For once, what happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas, as our CSO Rob Quickenden shares his initial highlights of Microsoft Inspire 2018.
#TeamCisilion are in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Microsoft’s annual global partner (and employee) conference Microsoft Inspire! With the conference having kicked off on Monday 16 July (well, Sunday 15 July for us after an exclusive “Surface Pre-Day”, we’ve been hearing about new innovations, partner and customer innovations and incentives, and new ways in which Microsoft is living up to its mission of “empowering every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more”.
Microsoft have already had some big announcements this week:
New Updates to Microsoft Teams
Last year, and to address the growing collaboration needs of organisations, as well as to compete with the likes of Slack etc, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Teams, their “hub for teamwork” that brings together chat, meetings, calling, files, and apps into a shared workspace in Microsoft 365.
With Teams now bolstering a 100% annual growth, Teams has received a number of new updates:
1) It’s now free!
Well, for teams of less than 300 users anyway, and available in 40 languages. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or part of a team inside a large organisation, you can start using Teams today:
- Unlimited chat messages and search.
- Built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups, and full team meetups.
- 10 GB of team file storage plus additional 2 GB per person for personal storage.
- Integrated, real-time content creation with Office Online and Office Desktop apps (where licensed)
- Unlimited app integrations with more than 140 business apps to choose from—including Adobe, WebEx, Evernote, and Trello.
- Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organisation, backed by Microsoft’s secure, global infrastructure.
2) New intelligent event capabilities across Microsoft 365 which include:
- New Capabilities that allow anyone in the organisation to create live and on-demand events. Events can be viewed in real-time or on-demand, with high-definition video and interactive discussion and can be as simple or as sophisticated as you prefer. You can use webcams, content, and screen sharing for informal presentations, or stream a studio-quality production for more formal events. This is also coming to other services such as Yammer and builds on the Skype Broadcast technology released a year or so ago!
- AI-powered services enhance the on-demand experience with:
- A speaker timeline, which uses facial detection to identify who is talking, so you can easily jump to a particular speaker in the event.
- Speech-to-text transcription, timecoding, and transcript search, so you can quickly find moments that matter in a recording.
- Closed captions to make the event more accessible to all.
Microsoft Whiteboard beta – is not beta anymore
Microsoft Whiteboard is now generally available for Windows 10 and is also coming soon to iOS and Web. Whether meeting in person or virtually, people need the ability to collaborate in real-time. The new Whiteboard application enables people to ideate, iterate, and work together both in person and remotely, across multiple devices.
Using pen, touch, and keyboard, you can jot down notes, create tables and shapes, freeform drawings, and search and insert images from the web. I love this app so much and really wish it was embedded in OneNote!
The idea behind Surface Go, was to produce their smallest, lightest, and most affordable Surface yet. It was designed to fit ideally into a number of sectors and user types that need more cost effective (ok, cheaper) super light weight devices, but still need full laptop power and want to benefit from all the good Surface type things such as detachable keyboard, 4096 pressure point pen and of course all the security services such as Windows Hello and TPM.
Surface Go, weights just 1.15 pounds and is a mere 8.3 mm thick. Surface Go, starts at £370. The custom calibrated 3:2 display is soft on your eyes while you’re working and vibrantly high-contrast when you want to watch videos, create art, or edit photos. What I love is that in portrait mode, the screen has been designed to render the page to the scale of most textbooks (ideal for education institutions), and in landscape mode, it can render pages side by side as if you were holding a paperback book in hand.
That’s it for now, we will be sending an update after the event, so please check back with us. In the mean time, click here to get in touch with our experts to book an Innovation Centre experience to discuss how Cisilion and Microsoft can transform your business.
Written by Cisilion CSO Rob Quickenden