Microsoft Ignite 2023, Microsoft’s premier technology conference, took place in Seattle last week from 14-17 November 2023. Per usual, it was bursting with significant announcements, and product updates, where Copilot featured prominently with over 100 updates revealed. New products and features (or enhancements) are always exciting; however, we know that it can also be a challenge to sift through everything and determine what is important to you and your organization. In this summary, we distill what we feel are the key takeaways of Microsoft’s latest innovations and initiatives.
Microsoft Copilot Expansion – bringing copilot to everyone
During his keynote session, CEO Satya Nadella cite statistics from recent Microsoft research validating how productivity gains from AI are very real. Microsoft has seen a 70% increase in productivity among Copilot users, where 68% of users reported improved work quality and enhanced creativity. At Ignite, Microsoft introduced new tools and updates in Copilot, its suite of generative AI technologies as well as detailed offerings that are now generally available (GA):
Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365
While not a new product, this is now generally available for enterprises, delivering substantial impacts to organizations by providing valuable insights and personalized capabilities. Click here to learn more.
Microsoft Copilot Studio
For those seeking customization, Copilot Studio allows the creation of a personalized copilot, such as a chatbot for expense management, by describing it in natural language. You can create and customize copilots with an intuitive design studio, generative AI, and built-in analytics. Copilot Studio is now available in public preview for existing Copilot for Microsoft 365 subscriptions. Click here to learn more.
Microsoft Copilot for Azure
Currently, in preview, Copilot for Azure serves as Microsoft’s response to Google Cloud’s recently unveiled Duet AI, presenting itself as a chat-driven assistant tailored for cloud customers. Click here to learn more.
Microsoft Copilot for Service
Designed to address customer service needs, Copilot for Service acts as a tool capable of responding to frequently asked questions from customer service agents, drawing insights from a company’s websites, knowledge articles, offline databases, and more. Click here to learn more.
Microsoft Copilot in Dynamics 365 Guides
Copilot in Dynamics 365 Guides uses generative AI to simplify information that can help frontline workers, overlaying it directly on the equipment they maintain. This feature will initially be available in a private preview with a “restricted set of customers and capabilities”. Click here to learn more.
Considering the numerous benefits, it’s no surprise that many organizations actively embrace AI. Organizations require a robust infrastructure capable of processing data swiftly to fully harness its potential. To align with its commitment to optimizing cloud infrastructure across both hardware and software layers. Microsoft announced the following capabilities:
This elevates storage and networking speed by leveraging purpose-built hardware and software components. Click here to learn more.
Introducing a cloud-native chip designed for optimal performance, power efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Click here to learn more.
An AI Accelerator chip strategically designed for cloud-based training and inferencing AI workloads. These advancements underscore Microsoft’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of AI innovation and infrastructure optimization. Click here to learn more.
Azure AI Platform
Microsoft is committed to supporting developers as they craft their AI breakthroughs by broadening the range of generative AI models. In line with this goal, Microsoft introduced the following new features including:
Integrated into Azure Machine Learning, Model as a Service allows data scientists and developers to confidently create, deploy, and oversee top-tier models. This facilitates the seamless integration of the latest AI models, providing developers with enhanced flexibility and accessibility.
Azure AI Studio
Announced in public preview, this versatile and user-friendly platform is designed to streamline the entire lifecycle of AI applications, covering exploration, development, testing, and deployment, and enhances the efficiency and coherence of AI development processes.
Widely accessible, this model boasts a 16K token prompt length, enabling developers to work with more extensive and complex inputs, thereby expanding the scope of their AI applications.
Anticipated to enter public preview in Azure OpenAI Service soon, GPT-4 Turbo promises an extended prompt length and enhanced control. It represents a significant leap forward in generative AI capabilities, offering developers even greater flexibility and precision in crafting advanced AI solutions.
OneLake, currently in preview, is serving as a datastore within Azure Machine Learning. This enables a smooth transition between Microsoft Fabric and Azure Machine Learning. Click here to learn more.
