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Lessons from Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2015

In July 2015 Intetics attended Microsoft’s World Partner Conference (WPC), a conference that brought together 15,000 Microsoft partner companies for five days of technology discussions, revelations and networking.

The conference is one of the largest events for the tech world, and brings together a large number of tech executives. It’s the place where Microsoft executives share their latest projects, and describe their vision for the future.

The most exciting new technology:
The main featured technology of the year was Hololens. Microsoft has developed holographic glasses that can virtually turn any physical area into a computing experience. It’s an exciting new technology that’s due to be released to developers next year. The consumer version is not likely to show up on the market until 2020. Microsoft’s CEO has been very explicit in pointing out that the Hololens should not be viewed as Google Glass, rather it’s a tool to extend the capabilities of existing technology. Its ultimate goal is to be the central device for all computing experiences.

Unexpected Microsoft moves:
It looks like Microsoft is going to build open platforms that will support all providers (i.e. Apple, Android, OpenSource), and not only MS technologies. This is a major move for the company, and goes along with their vision of being at the center of integrating all of technology and computing experiences. This strategy is evident in new applications Microsoft has created. One example is GigJam, an application that uses Cortana to connect applications and data sets to make it easier for executives to make decisions, get access and share the information they need right away — and yes, it works on iPhones too.
Intetics Microsoft Wordwide Partner Conference WPC15

From the lion’s mouth:
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, opened the conference with a 50 minute keynote speech. The speech illustrates Microsoft’s 3 ambitions: pursue personalized computing, create an intelligent cloud to translate data into action, and reinvent productivity and business process. Here are some of the highlights:

Empowerment: The whole speech can be summed up with one word: empowerment. Microsoft’s vision is to empower their partners to do great things: “There is no other ecosystem [like Microsoft’s] that is primarily and solely built to help customers achieve greatness.”

Mobility: Nadella called the future the “cloud first, mobile-first” world. It will be mobile first in that it will rely on mobility of a computing experience. It will soon become ubiquitous which device we are using, since technology will surround us everywhere. So, we need our experiences, data and applications to work seamlessly across all these devices – which is enabled by cloud.

Availability: Nadella called this “democratizing client-server computing”. Since cloud becoming the dominant technology that unites all computing experiences, thoughtful infrastructure must be put in place to ensure that distributed computing remains distributed. Moreover, working infrastructure is a requirement to make technology available to the most people. “There isn’t a company out there that isn’t a software company,” Nadella said. So technology must become more cost efficient and be easily accessible if it’s going to help businesses keep up with change.

Up for debate:

  1. Is it necessary to talk about Windows 10? Well, yes. It’s Microsoft’s “next chapter” and it’s the platform from which it’s planning to launch the Windows Hololens.
  2. Trust at the core of technology – when can authorities demand data and when should companies say no? (Like your Skype data.)
  3. Is the pace of change constant or increasing? There used to be a PC ecosystem, a TV ecosystem, a phone ecosystem. Those boundaries are breaking down. Technology is causing a convergence and increasing the pace of change as well as disrupting every industry today. Who’s going to keep up and who’s going to be left behind?

Intetics has been a Microsoft partner for over 15 years. It’s currently a Microsoft Gold Partner in application development. It looks like the next few years are going to transform the world, and we’re glad to be a part of it!

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