Microsoft Ignite is underway, and the company started its conference for developers, IT professionals, and enterprise customers with a few big announcements.
Office 2019 is now available. Microsoft Search is getting a major overhaul in Windows, apps, and on the web. There’s a new cloud-based Windows Virtual Desktop available through Azure. And the Surface Hub 2 will start shipping next year.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Microsoft Search is probably one of the things most users will notice first. There’s a new unified experience across Microsoft products, with the search engine moving to the same location across all Office apps (top and center), and offering personalized results leveraging AI.
You’ll also start to see some of those personalized results show up in Bing and Windows search as well as in apps.
Other announcements from MS Ignite include:
- Password-free sign-in for the Microsoft Authenticator app allows users to login to thousands of apps with a phone, fingerprint, face recognition, or PIN.
- Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise lets developers create custom skills for use in the workplace.
- Microsoft is launching a $40 million, 5-year AI for Humanitarian Action initiative to use artificial intelligence to assist in disaster recovery, refugee protection, and other humanitarian projects.
- AI in Microsoft Teams meetings will be able to do things like blur the background during a video call and create “intelligent” recordings of meetings with automatic captions for a time-coded, searchable videos.
- Windows Server 2019 will be available in October.
- OneDrive Files On-Demand for Mac is in public preview for Mac Office Insiders.