Microsoft Ignite 2019: Day 2


I just got back from the second day of Microsoft Ignite, and it was another info-packed day with sessions on a variety of Microsoft products as well as great opportunities to meet people during meals and at the Windows Server Customer Appreciation Celebration in the evening. I can't believe it's only been two days after all the useful things I've been learning which I think will be applicable to my work.

Teams, Teams, Teams


I chose to focus mostly on a few of the Microsoft Teams sessions today since it is a platform that I think could be useful in our environment at work. Microsoft is heavily pushing Teams not only as an individual product, but as a component of the Office 365 ecosystem that integrates with their other cloud solutions. The first one I attended was by Microsoft Director of the Teams Customer Advocacy Group, Karuana Gatimu, about the top 10 best practices for adopting Teams in your organization. One of the things she stressed was the importance of IT collaborating with the end users to ensure that Teams is configured in a way that best meet the needs of the end user in order to avoid shadow IT problems. I particularly liked when she said that it was important for IT to ensure that our company executives understood we are "not the department of 'No,'" but that we are instead the "department of safe and secure business enablement." I think this philosophy is extremely important in all aspects of IT management.

PowerShell


After lunch, I attended the annual PowerShell update presentation with Jeffrey Snover and Jason Helmick. I have attended their session at SpiceWorld in previous years, and this was just as entertaining and informative as those. Snover and Helmick really have great chemistry together onstage, and I enjoyed their light-hearted presentation of several new PowerShell 7 features and the new Windows Terminal that is coming out soon. I was very pleased to see that Windows Terminal will feature tabbed shell sessions since this is an area where PowerShell has lagged behind its competition in the Linux world. I was also excited to see that .Net Core on MacOS and Linux will allow more Windows-based PowerShell commands to run on those operating systems. I am really looking forward to Microsoft Senior Program Manager Joseph Aiello's session tomorrow where he'll be highlighting more of PowerShell 7's new features in detail.

Microsoft Office for Mac


One of the last sessions I attended was about the latest features of Microsoft Office for Mac. We do not have a Mac-heavy environment, but we do have a few which need to run Office for Mac, so I was interested in seeing what the latest news was on this platform. The biggest takeaway for me was that more companies should strongly consider Office 365 ProPlus before going to the perpetual Office 2019. The reason is that Microsoft is going to start treating each perpetual release of Office similarly to the LTSC releases of Windows 10. Office 2019 will continue to receive the usual security updates, but it will not receive any new feature updates during its lifetime. To take advantage of the latest capabilities, in Office, you'll need to have Office 365 ProPlus.
The new feature that most interested me was the co-authoring functionality in Word which allows multiple people to edit a document simultaneously. This is something that has existed already in previous versions of Office, but the demo they showed today seemed very seamless and just as easy as you would expect from the web version of Office.

Windows Server Customer Appreciation Party



Finally, I wrapped up the day by attending the Windows Server Customer Appreciation Party at Andretti Games. The venue was like a smaller version of Dave & Busters and had a great variety of modern arcade games as well as skill games like skeeball and basketball shooting. One of my favorites was the arcade version of Mario Kart. I actually enjoyed playing this one much more than even the Wii console version, and the physics behind the controls were excellent.

Me playing the Mario Kart arcade game.

The food was also great (pulled pork, mac & cheese, and veggies) and each attendee was given three drink tickets for the bar. I enjoyed networking with the other people in attendance and getting to know how they were using Microsoft solutions in their environment.

Wrap-up

I have really enjoyed the first two days of Microsoft Ignite and am really looking forward to the next three days! I am planning to spend more time in The Hub tomorrow afternoon instead of sessions so that I can visit the vendor booths and also speak with some of the Microsoft engineers about various questions I have. Stay tuned for the Day 3 updates tomorrow!

#MSIgnite

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