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Microsoft Intros Office 2016, Azure Stack, Windows Update for Business

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By Edward Gately

Microsoft this week unveiled its next generation of Windows management, Microsoft Office, hybrid cloud infrastructure and SQL server, and other new products, presenting new opportunities for partners.

In the realm of intelligent cloud, Microsoft introduced its Azure Stack, which brings the Azure user experience, and both infrastructure and platform-as-a-service capabilities, into customers’ data centers. Also, SQL Server 2016, in preview this summer, “takes a major leap forward with a database and analytics platform that provides breakthrough performance for mission-critical applications and deeper insights on any data across on-premises and cloud.”

In the area of “reinventing productivity,” Office 2016 will offer real-time presence and the ability to see changes to text and formatting as they happen to help co-workers and teams stay on the same page as they create content. Also, Skype for Business broadcasting will enable customers to broadcast meetings to up to 10,000 people.

In addition, Windows Update for Business is a new management option for Windows 10 to always keep devices up to date with the latest security updates and Windows features. The System Center Configuration Manager for managing Windows 10 gives IT professionals expanded tools to deploy, update, manage and secure Windows 10, and will integrate with Windows Update for Business.

“Microsoft is committed to enabling partner success, working with them to build and maintain profitable businesses as they serve our mutual customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Channel Partners. “New solutions … – Windows Update for Business, Microsoft Office, next generation of hybrid cloud infrastructure, SQL Server and more – will equip partners to help their clients transform their business with the cloud, big data, productivity and other solutions.”

The announcements were made at the company’s first-ever Ignite Conference in Chicago. The new products are aimed at helping IT professionals lead their companies into a new era of enterprise computing.

“It’s no secret that IT pros have one of the hardest jobs in the tech industry,” said Brad Anderson, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, Windows Server and System Center. “In today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world, they are responsible for navigating the tensions between public and private cloud, widespread devices and traditional management, and balancing data access with data protection.”

“No business can succeed and scale without IT innovating and transforming,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO. “Empowering IT professionals is a key part of Microsoft’s technology agenda spanning Windows 10, Office 365, Azure and other cloud technologies.”

Find more detail about these Microsoft announcements and more here.


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