It was somewhat of a disappointing keynote this morning. While there were quite a few announcements made:
Windows Update for Business : Staged and controlled rollout of patches to Windows clients
Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2
Office 2016 Public Preview
Operations Management Suite (aka Operational Insights)
SQL Server 2016 : Stretch table to azure, in-memory columnstore, more sync replicas, better query execution information, row level security, dynamic data masking, R language integration, support for JSON
Advanced Threat Analytics : Pretty cool way to looking at Active Directory events to detect security issues/threats through behavioral analysis
Azure Stack : Windows Azure Pack now richer as it include more of the Azure platform elements, it’s also using the new UI from portal.azure.com
System Center 2016 (Preview Coming next week)
Windows 10 Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Azure RMS Document Tracking
there were no real big surprises there. There were a lot of demos of Windows 10, not much new was being shown. For the number of announcements made, not much was being demonstrated. One new thing that was shown which I thought was interesting was how Cortana was integrated with Office 365 Power BI to answer fairly complex questions on Ignite attendees data. It was pretty impressive to see this working in action. A cool thing coming in Office 2016 is the multi-user document editing capability, similar to what is being done in Office Online or in Yammer notes. There were also a few demos demonstrating new data loss prevention capabilities in Windows 10/Office that might be interesting for our company.
The SharePoint roadmap session did not provide the level of information I was expecting. The people on the SharePoint product group remained fairly vague as to what would be included in the next version of SharePoint. The information shared was more about generic investment area. There were still the following few bits of information that I thought were interesting:
– No downtime upgrade for patches
– If you have an hybrid setup of SharePoint, the search results will now be unified
– A update to SharePoint 2013 will be delivered this fall that will enable it to be integrated with Office Delve
– New presentation of employee information
– New features will be delivered on a quarterly basis in Office 365 and on a yearly basis for the on premise version
Overall, they put a lot of emphasis on SharePoint in Office 365 during that session. SharePoint Server 2016 on premise while being an important didn’t look as a first class citizen.
What’s new in Excel 2016 for Business Analytics
As I had already seen Excel 2016 through another preview build, there wasn’t a whole lot of new information but here are the highlights:
– A lot of new visualizations are now available (including tree maps and box plots (called whisker charts I believe)
– Excel 2016 was mostly about polishing the experience for the end-user
– New time series forecasting functions: This I will definitely take it for a spin in my Hyper-V metering analysis spreadsheet
– Several small enhancements in Power Query
– Integration of Power Map
I might be going to another session on Excel 2016 visualizations as it’s definitely interesting to see what they are doing on that side. The more you analyze data, the more you are looking for new meaningful ways to present it and understand it.
It was a pain in the behind to use the Wi-Fi today. It was almost unusable. I guess this is to be expected when you put 23000 people in the same building with multiple wireless devices!