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.
The companies plan to work together in the Open Data Initiative to share data and improve "customer experience management." Continue Reading
Microsoft trumpets its "cloud-first" strategy with dozens of new products and improvements to its Azure platform. Continue Reading
Microsoft expands the Teams app offerings with industry and role-specific tools, including secure healthcare messaging and a schedule management system. Continue Reading
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
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 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
DevOps pros voice their concerns and wait to see what, if anything, will change after the acquisition. Continue Reading
Some users say Microsoft's collaboration apps lack the seamless experience of its competitors. Continue Reading
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.
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 added new Azure Machine Learning services, including Workbench, Experimentation and Model Management, to ease the development of a complete data science workflow. Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
- Microsoft Exchange Server
- Server Core
- Windows Azure
- Microsoft Azure Stack
- Active Directory
- Microsoft Project Honolulu
- Windows as a service
- Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection
- Microsoft Outlook on the web
- Microsoft Windows Insider Program for Business
- Microsoft Windows Server OS operating system
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft Dynamics 365
- Microsoft Azure Machine Learning
- Microsoft Intune
- Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances
- Microsoft Nano Server
- Microsoft Exchange In-Place eDiscovery
- Microsoft SCOM (Microsoft System Center Operations Manager)
- Microsoft Cognitive Services
- Windows Mixed Reality
- Microsoft AppSource