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These 8 novelties Microsoft has in store for you

Like any organization, Microsoft is looking ahead, so a new year means new targets. During Ignite 2019, at the end of last year in Orlando, the tech company presented many novelties that we can expect in 2020. Eight with an eye for data, more specifically with regard to simplifying data searches, at different levels such as the web, local documents, in the cloud or data in documents themselves. Below is a brief summary:

Microsoft Edge logo 1. The new Chromium-based Edge browser with improved privacy features

There is a lot of attention for privacy nowadays, which is still a relatively new trend in the world of browser development. Until recently, the focus was on increasing speed. The extra advantage that Microsoft is now playing with improved privacy can only make Edge more attractive. Moreover, Microsoft disconnected the release cycle of Edge from Windows, which means that you can play shorter with updates that keep the browser up-to-date, for all platforms. Want to try the new Microsoft Edge? Download it here!

2. Searching Documents with Project Cortex

Machine Learning gives search engines new possibilities. Project Cortex makes it possible to gather information from unstructured documents such as contracts, invoices or delivery notes. Cortex adds metadata and classifies the data into objects, making it easier to consult. Project Cortex is specifically interesting for companies that generate a lot of data and are bored with a large administrative overhead.

3. Natural language search queries in MS Search

At a higher level, Microsoft Search has been improved to find the right documents faster. The intelligence behind the tool now allows you to search based on a simpler description of what you are looking for. In addition to the ever-increasing mountain of data that we have to search through every day, we all use more and more devices, different applications and services. The management of these is becoming increasingly complex. Microsoft also pays specific attention to this.

4. Cortana Personal Assistant

Cortana is a voice assistant used specifically to increase productivity. He (or she) can read you a summary of your most important mails. With a simple voice command you can flag, delete or even reply to mails. Cortana can also update your appointments or give suggestions about which tasks you should perform right away.

5. Azure Arc

Arc allows you to use Azure management tools and data services across various cloud platforms, including AWS and Google. This is a very interesting solution for organizations that use different clouds. With Azure Arc you can use all servers, Windows and Linux, all Kubernet clusters and all Azure data services This makes auditing, compliance and access control much easier.

6. Endpoint Manager

Device management modernises Microsoft through the ConfigManager and Intune ConfigManager users get an Intunes license that allows them to switch to cloud-based management of PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

7. All-in-one Office App

These new Office 365-app combines Word, Excel and Powerpoint in a single user interface. It facilitates editing documents on-the-fly, along with others. The app includes some smart features such as:

  • Photo Recognition (OCR): this allows images to be easily converted to text, tables and a PDF.
  • Digital signature: from now on, documents can also easily be signed on-the-go via your smartphone.

The beta version is already on the market and will be eagerly tested by our User Adoption specialists. Soon our findings!

8. Private Channels and Pop-Up Chat in Microsoft Teams

Teams is still a young tool in the Office 365 pallet, but has already proven its usefulness. Microsoft has made the tool even more intuitive by adding some smart features. Secured Channels, for example, now allows you to set up a separate communication channel with a subset of users within a team. This can be useful if you want to tune in with a few colleagues, but don't want to disturb the entire team unnecessarily. Pop-up Chat is another smart feature that allows you to have a chat while using Teams in parallel for other communication. So Microsoft builds the flexibility in Teams that characterizes modern organizations. Learn more about Teams? Discover all the possibilities here including external calls.

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Of course, this is just a selection of the many novelties Microsoft has in store for you in 2020. The leitmotiv remains clearly the increase in productivity by making applications smarter. Microsoft does this by taking user feedback into account when developing new features and tools, adding more and more artificial intelligence and making use of machine learning. Welcome to the future and work even more efficiently now (together)!

"Microsoft increases your productivity by making applications smarter, adding more and more artificial intelligence and using machine learning."

What will the future bring? Get an exclusive tour & plenty of inspiring sessions at the revamped Living Tomorrow. It promises to be another great and educational year-end event! See you there?

Attention: limited number of places!