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Microsoft Ignite 2017: The View From the Show Floor

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Microsoft Ignite -- For a few days this week, Microsoft detailed its vision of the future of enterprise IT, with a big emphasis on artificial intelligence, cloud computing, business applications, as well as what the company calls "mixed reality."

At his opening keynote at Ignite 2017, CEO Satya Nadella set the tone for the company: Emphasis on cloud, pushing the edge of other technologies and steady growth from the company's enterprise platforms. His book released at the show, Hit Refresh, explains how he has begun re-inventing the 40-year-old company.

It showed on-stage. Would Steve Ballmer sit for a detailed, 20-minute discussion of quantum computing with two physicists, a mathematician and a computer science PhD? The answer is: unlikely. (See Microsoft's Quantum Computing Efforts Come into Focus.)

The days of hammering Windows as the company's main product are done.

For his part, Nadella spent a lot of time emphasizing the company's Azure cloud, including its finally released Azure Stack, which offers enterprises a private version of Microsoft's public cloud. (See Microsoft Azure Stack, SQL Server 2017 Emphasize Hybrid Cloud.)

There was also lots of talk of AI and blending machine learning into almost every platform. (See Microsoft Serving a Slice of AI With Everything at Ignite.)

Down on the showroom floor, what Nadella and other executives talked about came into focus. Here's a quick recap of the week that was Ignite in Orlando.

Ignite 2017

(All images by Scott Ferguson for Enterprise Cloud News.)

— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

[email protected] 9/29/2017 | 11:07:57 AM
Change or be changed Microsft has come to the realization that the marketplace has changed and they need to change with it. Selling software as a service entering the hardware market and the cloud market were steps in that direction. It needs to keep building value through integration and create a perception that it plays well with other tech. The position of remaining not Apple friendly for so many years hear them and they lost market share to the open source office knockoffs. Some never went back and Google docs further began eroding their competitive position. I am glad that Nadella sees its  time for them to demonstrate that they can give their customers value on many levels.
Michelle 9/30/2017 | 2:19:07 PM
Re: Change or be changed I agree this could be a real opportunity for microsoft to lead from the front for a change. They really missed the opportunity for mobile office and plenty of other systems. 
[email protected] 9/30/2017 | 6:46:23 PM
Re: Change or be changed Michelle, I agree there is just a lot of lost ground for them to make up. It is going to be difficult to fully catch up so hopefully there new offering will be so compelling that they will move users to their platforms.
Michelle 9/30/2017 | 6:57:36 PM
Re: Change or be changed At least they made the move to support mobile. Blackberry is in a much worse position these days after being a market leader.
Susan Fourtané 9/30/2017 | 9:47:20 PM
Stormtroopers Scott — What did you have to do to get one of those life-sized Stormtroopers? Did you take one home? :)
Susan Fourtané 9/30/2017 | 9:50:28 PM
Quantum prototype I am intrigued by the quantum prototype’s looks. It looks like a mix of rare musical instrument and Dr. Frankenstain’s lab equipment.
Mitch Wagner 10/1/2017 | 8:02:24 PM
Stormtrooper I hope the Adaptiva stormtrooper shoots better than the ones in the movies. 
Susan Fourtané 10/1/2017 | 11:45:24 PM
Re: Stormtrooper Mitch — Did you get one? :D I want to know what one had to do to bring one home. I seems like it could be a good marketing move. Think of the many Star Wars fans that were there and were attracted by the Stormtroopers, or not?
[email protected] 10/12/2017 | 12:11:29 PM
Re: Change or be changed I agree blackberry got comfortable and when it was time for change it was too late. I think Microsoft has the opportunity to make up some ground it's moving much faster and leveraging a more diverse perspective with their new offerings.
Michelle 10/12/2017 | 1:14:49 PM
Re: Change or be changed They're doing well to move foward even after an initial stumble. They are proving they can change.
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