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What were the key takeaways from Microsoft Inspire 2021?

Microsoft recently held their biggest annual event, Microsoft Inspire 2021 virtually for the second year in a row. 

So, what is Microsoft Inspire? 

If you didn’t already know, Microsoft Inspire is a three-day event organised for Microsoft partners, such as Advantage, to grasp a full understanding of the latest changes that Microsoft will be making. 

This years’ event was no different, with a whole host of content spread out across the whole Microsoft ecosystem but to keep this blog article short, we will only focus on the key takeaways from this virtual event. 

Windows 11 

This announcement came as no surprise as it was already revealed accidently by the press a few weeks ago (we wrote a blog post on it here). This latest operating system for Windows wasn’t originally meant to come to the market at all, however because of the COVID-19 pandemic it ended up doing just that. The main reasoning behind this decision was to provide users with the ability to adopt a more hybrid working model since 73% of users wanted more flexibility and 67% wanted the capability to also work in the office from time to time. Without a doubt, the hybrid work approach isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and the launch of Windows 11 has provided that option. 

Windows 11 comes with the following features: 

  • Better security, which has been adapted for the hybrid work approach 
  • Ability to keep work and personal lives separate on one device with desktops 
  • A brand-new user interface designed to keep things calm, enabling users to keep focused on their job with minimal interference 

Windows 11 will be released towards the end of the year, so in the meantime, we will try and dissect it to understand the value that it can provide to our managed services customers. 

What we do understand is the fact that compatibility won’t extend to older devices as happened for Windows 10, mainly due to the main improvements in the overall security. Furthermore, Microsoft will be adding a compatibility checker called PC health check which guarantees that if apps don’t work for customers they will fix it for FREE! 

Windows 365 

Microsoft also revealed its plan to launch Windows 365 in August 2021. This has been designed to allow users to stream Windows to any device in any location as ‘Cloud PC’. This has largely built upon the existing Azure Virtual Desktop solution but has a much easier pricing model and quicker deployment. Better still, there are options that have been created for SMEs to allow them to use enterprise level tools and functionality at an affordable price. 

Microsoft Defender 

Following on from the above new releases, security has been the word on everybody's lips along with Microsoft Defender. As part of a suite of different solutions, Defender is evolving into one of the best security products in the market. Inspire 2021 has helped to demonstrate that this product can be developed much further to help replace the more traditional anti-malware software for many businesses. 

Final Thoughts 

It goes without saying that Microsoft Inspire 2021 was an eye-opening couple of days with Microsoft’s latest solutions demonstrating how Microsoft has adapted to the market challenges created as a result of COVID-19.  

If you are looking to take advantage of the above solutions, then please get in touch with our team of IT experts today to discuss your specific requirements. 

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