Microsoft Inspire 2021

Microsoft Inspire 2021, that is conducted by Microsoft annually and where the innovations of Microsoft are announced for the first time, continued digitally again. In this event that was held on 14th – 15th of July, more than 100 countries participated, more than 300 speakers made their speech, and nearly 300 meetings were made; and we felt Microsoft technologies to the roots once again.

Why Microsoft Inspire 2021 is more important than previous years are the details about Windows 11 and the announcement of Windows 365 for the first time. While they underlined the modules of Microsoft Viva; they also discussed Azure services along with security and compliance solutions at the event to a large extent.

Let’s get to the depths of Inspire 2021 together!

Say Hello to A New Era

“The amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data that was created over the past 30 years.
Satya Nadella, CEO

As in every year, Satya Nadella delivered the opening speech this year, too. Emphasizing the changes that the digital infrastructure has undergone, Nadella said, “The past year, while heartbreaking in many ways, was a catalyst and the beginning of an era of rapid change. In this generation, we are going through the greatest economic structural transformation. We are going through the greatest structural transformation in our economy in a generation. While we aren’t going to be able to predict every tailwind or challenge ahead, we know that digital technology will be key to resilience and transformation through whatever may come our way,” and emphasized that digital transformation is going through the most active period ever.

He stated that Microsoft Teams, that is one of the most important application for remote working, has reached daily users of 145 million and added that this number is exactly double the previous year. Adding that more than 300 updates were offered during this period, Nadella also drew attention to the size of the data generated: “Every business needs to become digitally sovereign over their own data. In fact, the amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data that was created over the past 30 years. Every organization now has the opportunity to ensure their own data is being used for their benefit.”

New Members of the FamilyWindows 11 vs Windows 10 via Microsoft: gifs

Windows 10, that was released in 2015, would be the latest version of Windows family and continue receiving updates only; until now. Exactly 16 years later, Microsoft made a decision and introduced the new Windows 11. Stating that computers have kept people and organizations together securely and productively over the past year; Satya Nadella expressed that they want to create a more open ecosystem for developers and content producers.

Nadella also announced the launch of Windows 365 for the first time, and that a new category has been added to Windows and that it is a Cloud PC. With these words, Satya indicated the groundbreaking position of Windows 365: “With just a few clicks, you can set up your Cloud PC and stream the full Windows experience from the Microsoft Cloud to a personal or a corporate device. Think about it, just like applications were brought to the cloud with SaaS, we are now bringing the operating system to the cloud with Windows 365”

Hybrid, Hybrider, Hybridest!

“Just as we brought Office to the Cloud with Office 365 10 years ago, we are bringing Windows to the Cloud with Windows 365.
Wangui McKelvey, General Manager for Microsoft 365

The hybrid working style, that entered our lives out of nowhere, has now become indispensable. This process, that brought the non-existent into being, has evolved into a more efficient, more durable and more productive business life under the name of hybrid world order, thanks to Microsoft. So, where does the hybrid working style evolving into?

Wangui McKelvey, General Manager of Microsoft 365, and Scott Manchester, Program Management Director, began their speech by stating that the future is more unpredictable than it has ever been. We can say that this situation puts technology at the heart of everything. At this point, it is necessary to put technology at the center of the hybrid working style and make accessibility possible for everyone: A new category making this idea alive is Cloud PC.

Cloud PC means transferring your own apps, settings, and desktop to any device without interruption and continue working there. The Cloud PC category has blossomed forth: Windows 365.

Windows 365 Begins

Wangui McKelvey emphasized the importance of Cloud PC and presented the first details of Windows 365 with these words: “It’s personalized and familiar with all of your settings and content, so when you go back into your Cloud PC, it is right there where you left it. Just as we brought Office to the Cloud with Office 365 10 years ago, we are bringing Windows to the Cloud with Windows 365.”

You can watch the introductory video of Windows 365 below:

Windows will no longer be a device-based operating system but rather, it will be hybrid and offer a device-independent experience. With Windows 365, you can continue to experience Windows from any device. So, when you switch to your cloud computer from your regular computer, don’t be surprised to find out that everything is in its original place!

So, how will Windows 365 be charged? Will Azure Virtual Desktop become obsolete? A blog post with more details on this topic will be with you very soon.

Livin’ La Microsoft Viva Loca!

It provides people with the resources and support they need to succeed and flourish no matter they are located; that’s why we built Microsoft Viva!
Seth Patton, General Manager of Modern Work

Don’t you feel great too every time you listen to Ricky Martin’s legendary song Livin’ La Vida Loca? Everyone needs a song with which they can get up from the chair, jump around, and dance like nobody’s watching, this song is the one; you throw yourself to the dance floor, dance and feel more alive and happier than ever before! But, what does this have to do with this topic?