In the current era of digital transformation and artificial intelligence, where the quantity of content is continuously rising within organizations, Microsoft is broadening its content management offerings beyond SharePoint, which stands as the leading platform in the market. Microsoft 365 is enabling a new era of visual content creation for commercial customers. It is democratizing video and image creation through Microsoft Designer and ClipChamp. Intuitive user experiences enhanced by AI make it simple for anyone to create compelling visuals – no experience required. Microsoft Teams also received new updates to enhance its capabilities as a hub for remote and hybrid work.
Here are some of the most interesting updates from the Microsoft 365 space.
The effectiveness of Microsoft 365 Copilot relies significantly on the accuracy and quality of information stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Microsoft has introduced SharePoint Premium, their new AI-powered solution to transform content management and content experiences and get content ready for Microsoft Copilot.
SharePoint Premium is now in preview and will roll out between now and the first half of 2024. This appears to be a strategic repositioning incorporating aspects from Syntex, advanced management functionalities in Microsoft SharePoint, and additional services like Microsoft 365 backup and Microsoft 365 archive. Further insights will emerge as new features are unveiled.
Microsoft To Do, Microsoft Planner, and Microsoft Project for the web will be combined to become one singular product called Microsoft Planner and will debut first in Planner app in Teams in early 2024, followed by the web experience later.
Microsoft Loop is now generally available to organizations with Microsoft 365 E3/E5 and Business Standard/Premium licenses. Loop brings together people and resources in centralized workspaces – enhanced by AI capabilities that help reduce digital debt and increase human connection, enabling innovation. Click here to learn more.
Decorate your background, available early next year in Teams Premium, is an AI-powered feature that will let meeting participants use generative background effects in video calls to help decorate their space, like enhancing their real-world room. The video call feature can look at your room and clean up clutter and add plants or even decorations to your background.
Microsoft Mesh, currently in preview, empowers users to craft personalized immersive spaces for specific business requirements like employee events, training sessions, guided tours, and internal product showcases. Through a no-code editor, customers can effortlessly customize immersive events or the Mesh toolkit, harnessing the full potential of Unity for a fully tailored experience. Mesh will be generally available in January 2024. The ability to customize immersive spaces in Mesh will be available in Teams Premium.
Immersive spaces in Microsoft Teams, currently in preview, will be generally available in January 2024. Immersive spaces in Teams integrate the power of Mesh directly into Microsoft Teams, where people work daily. Users can effortlessly turn a 2D meeting into an immersive 3D experience from the View menu in a Teams meeting. Key capabilities include avatars, 3D environments, seat assignments, spatial audio and audio zones, interactive activities, and live reactions.
Microsoft has debuted its new unified security solution with Security Copilot by combining its Sentinel security analytics and Microsoft Defender XDR platforms into an industry-first unified security operations platform. It is a revolutionary system engineered to deliver unified security across Microsoft’s extensive suite of services. This cutting-edge solution is poised to enhance and streamline cybersecurity initiatives by seamlessly integrating with various Microsoft platforms. Serving as a cohesive force, Security Copilot orchestrates a unified approach to protect data and systems, spanning from Azure to Microsoft 365. Additionally, the expansion of Security Copilot embedded within Intune, Purview and Entra will help IT administrators, compliance units and identity teams simplify complex scenarios.
Microsoft Security Copilot will be embedded into Microsoft Purview, which means that customers will be able to quickly generate a comprehensive summary of alerts and information to accelerate investigation and response, upskill talent via guided responses to navigate through information efficiently and use natural language to define search queries in eDiscovery to enable faster and more accurate search iterations by eliminating the need to use keyword query language. Click here to learn more.
The Microsoft Security Copilot embedded experience, available in private preview, will allow IT admins and security analysts to use Microsoft Security Copilot within the Microsoft Intune admin center. Integrating insights and data from security and management tools, Security Copilot provides customized guidance through generative AI to address an organization’s specific requirements, like intelligent policy creation and deployment and faster, easier troubleshooting. Click here to learn more.
How Olive + Goose can help you?
Did something stand out to you that you would like to explore in more detail, but you aren’t sure where to start? We are here to help and can work with you to dive deeper into Microsoft products and features, provide comprehensive explanations, and help identify how these developments can support you in reaching your goals. Contact us at [email protected] and a specialized consultant from the team will get back to you as soon as possible.