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Key Announcements from Microsoft Ignite 2018

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More than 26,000 people from 100 different countries attended the biggest Microsoft event for IT professionals and enterprise developers, Microsoft Ignite 2018 in Orlando. Our Juriba team was there as well, listening to keynotes and announcements, meeting with partners and hearing about lots of exciting new product developments and announcements! In case you didn't manage to get yourself a ticket (they sold out shortly after being released) or you were busy meeting fellow IT Pros, don't worry, we've got you covered! Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about Ignite 2018. You can also watch the on-demand sessions here.

Ignite 2018 blog

Key Announcements:

  • Microsoft announced an end to the era of passwords by introducing Microsoft Authenticator, Microsoft Secure Score and many other security improvements. Here's how the Authenticator app works: it replaces the user's password with a more secure multi-factor sign-in that combines phone and fingerprint, face, or PIN. Using a multi-factor sign-in method, compromise is reduced by 99.9 percent and the user experience is made simpler by eliminating passwords. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the big theme in the innovation field. As we all know, AI can be used to help people in a variety of ways. Microsoft announced the launch of a $40 million, five-year program called AI for Humanitarian Action and said it will partner with non-governmental organizations and humanitarian groups to use AI to help with four key global challenges: disaster response, needs of children, refugees and displaced people and human rights. How exactly we can use AI in our real world IT migration projects is less obvious at this point, but we are already excited at some possibilities regarding pro-active migration driven by AI.
  • Microsoft also announced an update to the Cortana platform, the Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise. It's powered by the Azure Bot Service and leverages Language Understanding from Azure Cognitive Services, allowing developers to create company-specific skills for Cortana using known and trusted tools. Additional features include control via Azure Active Directory over when skills are deployed and who can access them.
  • Moving on to IoT and Edge Computing, Azure IoT Central was made generally available at Ignite. Azure IoT Central is a fully managed software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that enables customers and partners to provision an IoT solution in seconds, customize it in a few hours, and go to production the same day—all without requiring any cloud solution development expertise. Azure Digital Twins, Azure Sphere and other IoT and edge solutions were also introduced, you can find out more here.
  • Microsoft 365 updates were announced as well, including Microsoft Search, Background blur, Ideas and Data Types in Excel.


  • Adobe, Microsoft and SAP joined forces to empower their mutual customers with the Open Data Initiative, which is a common approach and set of resources for customers based on three guiding principles: every organization owns and maintains complete, direct control of all their data; customers can enable AI-driven business processes to derive insights and intelligence from unified behavioral and operational data; a broad partner ecosystem should be able to easily leverage an open and extensible data model to extend the solution.

  • Citrix and Microsoft announced the extension of the Windows Virtual Desktop through the comprehensive Citrix Workspace offering and technologies. Available only on Azure, Windows Virtual Desktop is a new cloud-hosted service that virtualizes and delivers business applications and desktops. The new offering includes a multi-user Windows 10 experience optimized for Office 365 ProPlus, Windows 7 virtualization rights on Azure, and deep integration with Microsoft 365 security and management.

Whilst the focus had moved away somewhat from transition and transformation, Microsoft Ignite began to focus on Evergreen IT as the latest market opportunity with lots of incremental additions to the Windows Analytics OMS suite. Let us know your thoughts on the Microsoft event in Orlando in the comments below and make sure you follow our social media channels where we are always tweeting about Microsoft’s latest news. We hope to see you again next year in Orlando, November 4-9 at Ignite 2019!