Microsoft held its first Ignite conference in May and announced a range of new products and services for enterprise computing, including the next generation of Windows management, Microsoft Office, hybrid cloud infrastructure and SQL Server. Microsoft also announced that Windows Update for Business will be a free service for Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise devices and has been designed to keep Windows devices in organisations up to date with security defences and Windows features.
NetSuite, a provider of cloud-based financials, ERP and omnichannel commerce software suites, announced a strategic cloud alliance with Microsoft to create solutions connecting NetSuite’s cloud ERP to Microsoft Office 365, Windows and Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft has started the global transition of Nokia-branded stores and Care centres around the world. Nokia retail stores will be called Microsoft Authorised Resellers and will showcase a range of Microsoft experiences and products including Lumia, Surface, Xbox and various accessories and services such as Office 365. In addition, general trade or multi-branded stores will be known as Microsoft Mobile Resellers.
Microsoft has continued its initiative to support non-Windows platforms. Support includes the release of OneNote for the Apple Watch, OneNote for Mac’s audio recording, support for Windows phone, Android phone and iPhone in the new Windows 10 Phone Companion app, the availability of Office Lens Android on Google Play Store as well as the expansion of cross-platform services through agreements with additional non-Microsoft device partners.
The company has produced a nine minute video that provides an early look at Office 2016 Public Preview for Windows desktop and phone.
For gamers Microsoft has released the Xbox One May System Update and includes voice messages and improvements to party chat.
Windows 10 will be released on 29 July. Microsoft has started rolling out an icon to “reserve” your free upgrade, which is the start of a campaign to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10 within 3 years of its initial release. Microsoft has said that Azure AD support will be included in Windows 10 and that Microsoft Edge (the new browser) will support Dolby Audio.
Of interest, is the progress Microsoft Research has made in automatically creating captions for photographs using neural network technology.