2 min

Microsoft has unveiled dozens of new updates for its cloud products, such as Azure and Office 365. Most products have to do with artificial intelligence (AI).

Office 365 will get two new AI tools that should change how employees use the suite. The first tool is Ideas, which should enable an engine for context-specific recommendations in the key applications of the suite. The tool would be similar to the Explore function in G Suite.

The tool is already available for Excel. In that program, users now see an icon to the right of the toolbar, which shows the Ideas bar. The tool shows potentially useful patterns in the data in the spreadsheet and suggests templates for graphs that can be useful for visualizing the data.

Ideas must also come to other applications within Office 365, including Word. When that happens, is still unknown.

Office 365 will also receive Microsoft Search, the other AI tool the company unveiled. Microsoft Search should replace the current search bar in the applications, in Windows and the business version of Bing.

Microsoft Search has to let employees search not only for their own files, but also for files in other parts of the organization. They can also view files added by hand by administrators.

It is also a kind of shortcut, which allows users to access functions in Office 365 that are not in the toolbar by typing in the first letters of the name.


Also for Azure there are several updates, including a number of completely new services. One of these services is Azure Digital Twins, which focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT). The service makes it possible to make a visual representation of a physical product. It can be a single device or an entire building.

The representation can then be used to digitally plan changes. It can also be used to automate day-to-day management tasks, such as optimising energy consumption.

Another new service is Windows Virtual Desktop, which allows companies to create cloud-based instances of Windows 10 and Windows 7 for businesses. Azure SQL Database Hyperscale makes it possible to store 100 TB of information in a single database instance.

Furthermore, Microsoft unveiled SQL Server 2019. This is the next iteration of the database. The new version will be integrated with the Hadoop Distributed File System and Apache Spark, which allows unstructured data to be processed.

Partnership with Adobe and SAP

In addition to the new updates, Microsoft also announced a partnership with Adobe Systems and SAP SE. The partnership is called the Open Data Initiative. With this collaboration, the companies will implement new ways to more easily move customer data between their different platforms. The intention is to give companies a complete overview of buyers, based on the data that is spread over various systems.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.