While known mainly as a developer’s event, Microsoft Build also is an event for the visionaries. The vision of Microsoft on 2019 revolved greatly around the cloud and Office 365 – we at TechAir Group couldn’t ask for anything more! This is especially exciting as Microsoft recently announced strong earning which coincide with their commercial cloud momentum and hybrid cloud strength. Knowing this, let’s dive in to what were our favorite features from the event.

Top New features

At the end of the year in 2018, Microsoft owned 13.7% of the Cloud market share so gaining more traction in the Cloud is very important to the developers. Following up with Cloud announcements made by Microsoft at last year’s Build conference, there was a lot to say about Microsoft Azure at Build 2019. There was less time dedicated to consumer products such as the Surface and more time dedicated directly to services. For the past two years when it comes to Azure, Microsoft has worked with partners for a “co-sell initiative” which has led to more than $5 billion in partner annual contract in the past year. In 2019, they will be expanding the program to Microsoft 365 and the Dynamics suite to more directly compete with Salesforce’s core Sales Cloud. This is huge news as by providing fast AI processing in Azure is the next step for Microsoft in rapidly catching up to Salesforce’s momentum. Growing 73% percent year over year, Azure looks like an especially bright spot in Microsoft fast paced future.

Artificial Intelligence was a hot topic again this year with continued excitement. With sustained evolution of AI, Microsoft wants to help business users build customized digital assistants. This is especially interesting to the average user as Microsoft continues to have a conversational approach when it comes to AI thus makes it more attainable for those who aren’t classified as “developers”.  Cortana is a feature that we have been familiar with for years but now a more business-first Cortana has appeared. This feature, in addition to bot and virtual assistant services, will only become more available within the coming years. Otherwise known as the voice-first Virtual Assistant technology, it was first introduced last fall but continues to drive interest from consumers. This will allow each business to have their own personalized digital assistant increasing productivity and lowering costs. It will take some time but we were fascinated to see the steps that have been made to make this once unthinkable technology a more comprehensive part of our daily lives. 

Let’s not forget Plug and Play. First developed in the era of Windows 95, the evolution of this product is astonishing. When it was first released, it was used to more easily connect to features such as webcams and printers. In general, it makes it simple for a PC to compatible with any additional software. Today, Plug and Play will continue to simplify, but now for IoT devices. Plug and Play will focus its attention on the solution itself rather than the operational problems that could occur with the IoT devices. The idea is to eliminate the extra coordination step to have a more seamless device integration.