster responses. Microsoft also hinted that it would release more AI-based improvements in the future although the company didn’t mention what products will receive the updates.

Azure Machine Learning Tools

Microsoft is definitely into AI and machine learning!

The company just announced in Ignite several new tools that developers could use in building new AI and machine learning models, and that users could make use of on pre-existing models either for their own teams or from Microsoft.

For developers, the company launched three major Azure tools: the Azure Machine Learning Experimentation service, the Azure Machine Learning Workbench,  and the Azure Machine Learning Model Management service.

  • Azure Machine Learning Experimentation service – will help developers quickly train and deploy machine learning experiments
  • Azure Machine Learning Workbench – is a desktop client for Windows and Mac and as quoted, is meant to be the “control panel for your development lifecycle and a great way to get started using machine learning.”
  • Azure Machine Learning Model Management service – will help developers and data scientists to deploy and manage their models to virtually anywhere a Docker container can run, and that includes Microsoft’s own Kubernetes-based Azure Container Service.

Microsoft also launched another set of tools for developers who want to specifically use Visual Studio Code IDE for building models with CNTK, TensorFlow, Theano, Keras, and Caffe2.

For regular users, Microsoft released Azure-based machine learning models for Excel. This would allow users to call up the AI functions that their company’s data scientists have created right from their spreadsheets.

Microsoft Cognitive Services Updates

Another highlight of the Microsoft Ignite 2017 was the announcement of the Microsoft Cognitive Services updates. The Cognitive services provide developers the capability to augment the next generation of applications with the ability to see, hear, speak, understand, and interpret needs using natural methods of communication.

Among the many updates that the Cognitive services will receive are:

  • Text Analytics API – Text Analytics is a cloud-based service that provides advanced natural language processing over raw text. It includes API functions such as sentiment analysis, keyphrase extraction and language detection.
  • Bing Custome Search API – Bing Custom Search will let developers create a highly-customized targeted web search experience to deliver more relevant results from their targeted web space through a commercial grade service.
  • Bing Search API v7 – Will enable developers to bring the immense knowledge of the planet to their applications. The v7 update will provide several improvements, such as results coming back fast with improved performance for queries on the Bing Web Search API. It will also have new sorting and filtering options, better error messages to troubleshoot and diagnose problem queries, and updated, modernized documentation that will bring the power of the Bing Search APIs to any applications.
  • Language Understanding Intelligent Service and Microsoft Bot Framework – will contain everything that developers will need to build and connect intelligent bots.

With all these new features and improvements to Microsoft’s enterprise products and services, the company is indeed on its way to dominating the cloud, AI, machine learning, and collaborative business market!

Stay tuned as Edgy Labs will bring you more updates on the latest tech events happening today!

What product announced at the Microsoft Ignite 2017 conference impressed you the most? Why? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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