Security and AI dominate the agenda at Microsoft Ignite

Security and AI were the running themes as Microsoft debuted a range of new solutions and upgrades at the company’s annual Ignite conference. 

In an effort to empower IT professionals to embrace digital transformation, the company made a number of announcements spanning security, productivity, intelligence and the cloud. In addition, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was joined on stage by Adobe CEO Shantanu Naraye to announce that Adobe Marketing Cloud is coming to Microsoft Azure, as well as making it the preferred digital marketing solution for Dynamics 365 Enterprise.

“Core to our mission to empower every person and organisation on the planet is democratizing AI for every person and organization to help solve society’s most pressing challenges,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “To do this, we’re infusing intelligence into everything we deliver — from the agent to applications, services and infrastructure.”


In a bid to address one of the biggest challenges facing today’s digital enterprise, security was appropriately top of Microsoft’s agenda with tough enhancements to Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, all announced at the event.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence provides alerts and information on the origination of specific attacks, integrates with existing security incident event management systems, and enables customers to deploy dynamic policies based on the threat type.


Windows Defender Application Guard, coming next year to Windows 10 Enterprise customers and soon to Windows Insiders, WDAG means Microsoft Edge can now claim the title as the world’s most secure browser. It is powered by virtualization-based security technology and uses isolated containers built directly into the hardware to prevent malicious code from moving across employee devices and the corporate network.



Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) and Office 365 ATP now share intelligence mutually across both services, helping IT pros to investigate and respond to security threats across Windows 10 and Office 365 more quickly and efficiently.


New enterprise artificial intelligence capabilities were also announced including an upgraded skill set for Cortana and all new smart features for Office 365 including:

Tap in Word and Outlook which uses the Microsoft Graph to make it easier to incorporate content from existing documents within your organization into your own documents and emails.


Quickstarter for PowerPoint and Sway provides curated outlines for any topic, including text and images, that can be used as a starting point to build presentations.

Microsoft MyAnalytics (formerly Delve Analytics) is a personal analytics service in Office 365 that helps people understand how they spend time at work. New capabilities provide team members and leaders with insights to help find better ways of working together.

Maps, a new chart type in Excel powered by Bing Maps, transforms geographic data into high-fidelity visualizations.



Relationship Assistant, included in the soon-to-be-released Dynamics 365 for Sales, promises to make customer engagement more intelligent than ever before on any device.

Microsoft customers were showcased for innovative Cortana Intelligence use cases —Lowe’s delivering a digitally enhanced kitchen remodel experience and Dymaxia are making healthcare more efficient and accessible. Uber announced it is using Microsoft Cognitive Services for its real-time ID check security feature to improve rider and driver security.

Renault-Nissan Alliance

The company also announced that it has signed a global, multi-year agreement with Renault-Nissan Alliance to advance connected driving experiences worldwide. The companies will work together to develop next-generation mobility services for cars powered by Microsoft Azure that will improve customer experiences including personalization, advanced navigation, predictive services, remote monitoring of car features, external mobile experiences and over-the-air updates. Renault-Nissan selected Azure because of its enterprise-grade security and Microsoft’s commitment to compliance.

julia-white_web21Julia White, corporate vice president at Microsoft Ignite

“A car is becoming increasingly connected, intelligent and personal,” said Ogi Redzic, Renault-Nissan Alliance senior vice-president, Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services. “Partnering with Microsoft allows us to accelerate the development of the associated key technologies needed to enable scenarios our customers want and build all-new ones they haven’t even imagined. We aim to become the provider of connected mobility for everyone with one single global platform.”

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is pioneering autonomous driving and connectivity features on mainstream, mass-market vehicles at affordable prices. The Alliance aims to develop connectivity technologies and features to support the launch of more than 10 vehicles with autonomous driving technology by 2020 with services to maximize better use of newly found in-car free time.

(Images: Microsoft)