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Microsoft Debuts New Services, Partners With Adobe

Microsoft Ignite

Lynn Haber**Editor’s Note: Click here for our recently compiled list of new products and services.**

MICROSOFT IGNITE — Microsoft on Monday announced a bevy of security, intelligence and cloud products and/or services designed to help customers along their digital-transformation journey — as well as new and free training and educational resources for IT professionals. In a separate announcement aimed at bolstering users’ marketing and branding experience, the vendor partnered with Adobe.

The flurry of announcements came on the opening day of the annual Microsoft Ignite conference, being held this week in Atlanta.

“Core to our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet is democratizing [artificial intelligence] for every person and organization to help solve society’s most pressing challenges,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “To do this, we’re infusing intelligence into everything we deliver — from the agent to applications, services and infrastructure.”{ad}

To better guard against security threats across Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, Microsoft announced the following:

  • Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge offers browser security. It is powered by virtualization-based security technology and uses isolated containers built directly into the hardware to prevent malicious code from moving across employee devices and the corporate network. The product will be available to Windows 10 Enterprise customers next year and soon to Windows Insiders.
  • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) and Office 365 ATP now share intelligence mutually across both services.
  • Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection will be extended to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Additional enhancements include dynamic delivery, which enables users to receive email immediately with a placeholder attachment while the actual attachment undergoes scanning, and URL detonation, which analyzes links in real time to identify unknown malicious URLs.
  • Office 365 Threat Intelligence provides alerts and information on the origination of specific attacks, integrates with existing security incident event management (SIEM) systems, and enables customers to deploy dynamic policies based on the nature of the threat.
  • Outlook for iOS and Android is now fully powered by the Microsoft Cloud for Office 365 commercial users. It supports Exchange Online mailboxes natively so that no mailbox data is cached outside Office 365.
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security E5, is a new offering that expands security to help the transition to mobility and cloud. The product is available Oct. 1. The suite includes the new Microsoft Azure Information Protection service to help organizations classify, label and protect sensitive data.
  • Secure Productive Enterprise, which offers the latest and most advanced security and productivity capabilities across Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security will also be available on Oct. 1.

On the intelligence front, Microsoft made a handful of announcements that span agents, applications, services and infrastructure:

(list on next page)

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  • Microsoft will preview new skills for its personal assistant and AI agent Cortana, including health insights and reminders.
  • New cloud-powered intelligent capabilities for Office 365 include: Tap in Word and Outlook, which uses the Microsoft Graph to make it easier to incorporate content from existing documents within your organization into your own documents and emails; Quickstarter for PowerPoint and Sway provides curated outlines for any topic, including text and images, that can be used as a starting point to build presentations; andMaps, a new chart type in Excel powered by Bing Maps, transforms geographic data into high-fidelity visualizations.
  • Microsoft MyAnalytics (formerly Delve Analytics) is a personal analytics service in Office 365 that helps people understand how they spend time at work. New capabilities provide team members and leaders with insights to help find better ways of working together.
  • Relationship Assistant, included in the soon-to-be-released Dynamics 365 for Sales, adds intelligence to customer engagement.
  • Microsoft will showcase customers who use Cortana Intelligence to innovate in their industries. Some examples: Lowe’s to deliver a digitally enhanced kitchen remodel experience; and Dymaxia Inc. to make health care more efficient and accessible. Uber announced it is using Microsoft Cognitive Services for its real-time ID check security feature to improve rider and driver security.
  • Microsoft has deployed a new AI-enabled virtual agent across all of its U.S. support centers to improve customer experience.

Microsoft also announced that it signed a global, multiyear agreement with Renault-Nissan Alliance to advance connected driving experiences worldwide. The companies will work together to develop next-generation mobility services for cars powered by Microsoft Azure that will improve customer experiences including personalization, advanced navigation, predictive services, remote monitoring of car features, external mobile experiences and over-the-air updates.{ad}

Cloud platform announcements include:

  • General availability for Windows Server 2016 begins in October. Microsoft and Docker Inc. are extending their partnership to make the Commercially Supported Docker Engine available to Windows Server 2016 to customers at no additional cost. System Center 2016 will also be generally available in October, offering a simplified management solution across the data center and the cloud for Windows Server 2016 software-defined data-center features.
  • New Azure monitoring abilities, combined with Operations Management Suite updates, help IT manage cloud and on-premises assets from one place.
  • The next technical preview of Azure Stack brings Azure technology to customers’ datacenters, furthering Microsoft’s unique hybrid differentiation.
  • Microsoft is also deploying custom developed field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) that will span 15 countries and five continents. These FPGAs could be used to accelerate AI to near real-time, making Azure the foundation for the world’s first AI supercomputer.

Free training and education resources include the new online Microsoft Technical Community and the Microsoft IT Pro Career Center. Microsoft IT Pro Cloud Essentials are now available in …

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… 25 languages in 40 markets globally.

New Adobe Partnership

A strategic partnership between Microsoft and Adobe will make Microsoft Azure Adobe’s preferred cloud platform for the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud. At the same time, Microsoft will make Adobe Marketing Cloud its preferred marketing service for Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition.{ad}

“Business leaders in every industry are focused on how to better engage their digital customers, wherever they are,” said Nadella. “Together, Adobe and Microsoft are bringing the most advanced marketing capabilities on the most powerful and intelligent cloud to help companies digitally transform and engage customers in new ways.”

The new partnership and collaboration will target creating standardized data models for their marketing and business applications – leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning and advance analytics – that customers can use to create new data-driven sales and marketing capabilities. Adobe and Microsoft intend to make the data models extensible to enterprise customers, as well as third-party developers and partners, in order to foster innovation and development.


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