Perhaps, the most important thing the pandemic taught us is the importance of human life. Isn’t it our health and happiness that make our lives meaningful? We need a world where we can live our lives freely and build our careers accordingly. There are certain companies that are stereotypical examples in schools, “They provide beds so that the employees can sleep, there is a tennis court, there is even a Starbucks, there are yoga classes…” Maybe it wasn’t about the companies, it was about people: Putting people at the center.

Welcoming Viva

A human-centered company structure is now indispensable in the new working order. In this digital era, the human resources department has to work in sync with the information technology department. The new goal is to establish a system that puts people at the center and increases personal and professional life standards of employees by supporting productivity and personal development with other practices: Microsoft proudly presents, Microsoft Viva!

Seth Patton, General Manager of Modern Work, “It provides people with the resources and support they need to succeed and flourish no matter they are located; that’s why we built Microsoft Viva. Viva puts people at the center; connecting them to company information and people, workplace insights, knowledge, and learning to help people and teams achieve their best from anywhere.”

In the following question-answer section, they mentioned pricing, modules, release date, and much more. Our new blog post about all those details will be with you very soon!

Creating a Hybrid & Multi-Cloud Strategy with Azure

How do we govern and secure resources seamlessly regardless of where they are running? Microsoft Azure has been designed with hybrid in mind from the very beginning to help meet these challenges!
Vijay Kumar, Senior Azure Director

As we mentioned before, the amount of the data to be generated in the next 3 years will be larger than ever. Yet, as a result of some regulations and the policies of the companies, firms prefer sometimes one-type or different cloud usages, and sometimes local servers, which we call on-prem. The most complex scenarios are the ones where they are all together: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and local services are together, at the same time.

In fact, this is an approach that refutes the theory that ‘you cannot compare apples to oranges’; as we put all of them in the same basket, we also need to manage them at the same. But how can this be possible? Additionally, how can we succeed in providing a modern working environment, ensuring endurance, and achieving data freedom?

Azure Arc and Hybrid Benefit

Vijay Kumar, Microsoft’s Senior Azure Director, stated that they prepared investments and software in Azure with the consideration of the extreme situations like that of today: “One of the most frequently asked questions from our customer is how do we govern and secure resources seamlessly regardless of where they are running? Microsoft Azure has been designed with hybrid in mind from the very beginning to help meet these challenges; Azure offers unique, hybrid, and multi-cloud capabilities that give customers the flexibility to innovate anywhere. It all starts with Azure Arc.”

Azure Arc Servisine Genel Bakış - PEAKUP

In this panel, after touching upon the features of Azure Arc, they stated that Azure customers can achieve compliance in regional operations, cloud-independent applications, and accessible Azure services from anywhere. In addition, they mentioned advanced control and access opportunities, emphasizing its excellent compatibility with Azure Lighthouse.

For instance, a company with a few stores wants optimization for its existing infrastructure without creating more expenditure items. With Azure Hybrid Benefit, you gain organization-wide visibility. With Azure Arc, you can manage your data both in the cloud and local, and comply with the policies.

Other Notes

Besides Microsoft Inspire main topics and meetings or other panels, it is useful to point out some other important details:

1- Power Platform is the new generation working process. Companies such as H&M, Toyota, and Unilever have included the Power Platform, which has approximately 16 million monthly active users, into their automation and productivity processes. The future is in streamlining workflow.

2- Microsoft Teams has reached daily users of 145 million and this number is exactly double the previous year.

3- Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 will be end-of-life on the 10th of October 2023. However, if you move Windows Server to Azure with Hybrid Advantage, you can get technical support for 3 more years. It was also announced that this is going to be free. Likewise, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 can also get technical support for 1 more year only in Azure.

4- Cyber security applications blocked 30 billion email attacks in 2020. Ransomware attacks increased by %400 in developed countries. By 2024, annual cybersecurity expenses will reach $189 billion. Likewise, remote and hybrid working styles have increased by %300 during the pandemic; this has increased the exposure to the internal and outer threats. There is an average of 50 million cyberattacks per day; which explains why investment in security has increased by %400 during the pandemic.

5- Transaction fees on Azure Marketplace and AppSource have decreased from %20 to %3. Additionally, IT admins can purchase directly through the Microsoft Teams AppStore; this means that IT admins have direct decision-making purchasing power for their companies.

Final Words

The annual Microsoft Inspire, true to its name, is literally inspiring. When we examine this summit as Makronet, we see once again that we share the same vision and mission; reach the targeted customer experience level together with all units, and provide added value with our solutions. The biggest step we have taken in terms of customer experience is MyAdmin. We will share a blog post about this service very soon.

More detailed blogs about Windows 365, Microsoft Viva, Windows 11, and Azure are on their way. Don’t forget to follow us, see you next year at Microsoft Inspire 2022! 🙂

Mert Tüfekçioğlu
Marketing Specialist
Mert Tüfekçioğlu | LinkedIn