Conference Coverage

Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

Microsoft Ignite 2018 conference coverage

Keep this guide bookmarked for the latest news and expert analysis for Microsoft's new and updated offerings at one of the leading IT shows of the year.


Microsoft continues to gain market momentum fueled in part by an internal culture shift and the growing popularity of the Azure cloud platform that powers the company's popular Office 365 product.

When CEO Satya Nadella took the helm in 2014, he made a concerted effort to turn the company away from its proprietary background to win over developers and enterprises with cloud and DevOps ambitions.

To reinforce this new agenda, Microsoft acquired GitHub, the popular software development platform, for $7.5 billion in June and expanded its developer-friendly offerings in Azure -- from Kubernetes management to a Linux-based distribution for use with IoT devices. But many in IT have long memories and don't easily forget the company's blunders, which can wipe away any measure of good faith at a moment's notice.

PowerShell, the popular automation tool, continues to experience growing pains after Microsoft converted it to an open source project that runs on Linux and macOS systems. As Linux workloads on Azure continue to climb -- around 40% of Azure's VMs run on Linux according to some reports -- and Microsoft releases Linux versions of on-premises software, PowerShell Core is one way Microsoft is addressing the needs of companies with mixed OS environments.

While this past year solidified Microsoft's place in the cloud and open source arenas, Nadella wants the company to remain on the cutting edge and incorporate AI into every aspect of the business. The steady draw of income from its Azure product and Office 365 -- more than 135 million users -- as well as its digital transformation agenda, have proven successful so far. So what's in store for 2019?

This Microsoft Ignite 2018 guide gives you a look at the company's tactics over the past year along with news from the show to help IT pros and administrators prepare for what's coming next on the Microsoft roadmap. 

1Latest news on Microsoft-

Recent news on Microsoft's product and service developments

Stay current on Microsoft's new products and updated offerings before and during the Microsoft Ignite 2018 show.


Partner gateways connect endpoints to Microsoft Teams video conferencing

Businesses can now use third-party endpoints for Microsoft Teams video conferencing through cloud services from BlueJeans, Pexip and Polycom. Continue Reading


Microsoft CEO says companies should closely consider their alliances

Satya Nadella makes a subtle jab at Amazon during his Ignite keynote to sway enterprises to Microsoft for their technological needs. Continue Reading


Partners see opportunity in difficult transition from Skype to Teams

Microsoft's plan to phase out Skype for Business introduces a raft of services and devices at the company's annual tech conference aimed at easing the migration to Microsoft Teams. Continue Reading


Microsoft touts new AI and machine learning features in Office 365

The company pours more resources into AI developments to further cement its top position in the collaborative space. Continue Reading


Office 365 and Cisco Webex interoperability issues frustrate customers

Microsoft says it has no plans to work with Cisco to fix interoperability issues between Cisco collaboration apps and Office 365, despite customer complaints. Continue Reading


Microsoft Authenticator connects to Azure AD to remove need for passwords

An update to the app lets workers use their phones to login to Azure AD-connected apps as part of the company's latest security move. Continue Reading


VMware, Riverbed plug their products into Azure Virtual WAN

VMware and Riverbed add integration with Azure Virtual WAN to improve connections between multiple offices and Azure-based applications. Continue Reading


Windows Server 2019 reaches for the cloud with Windows Admin Center

Microsoft expands the capabilities of Windows Admin Center to connect on-premises Windows Server 2019 servers to services provided by the Azure cloud. Continue Reading


IT pros say Managed Desktop offering will alleviate administrative pain points

Microsoft gives more information about Managed Desktop, a cloud service that offers security and management for PCs for a monthly fee. Continue Reading


Microsoft blocks cloud Skype sign-ups for small businesses

Microsoft will soon block new small-business sign-ups for cloud Skype for Business, as the vendor is getting more aggressive in its campaign to transition customers to Microsoft Teams. Continue Reading


Skype for Business hybrid offering to address customer complaints

Some customers that use the on-premises Skype for Business product are hopeful this hybrid alternative proposed by Microsoft will ease their migration concerns. Continue Reading


Microsoft evolves SQL Server 2019 from its relational database roots

A SQL Server 2019 preview features support for Hadoop and Spark for big data deployments along with machine learning packages that set up the product as an all-purpose data portal. Continue Reading


Microsoft releases Cortana Skills Kit for app developers

The cloud platform allows developers to use the company's AI voice assistant in apps to handle certain jobs to boost overall productivity. Continue Reading


Microsoft CEO touts expanding membership of Cybersecurity Tech Accord

Satya Nadella said the partnership now has 61 members and has connected with the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise to further its goal of more collaboration in the information security space. Continue Reading


Microsoft joins forces with SAP, Adobe for customer AI venture

The companies plan to work together in the Open Data Initiative to share data and improve "customer experience management." Continue Reading


Microsoft enters the DaaS competition

Windows Virtual Desktop, to be available for public preview later this year, marks Microsoft's entry into the DaaS market, taking on cloud rival AWS. Continue Reading


