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Microsoft Ignite 2021: the metaverse, Artificial Intelligence and advanced digital identity, protagonists

The annual event for developers and IT professionals Microsoft Ignite 2021 has started with the introduction of more than 90 new services and product updates from the hand of the Company CEO, Satya Nadella, and other company executives. In his opening speech at the event, still held in a fully virtual format and which will conclude tomorrow, November 4, Nadella highlighted the changes that digitization has brought and will bring to the economy and society, giving as an example the new features of Microsoft Cloud for companies and all kinds of industry sectors.

The novelties presented at Microsoft Ignite 2021 are focused on offer answers to four questions that have achieved remarkable relevance in recent months: optimizing the transition to new hybrid work models, building hyper-connected companies, innovating from multicloud environments to the edge and ensuring end-to-end security. On the other hand, most of the news are related to the metaverse, Artificial Intelligence and trust through security and privacy.

The Microsoft metaverse

Just days after Mark Zuckerberg pointed to the metaverse as the future of his company after his name change, Microsoft Ignite 2021 makes reference to this concept again, which designates a kind of persistent digital world connected to many aspects of the world. physical world, including people, places, and things. It allows you to share experiences in various dimensions and you can facilitate meetings through the use of avatars, as well as collaboration from anywhere.

This is where it comes into play Microsoft Cloud, which brings together all kinds of resources designed for the metaverse. Thus, its IoT capabilities allow the generation of digital twins of objects in the cloud and the Microsoft Mesh mixed reality platform allows the feeling of a shared presence to be achieved on any device. In addition, it integrates Artificial Intelligence, which favors the generation of natural interactions thanks to machine learning models, both vision and voice.

At Microsoft Ignite 2021, the company has unveiled several new features created to move the metaverse forward. The first is Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces, developed to provide another perspective on how people move and interact in virtually all workspaces, as well as to facilitate health and safety management in a hybrid environment. Dynamics 365 will also add a first person voice channel to Customer Service, which will serve companies to offer a more consistent and personalized customer service across all channels, and which will have solutions driven by data and Artificial Intelligence.

Another is Mesh for Microsoft Teams, a novelty that means that all those attending a meeting can be present in it without having to do so physically. To do this, it uses personalized avatars and immersive spaces that can be accessed from any type of device, without having to use special elements to do so.

According to the company, Mesh for Teams will be accessible from smartphones, computers and virtual reality headsets from the moment it is available. For now, its release date is unknown, and it is only known that its trial version will arrive in the first half of 2022. Companies can develop spaces, which have been called metaverses, in Teams. In addition, it will arrive with a set of pre-designed immersive spaces. Over time, companies will be able to develop their custom ones, and deploy them to Teams.

Artificial Intelligence and trust: more possibilities for Azure and Teams

Microsoft Ignite 2021 has also showcase service to announce the Azure OpenAI Service availability, which until now worked by invitation only. With it, customers of the service will be able to benefit from different models of OpenAI, of great power. Also of security, reliability, compliance, data privacy and other business features built into Azure. In addition, your clients will have tools to ensure that the results of the models are appropriate for the company that uses the service.

Another novelty of the event is Azure Active Directory, which now goes beyond the protection and administration of access to internal company networks, to reach external collaboration systems. Azure will also feature several updates, developed to improve the way customers can manage data and applications in hybrid and multicloud environments with Azure Arc.

Apart from these new features, Azure will also incorporate improvements from now on in terms of infrastructure. Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets enable companies to more easily manage virtual machines in high-volume environments, and Azure Virtual Network Manager gives developers the ability to manage their virtual networks through subscriptions, while scaling cloud-based workloads.

The company has further added to Azure Cosmos DB, your database service, customizable performance provisioning across spending limits, cost savings alerts in Azure Advisor, and partial document updates for the SQL Core API. Additionally, it is releasing Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra in general availability, allowing developers to scale their Cassandra workloads to the cloud, with automatic syncing.

Too Microsoft Teams Connect, which allows each user and access request to be protected by Active Directory, no matter where the participants are in a meeting or collaboration group. Teams Shared Channel It will allow inviting an external work team to join an internal channel, as well as scheduling a shared channel meeting. It will also allow members of this external team to collaborate on files.

As to Chat with Teamswill give Teams users the opportunity to chat with people outside of the company network. To do this, they will only have to have an email address and comply with the security and compliance protocols of their organization. As a consequence, employees of different companies who participate in a work group or collaborate on projects will be able to collaborate through Teams as if they were practically an internal team.

Loop, Customer Experience Platform and other cloud news

In addition to these solutions, Microsoft Ignite 2021 has also announced Microsoft Loop, a development designed to operate through applications and focused on facilitating joint planning and creation for work teams. Loop is in charge of organizing everything that is necessary to start a project, as well as to work on it. That is, its mission is to gather files, links or data that are in other applications in a single workspace. Plus, it makes it easy to use portable devices to complete the job. Either through chat sessions, meetings or shared documents, also ensuring that all content is synchronized in the cloud.

As to Microsoft Customer Experience Platform, it is a marketing platform that allows organizations and companies to facilitate the control of their customers’ data, so that they can personalize, automate and improve their experience.

In addition to these news, Microsoft has also announced other news at the event, such as ContextIQ, a group of features that will improve the integration of collaboration, sharing and communication in the workflow of tools such as Teams, as well as in Office 365 and Dynamics 365 applications. Leverage the Microsoft Graph to get data on work of a person throughout the day and then predict, search and suggest the information they need. On the other hand, those of Redmond have also presented Defender for Business, a package of tools and security solutions designed for small companies.

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