There was a lot to choose from, but we’ve picked out some of our favourite news from this fall's Ignite conference
For many organisations, Microsoft Teams is the trusted friend that kept you connected when the world changed overnight. Microsoft recognise this and have kept working and adding new feature on what is a core part of the toolset, and much more than an instant messenger.
The big front page news is Mesh for Microsoft Teams, which will allow teams to meet in virtual ‘immersive spaces’. With a slightly ‘The Sims’ vibe, your virtual presence can wander around conference rooms and coffee lounges to meet with colleagues.
Gimmicky? Perhaps. A glimpse of what’s to come – we think definitely.
There was more updates to Teams meetings showcased, with some new features that will help meetings run more smoothly, including assigning roles and being able to see who raised their hand first. And for Live Events, a virtual green room and a streamlined Q&A interface for your presenters and producers – making the moment in the spotlight less stressful.
Teams Connect will make it easier to use teams to collaborate with people outside your organisation, which for companies like us who work closely with clients will be a welcome addition. Security hasn’t been forgotten, with Teams admins able to closely control the new ‘shared channels’ in a granular admin experience, and Chat communication remaining within the security and compliance policies of your organisation.
Azure continues to innovate to support rapidly growing data needs of large enterprises. With Azure Arc, you will be able to project on-premises and multi-cloud resources into Azure Resource Manager, allowing alignment of your security, governance and management across resources, whether they sit in a data centre or multicloud.
The eagerly anticipated SQL Server 2022 is now available in gated preview, and Azure Synapse’s new features, along with Azure Purview which handles data governance is now on general release.
Going hybrid has forced us to think differently, and Microsoft have done the same, introducing Microsoft Loop.
Loop introduces the concept of components – in their words ‘atomic units of productivity’ – in ours, things that it’s useful to keep current and share with others. They can be lists, tables, notes, status trackers. Loop means they’ll be easier to use over all your different Office apps.
Loop also has pages and workspaces to enable collaboration. We’re looking forward to seeing exactly how these will plug in with Teams, and what they’ll do to help us work smarter.
Another update we liked was Recording Studio in PowerPoint – it looks like sharing your stories and your messages with the world from your own desk will be made much easier with these enhanced toolsets.