Microsoft pulled the curtain back further on its Mobile First, Cloud First strategy Monday before 23,000 Microsoft Ignite attendees in Chicago, unleashing new productivity and security features in Windows 10, the public preview of Office 2016 and a new Azure Stack.
"Mobility is not a single device," said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. "It's the mobility of the experience across multiple devices. And it only happens because the cloud enables it. And when we talk about the cloud first, it is the cloud that is the back end for all of your devices, all of your applications and all of your data, adding intelligence to your experience."
Fresh on the heels of last week's Microsoft Build conference, Nadella reminded IT professionals that as IT dollars flow to a growing number of different budgets in a corporation and more hardware tasks head to the cloud, IT administrators were more relevant than ever when it comes to navigating a new business productivity landscape that includes mobile, cloud and a growing number of security challenges.
"We need to enable users to choose their devices, but we need to ensure the security and management of those experiences," Nadella said. "We want to enable our business unit to choose their SaaS application of choice, but, yet, we need to have the compliance, security and efficiencies. And with these challenges is the opportunity within IT."
With that, and with rapper Common providing live entertainment between speakers, Microsoft announced a number of key pieces to its strategy, tying together Microsoft's ecosystem that stretches across mobile device solutions, 2-in-1 PCs, desktops, Cortana voice assistant, security and, finally, its Azure cloud platform.
During the keynote, Microsoft announced Windows Update for Business, a free, new management option for Windows 10 Pro and enterprise users that updates systems faster, delivering updates and critical fixes to systems on an ongoing basis -- not just the second Tuesday of every month.