Microsoft has kicked off its Ignite 2016 event in Atlanta today by revealing several disparate product and service announcements covering security, cloud services and digital transformation.
The company is beefing up Office 365 as a cloud proposition by improving functionality and security, adding a few Cortana and other AI-based elements to the general ecosystem and putting Server 2016 into general availability.
Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft's worldwide commercial business, said that the additions will help IT professionals achieve "bold claims" in these areas.
Microsoft announced Windows Defender Application Guard, which uses isolated containers built directly into the hardware to guard against malicious code moving across devices. It's also a clear push to increase the appeal of Microsoft Edge.
Windows Defender and Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) services now share intelligence across the cloud, and ATP now extends to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
At the same time, Outlook in iOS and Android will now be fully powered by the Microsoft cloud for Office 365 users, meaning no mailbox data being cached outside that environment.
There's also mention of dynamic delivery, which replaces dodgy attachments with a dummy one while the suspect one is scanned, thus allowing the recipient to open the email, and 'URL detonation', which purports to scan links in real time and block them if they're unsound.
Server 2016 and Azure
Windows Server 2016 will be generally available in October, along with System Centre 2016.
The new technical preview of Azure Stack now works in data centres, which the company believes is "furthering Microsoft's unique hybrid differentiation".
Microsoft talked about creating the world's largest deployment of programmable field gate arrays that could push AI to "near real time", positioning Azure as "the world's first AI supercomputer".
Cortana will enable 'Tap' in Word and Outlook to scan existing company documents and import their content into new ones, while Quickstarter in PowerPoint and Sway will provide "curated outlines" for any topic to help build presentations.
Finally, the analytics part of the Office Delve search function, which was Delve Analytics, has been renamed Microsoft MyAnalytics.
The information above was supplied to V3 in the form of a pre-briefing the night before Ignite's main keynote. This article will be updated after the event.
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