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Inspire 2021: 5 Big Updates In Microsoft 365, Teams And Industry Clouds

Microsoft’s sixth industry cloud offering, along with new Teams capabilities and a Windows “cloud PC” service, are among the major announcements at the Inspire partner conference this week.

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At Microsoft’s Inspire 2021 partner conference this week, the company is unveiling a new industry cloud offering, a virtual Windows desktop solution that is accessible from a web browser and new capabilities in the Teams collaboration app.

Microsoft announced it’s launching a sixth “industry cloud” -- a package of cloud tools and services aimed at a particular vertical. The new industry cloud is aimed at sustainability and corporate environmental efforts, something that is “top of mind for every CEO,” Alysa Taylor, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for industry, apps and data marketing, told CRN in an interview.

Rod Pruett, vice president of consulting services at Sunrise Technologies, a Microsoft partner based in Winston-Salem, N.C., said that Microsoft’s retail industry cloud has helped existing customers gain new insights into their e-commerce and business-to-business sales, the shop floor and with moving goods. And for potential customers, the industry clouds offer an easy-to-explain package of goods for a marketing win. “I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I have been so energized with how much capability and the value that we can bring to customers now with these platforms,” Pruett said.

Along with the sixth industry cloud, Microsoft has announced updates for its Viva employee experience platform, the Windows 365 “cloud PC” service and more integrations between Teams and Dynamics 365.

What follows are five big updates in Microsoft 365, Teams and industry clouds announced at Inspire 2021.

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