Microsoft unveils more than 70 Azure offerings to chip away at AWS

Microsoft trumpets its "cloud-first" strategy with dozens of new products and improvements to its Azure platform. Continue Reading


Healthcare messaging and scheduling tools come to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft expands the Teams app offerings with industry and role-specific tools, including secure healthcare messaging and a schedule management system. Continue Reading


Azure outage highlights cloud infrastructure differences

A prolonged Microsoft Azure outage reminded customers that they should play a role in their own disaster recovery and demonstrated how providers employ different infrastructure dependencies that impact their services. Continue Reading


The cloud draws closer with Windows Server 2019

More capabilities will tie Microsoft Azure to the server operating system in Windows Server 2019. Windows Admin Center, formerly called Project Honolulu, will tackle this cloud connection. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Windows Server 2019 will retain RDSH role

Despite initial reports, Microsoft confirmed that Remote Desktop Session Host will be part of the Windows Server 2019 official release. Continue Reading


Microsoft highlights fiscal year 2019 strategies at Inspire

Microsoft delved into its fiscal year 2019 goals, including adding strategic enterprise accounts and growing its customer base in its intelligent cloud and intelligent edge approach. Continue Reading


Microsoft's meeting demo at Build 2018 misses the mark

Microsoft's vision of office meetings in the future looked striking at its Build 2018 event, but analysts said the glitz didn't address today's productivity problems. Continue Reading


Microsoft Office 2019 will require Windows 10

IT departments that want the next version of Office will need to migrate to Windows 10 or subscribe to Office 365, according to Microsoft. Continue Reading


Partners jump at Azure momentum

The growth of Azure has pushed Microsoft's channel partners to bring more offerings to the marketplace, from hyper-converged infrastructure products to workspace platforms. Continue Reading


DevOps pros eye Microsoft-GitHub merger with caution

DevOps pros voice their concerns and wait to see what, if anything, will change after the acquisition. Continue Reading


Azure Sphere bolsters security for IoT

Microsoft said IoT devices that carry its Azure Sphere controllers will get comprehensive protection. Continue Reading


Critics say Microsoft needs to work on its mobile apps

Some users say Microsoft's collaboration apps lack the seamless experience of its competitors. Continue Reading


Development of Windows containers promises to break down OS divides

As Microsoft works to make Windows containers more like its Linux counterpart, these developments could bring separate IT ops teams together. Continue Reading

2A closer look-

Analyzing Microsoft's moves in 2018

Take a deeper dive into Microsoft's developments with machine learning, DevOps and the cloud with these articles.


Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services manager talks about Microsoft's DevOps tooling efforts

Sam Guckenheimer explains how Microsoft is setting itself apart from competitors like IBM and CA Technologies in the software development lifecycle space. Continue Reading


Microsoft enhances its machine learning services in Azure to address data science troubles

Microsoft added new Azure Machine Learning services, including Workbench, Experimentation and Model Management, to ease the development of a complete data science workflow. Continue Reading


How Office 365 security and management features work

While it's difficult to stay on top of changes to an ever-evolving cloud service, IT pros must understand the data protection options available through Office 365 to get the most out of its built-in security and management features. Continue Reading


The pros and cons of an open source PowerShell Core

Longtime Windows PowerShell users might be confused by the switch to a cross-platform version, but there should be long-term benefits once the development team addresses the gaps in functionality and a few other shortcomings. Continue Reading


Compare the strengths of server management tools

What does the current state of server management tools look like for Windows administrators? This article explores the strengths and limitations of the different utilities IT workers use to manage their systems. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Microsoft plans to stay the course in the coming year

Buoyed by its successes in the digital transformation market, Microsoft said it will continue to forge alliances to assist industries, such as financial services and healthcare, with their technology needs. Continue Reading


Microsoft proffers its Azure Stack option for hybrid cloud needs

Enterprises now have their choice of deployments -- on-premises, in the cloud or both -- but the hybrid cloud marketplace saw some unique offerings over the last year, such as Microsoft's Azure Stack hybrid cloud appliance. Continue Reading


Can the Windows-powered Surface Go make inroads with the enterprise and education markets?

The 2-in-1 device shows promise with its full Windows compatibility and low price point, but can it compete with more popular offerings? Continue Reading


Will admins have an easier time with the next version of Exchange Server?

Companies might rethink moving their email to the cloud if Exchange Server 2019 fixes the issues that have plagued administrators of the email platform. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Despite Azure deal, Walmart to stick with OpenStack

Walmart signed a five-year deal to make Azure its preferred cloud provider, but how much Walmart will continue to use the open source technology after the migration is still to be determined. Continue Reading

Blog Post

The next battle between cloud providers is happening on the edge

IoT edge growth is pushing the bigger cloud vendors to spend big -- Microsoft plans to put $5 billion toward IoT development -- to get around current limitations. Continue Reading


Microsoft's GitHub purchase has open source users holding their breath

Microsoft said it plans to let the development platform operate independently, but questions remain about how Microsoft will integrate GitHub with other offerings. Continue Reading


Definitions related to Microsoft products and technologies

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.