Ignite 2019: Our quick recap of all the biggest Microsoft news coming from Orlando

Microsoft is kicking off its Ignite 2019 conference in Orlando, Florida today, which is the company’s annual event for technology leaders. A lot of news have been announced this morning on the first day of the event, and we’ve tried to include all the highlights in one easy-to-digest post. There will be a lot of Microsoft 365 news during the week, but consumers should definitely pay attention to some of the announcements, especially those regarding Microsoft Edge and Office.

Stable version of Chromium-based Edge coming on January 15, release candidate available today

Microsoft is targeting January 15, 2020 for the release of a stable version its new Chromium-based Edge browser for Windows and Mac. A release candidate build is available to download today in more than 90 languages, and you can install it alongside the Canary, Dev, or Beta channels.

New Office Mobile app for iOS and Android

We heard about this new all-in-one Office app for mobile a couple of weeks ago, and Microsoft is making it official today: The new Office Mobile app for iOS and Android will combine Word, Excel, and Powerpoint functionality in a single app, similar to the old Office Hub on Windows Phone 7/8. The new app also comes with an “Actions” pane, with easy access to common tasks, including scanning documents.

New Microsoft Search experiences in Bing

Microsoft Search, the company’s intelligent enterprise search experience built in Bing is getting new features including the ability to search for people using natural language, as well as Acronyms search and office location search (including floor plans). The enterprise search experience is also coming to the Bing mobile app on iOS and Android, as well as the Microsoft Edge Search Bar, which uses Bing by default. Lastly, Microsoft also announced the Microsoft Graph connectors preview program, with already 100 connectors from Salesforce.com, Box and more.

Microsoft Teams gets new features and integrations with Outlook, To Do, Yammer, and more

Microsoft Teams, the fastest-growing app in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem is getting some love with the introduction of secure private channels, pinned channels, multi-window chats and meetings. There are also new integrations with To Do, Planner, Outlook, Yammer, Power Platform, and the revamped Microsoft Project.

Microsoft Flow becomes Power Automate

Microsoft Flow, the company’s alternative to IFTTT is being renamed to Power Automate. The name change has been decided to better align with Power Platform, Microsoft’s suite of tools already including PowerBI and PowerApps. The new Power Automate is also getting new features with Robotic process automation (RPA) for automating complex processes that span legacy and modern applications.

Project Cortex, a new Microsoft 365 app that leverages AI to organize enterprise data

Microsoft introduced today Project Cortex, a new Microsoft 365 app that will use AI to analyze enterprise data to turn it into a knowledge network. The app will be able to organize data into projects and customers, and make it easier for employees to find important info that can be buried in documents, conversations, or videos.

Azure Arc, a new milestone in Microsoft’s strategy to support hybrid clouds

Microsoft is launching today the preview of Azure Arc, which will allow customers to enable Azure data services on any infrastructure, including ones from competing cloud vendors. The Azure Arc for management of Windows and Linux servers on any infrastructure is available in preview starting today, along with the preview of Azure Arc for management of Kubernetes clusters.

Microsoft’s Ignite conference will last through Friday, November 8, and you can watch the introducing Vision keynote here. Ignite is Microsoft’s last big event of the year, and so far the company didn’t disappoint with lots of exciting announcements for users of the company’s popular apps.

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