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Microsoft’s 15 Top Announcements At Ignite Fall 2021

Wade Tyler Millward

The company used its virtual conference to unveil new security offerings and features, enhancements to the Azure cloud platform and new features in Teams.

Microsoft Beefs Up Azure

Microsoft announced plenty of Azure updates during the week. New previews include a set of industry-specific database templates in the studio experience for Azure Synapse Analytics; a feature to connect SQL servers to Azure SQL Managed Instance, no matter where the servers are hosted, and telemetry, time series and log data real-time analytics in Azure Synapse through a new data explorer capability.

New generally available features for Azure include Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra, using Azure Advisor for alerts to control spending, Azure Synapse’s Event Hubs Premium feature, a new deployment option for Azure Database’s fully managed database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL and the free DevOps Workflow Generator tool to allow users to visualize the entire DevOps toolchain., according to Microsoft.

Azure Communication Services interoperability with Microsoft Teams will become available in December. Developers will have new abilities to streamline voice, video and chat between users on custom-built applications, websites and Teams, according to Microsoft.

And as part of a group of updates to Azure related to artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft Azure Cognitive Search gained support for more than 50 languages for select users.

The tech giant launched updates to its Azure Cognitive Services suite, including invitation-only access to OpenAI’s GPT-3 models for security, compliance and other enterprise capabilities on Azure, according to Microsoft.

“We are taking the AI breakthroughs and translating them into platforms for you to build upon—whether it’s deploying intelligent agents to speed up customer service, or extracting insights from volumes of unstructured data,” CEO Nadella said.

Microsoft will continue to take “incredible breakthroughs” in AI and “turn them into new capabilities for our customers—whether it’s speech transcription, speech translation in PowerPoint, or now [the] 100+ languages and dialects we support in Microsoft Translator,” Nadella said.

 
Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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