A slew of new products aimed at enterprise clients was announced by Microsoft earlier this week at the company’s Ignite conference in Chicago. The new offerings represent Redmond's attempt to refocus its efforts on its lucrative business clientele, with a particular emphasis on corporate IT departments.
The new lineup includes upgraded versions of Microsoft’s SharePoint, Exchange and SQL Server lines. The company also opened up its Office 2016 suite for previews, with the updated package now supporting in-app, real-time coauthoring in an effort to make the productivity apps more appealing to office workers collaborating on projects.
Update for Business
While there were plenty of new business-friendly products for enterprise customers to swoon over, one particular feature geared to IT professionals will be the new Windows Update for Business. The new service is a management option for Windows 10 that keeps devices up to date with the latest security updates and features.
The new solution will help reduce management costs, provide control over update deployment, offer faster access to security updates and critical fixes, and deliver the latest upgrades on an ongoing basis, according to Microsoft. Managers will also have the option to acquire trusted software or content for entire teams and companies.
Microsoft's new Advanced Threat Analytics, meanwhile, is a new technology based on the recent acquisition of Aorato. The tool is designed to help IT security professionals identify security breaches and threats, using behavioral analysis and machine learning to provide actionable information.
Some new Skype functionality designed for business clients was also introduced this week. Skype for Business broadcasting, as the tool is called, lets customers broadcast meetings to up to 10,000 people. The service uses Azure Media Services for streaming audio, video and PowerPoint presentations, and offers built-in interoperability with Bing Pulse for sentiment tracking and Yammer for audience conversations. Users can also add audience polling, formal Q&A and other functionality.
Head in the Clouds
Microsoft also made it clear that it intends to continue to pursue new cloud offerings for enterprise clients. The new SQL Server represents a major step forward in its database and analytics offerings, with better analytics for data stored both on-premises or in the cloud, according to the company.
Among the new features Microsoft is including are enhanced in-memory technologies with real-time operational analytics, new security and encryption technologies, built-in advanced analytics with the R language, and mobile business intelligence for on-premises data.
Meanwhile, the company announced that it would be previewing its Azure Stack this summer. The hybrid cloud service will allow companies to blend enterprise applications with distributed applications and services while maintaining centralized oversight. The new service, which is built on the Azure core technology, is part of the company’s plan to increase its investment in more flexible, software-defined infrastructure, Microsoft said.
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