More than 100 new features were announced during Ignite 2022 in Seattle. I try to curate a list of the important announcements.
The new hardware (Surface Laptop 5, Surface Pro 9, Surface Studio 2 Plus) looks fancy, but I’m impressed by the capabilities of neural processing unit (NPU) of Surface Pro 9 which allows real-time noise reduction. During a live demo, Bob Bejan’s guitar playing was flawlessly filtered out. Impressive.
Data & AI
The collaboration with OpenAI adds value in various apps. With the natural language processing of GPT-3, Microsoft Syntex turns content in knowledge and Viva Sales summarize sales calls. The new image generation app “Microsoft Designer” is based on DALL·E 2. And Codex empowers developers with GitHub CoPilot.
On the security front, new security protection capabilities were announced in Microsoft Defender for Cloud. These will help organizations strengthen their cloud security posture, extend threat protection to all workloads.
Check out this blogs if you want to know more about other announcements: Here are all the security features Microsoft unveiled at Ignite 2022 from Neowin or Defender Announcements From Microsoft Ignite 2022 from infusedinnovations.com.
Security for Azure DevOps
The announcements were made to improve the application security of code stored in Azure DevOps. On one hand, the GitHub Advanced Security will also be available for Azure DevOps. You can join a private preview.
The Microsoft Defender for DevOps gives the CISO the possibility to see how their organizations’ code and development management systems work. Both tools are scanning the code for secrets and dependencies with vulnerabilities. This will add an extra layer of security for app development teams.
Intune is back. All endpoint management products will be marked under the brand Intune. Part of Intune is Endpoint privilege management: IT can define policies, when standard users can elevate to admin permissions to for instance install software.
Defender for Endpoint will detect when a user enter your credentials on an malicious website, inform IT and ask the user to change the password. This is adds an extra layer in phishing prevention.
The hybrid work world is here to stay. We won’t go back to the office 5 days a week. But still it’s important (and fun) to meet co-workers in person. As an employee or manager, you need to coordinate when to meet. The office managers need to know, how many people are coming to the office and if there are enough meeting rooms and desks around. To solve this, Microsoft announced a new product called Places.
With Microsoft Syntex content stored on SharePoint can be automatically classified, annotated, summarized, and translated. Later, content assembly and e-signature solutions will follow. Based on AI Builder and Power Automate. This will be a game changer and allows many customers to turn content into knowledge.
There will be a new Teams Premium version with premium features and a higher price. One of the features will transcribe meetings automatically. Satya mentioned that with this, we don’t have to attend all meetings but can just read the transcript. Sweet, right?
Mesh avatars in Microsoft Teams
As a big fan of the metaverse, I’m happy the see a first towards meeting in VR with Mesh avatars in Microsoft Teams meeting. If you had a bad night or if you are eating, you can leave the camera off and join the meeting with your avatar. This feature is in private preview. See more here: Introducing Mesh avatars for Microsoft Teams in Private Preview
The employee experience platform Microsoft Viva is slowly picking up speed. The individual apps have mature features and are used productively. Big announcements were done already before the conference. Here you find a good overview of all small improvements: Microsoft Ignite 2022: Innovations and roadmap for Microsoft Viva
Loop components are information snippets, which can be edited highly collaboratively. You can have the same component in Teams, Outlook, Word, and also in the new Loop app, which is in private preview. Sign up for the private preview Microsoft Loop or read more Microsoft Loop at Ignite 2022
The newest kid on the party is Microsoft Designer. Backed by OpenAI DALL·E image generation algorithms, it will generate unique graphics for your social media and presentation. You can join the waiting list here Microsoft Designer.
Low or no code development has a big momentum and Microsoft is constantly delivering new features and improve existing. Here a good overview of all the small announcements Leverage low-code to do more with less at Microsoft Ignite 2022
I would like to point out 3 of them
- New Azure DevOps pipelines allows to follow the ALM processes established in enterprises around the world. Power Apps can be deployed to different stages using pipelines. You find more here The future of low-code governance with Managed Environments for Power Platform
- Power Apps gets a co-authoring feature. Makers can work together in real-time in the app designer. More here Power Apps brings collaboration to center stage with 3 big announcements
- Thanks to the OpenAI Codex algorithm, a maker can formulate a task in natural language and Power Automate copilot will build a flow.
Azure Confidential Computing
Today the data is encrypted at rest (with tools like Bitlocker) and at transit (with protocols like TLS). Confidential Computing helps to secure data in use. Mark Russinovich explained like this: In a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) or enclave. It’s a black box, where you can put code in. The TEE can provide an attestation to external parties, which can then build trust to the program inside the TEE. One can put in a secret, that allows to decrypt data which is put in the enclave. And because of the production, nothing outside can see that data.
In Azure, this includes hardware root-of-trust (from AMD, Intel oder Nvidia), customer verifiable remote attestation and memory encryption. Today, Azure offers a confidential environment for SQL, Containers and certain types of virtual machines. It’s also possible to run solutions build with an Enclave-Aware SDK like Open Enclave.
These changes were already announced at Build 2022, but they are now in public preview.
Dev Box is a Cloud based workspaces, which allows developers to start coding right off. Start point is https://devbox.microsoft.com.
With Azure Deployment Environments developers can test and debug an application with on different platforms like MAUI (Android, Windows, iOS), Azure Container Apps, Azure Web Sites, Blazor, and more. In a Git repository, the team can define ARM templates which defines the environment available.
Thanks to DevTunnel, resources which are served on localhost are tunneled to a public IP. This helps to test on a mobile phone.
All these innovations can be managed your company’s admin, and follows all the companies policies and security needs.
PS: For all developers out there. Grab a bag of popcorn and watch Mark Russinovich and Scott Hanselman talking about Building 25+ years of SysInternals: Exploring ZoomIt