Microsoft Inspire 2021

Microsoft Inspire 2021: 5 Big Takeaways

Several members of the TrinSoft team attended Inspire last week, which was held virtually again this year. Microsoft made several key update announcements including the upcoming Windows 365 launch; efforts to raise awareness about advantages of its “holistic” security platform; and updates meant to take the Azure cloud platform and Microsoft marketplaces to the next level. Here are five big takeaways:

Source: CRN

Windows 365 Launch

Windows 365

With the unveiling of the Windows 365 “cloud PC” service at Inspire, Microsoft has the final remaining piece for its cloud puzzle. Windows 365 lets users stream a Windows desktop in any web browser, and the solution will be available on any PC or mobile device when it launches Aug. 2.

“In the same way that we took Office to the cloud with Office 365 and server to the cloud with Azure, we are now taking Windows to the cloud [with Windows 365],” said Melissa Grant, director of product marketing for Microsoft 365, in an interview with CRN.

“Holistic” Security Over “Point Solutions”

Microsoft executives including CEO Satya Nadella used Inspire 2021 to make the case that Microsoft is the one and only vendor that offers such a comprehensive approach to security—and that trying to integrate different point solutions is no longer sufficient.

“What differentiates our approach is organizing identity, security and compliance—as well as device management—in an interdependent whole, extending protection to all data, devices, identities, platforms and clouds,” Nadella said. “The Microsoft cloud is the only cloud with best-of-breed and best-of-suite security capabilities.”

What’s Next for Azure

Another central theme at Inspire 2021 was that Microsoft is not slowing down in its investments into new capabilities for its Azure cloud. At Inspire, Microsoft unveiled new Azure Stack HCI features and an Azure migration program expansion as among the new Azure announcements.

During his Inspire keynote, Nadella said that compared to the Microsoft cloud, which has Azure at its heart, “no other cloud offers our breadth or our depth.”

Industry-Focused Cloud Solutions

Partners have seen Microsoft change from a focus on product-by-product solutions to a strategy around business outcomes, hence the investment in the tech giant’s “industry clouds” strategy of providing industry-focused packages of cloud tools and services, said Alysa Taylor, Microsoft corporate vice president of industry, apps and data marketing. 

A focus on business outcomes and vertical solutions is what partners want and what customers want, she said. During Inspire, Microsoft revealed its sixth industry cloud, Cloud for Sustainability.

Nadella’s Message to Partners

Nadella addressed partners directly on two separate occasions during Inspire—first during his keynote, where he expressed the desire for Microsoft to be “the best partner for our partners,” and then during a shorter appearance where he thanked solution providers for their work.

“I want to extend my sincerest thanks to all of you,” Nadella said during his second appearance. “Our partner ecosystem is core to who we are and what we do as a company. You have demonstrated remarkable commitment to our customers, to our communities and to the world through this year of great constraints and change.”

For more takeaways from Inspire, check out this article from CRN.

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