Microsoft Ignite 2022 is in full swing. This annual conference is Microsoft’s time to communicate with IT professionals about new announcements and offerings. This year the event is back in-person at the Seattle Convention Center for those who are able to make it there. Anyone else can attend virtually, and for those who don’t have time to attend at all, we’re here to fill you in on some of the biggest announcements!
What’s New in Windows 365
There are a number of new features in Windows 365:
- The Windows 365 app (in public preview) offers a new way to experience 365. With it, you can easily access your Cloud PC and use Windows 11 as you move between the Cloud and local PCs.
- Windows 365 Government is now generally available for government contractors in the United States.
- Citrix HDX Plus for Windows 365, in public preview, allows employees to use their Cloud PC from a Citrix environment.
- Single sign-on features will soon be part of Windows 365, including for Cloud PC.
- New capabilities for cloud-optimized IT management include updates to the Cloud PC performance page, resizing & resource allocation functions, and a built-in business continuity and disaster recovery solution.
Microsoft Entra Lifecycle Workflows
Microsoft Entra for identity and access management lets you control with Conditional Access and scans for indicators of compromise across the identity lifecycle. Its Access Review helps delegate to the right people for least privileged access. Now Entra has new lifecycle workflows with automated actions: there are templates to quickly join new users; changes to access are enacted immediately; and common offboarding tasks can be automated for reliable access removal.
Lots of new things are coming to Microsoft Teams too. Here are some of them:
- Cameo in PowerPoint Live lets presenters appear live inside their slides, like in the picture above.
- Teams Premium will be available as an add-on (for preview in December and generally available in February), bringing logo-branded meetings, automated reminders for meetings & webinars, and intelligent insights and recaps driven by AI (among other things!).
- Teams Phone Mobile (formerly called Operator Connect Mobile) is now generally available, integrating internet-based calls with mobile devices’ native dialers.
- Teams meetings will be natively available across certified Cisco meeting devices.
- Microsoft Places (coming soon) will present a dashboard showing when hybrid employees will be in the office and when they won’t, which can help with scheduling and also promote smart office space use.
- Teams will be more integrated with Dynamics 365 so that Teams users can access Business Central and Dynamics users can embed Teams chat.
Employee Engagement & Well-Being
Research has shown that in deciding whether and when to return to in-person work, employees are more motivated to come in by the ability socialize and connect with one another than they are by company policies. In Satya Nadella’s Microsoft Ignite 2022 keynote, he pointed out that leaders should embrace this need for connection and meaning that their team members have. While the above-mentioned Microsoft Places can help hybrid employees make sure they get in some time with their favorite coworkers, elements like Teams’ Together Mode and Edge Workspaces (in preview) allow remote teammates to collaborate with the most in-person-like settings.
On the flip side, new features in Microsoft Viva help employees protect their focus time and find the right balance. These include meeting effectiveness surveys, Quiet Time settings, and automatic suggestions when someone tries to send a chat outside of the recipient’s working hours.
Much of Microsoft Ignite 2022’s security news centers around the Defender offerings, which deserve an article of their own. Stay tuned for that one coming soon—with info about Defender for DevOps, new innovations in Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM), Defender for Cloud Apps, and automatic attack disruption in Microsoft 365 Defender. (Plus a big discount for Defender for Endpoint!)