[Live Blog] Microsoft Ignite 2017 – Opening Keynote

This is my first Microsoft Ignite – gotta say I love the feel so far. From the music on the walk over from the Hyatt Regency…

…to the stadium seating, I like it.

Love the energy in the room – stadium seating in the back gives a great view.

Opening video walking through how Microsoft helps people Achieve More – business to healthcare and more.

Julia White onstage to overview what we’ll see and welcoming Satya – acknowleding the impact of the hurricanes and how 1 of 10 people here are from impacted areas.

At Ignite have people who have tracked Microsoft through multiple generations of technology. Huge diversity of attendee profiles – the reason is digital transformation across all industries. Precision agriculture to precision medicine, smart factories to smart cities – increasing digital impact.

As technologists and decision makers, need to remember timeless values – 1) Empower People, 2) Inclusive Design, 3) Build trust in technology. Microsoft’s mission is about helping their customers Achieve More.

The technology has changed and always will change but keeping true to the mission.

Digital Transformation is about 1) Empower Employees, 2) Engage Customers, 3) Optimize Operations, 4) Transform Products. These are not new outcomes but enabling them via digital feedback loops which are both faster and enable changing the culture inside our companies.

4 solutions areas that map to the items above – the ingredients that enable driving better outcomes. Modern Workplace, Business Applications, Applications & Infrastructure, Data & AI.

Satya has now handed off to Raanah to demo pieces of Microsoft 365 with Ford – the stage background just pulled back to reveal a Ford Fusion and Hololens setup.

Mixed Reality-First collaborative design demo with Ford.

This is a very cool walkthrough of leaving virtual notes within a 3D space for members on the team to review – faster than having a clay model have to move around. Another example is adjusting the mirrors – previously had to create a fullscale replica of the car and have someone sit inside. They can now see from inside the car as well as outside simultaneously using Hololens. Huge productivity boost with distributed teams and transcripts of the meetings available afterwards.

Satya back and introducting Li-Chen Miller for next demo – AI-First information search and discovery. Discussing power of Microsoft Graph with LinkedIn Graph – first step integration of LinkedIn into Microsoft Office 365 email client.

Li-Chen Miller is a fun presenter – talking about an upcoming lunch meeting with her boss’s boss.

Ending with a walkthrough of asking Cortana to setup vacation – set out of office, block calendar, enter into HR with a single voice request.

Satya now back to intro the next segment around Business Appplications and outline the vision for this area. Expanding the graph of Microsoft 365 + LinkedIn to include Dynamics 365. No demo for this but moving into AI-First Business Applications.

Interestingly if you go back to the 4 pillars earlier – Modern Workplace, Business Applications, Applications & Infrastructure, Data & AI – there’s no discussion around Infrastructure or Azure so far. I find keynotes interesting for what is considered important enough to be given time vs. not. There’s never enough time to mention everything.

Correction – it felt like Satya was going speeding past “Applications & Infrastructure”. Now he’s showing Azure – well….showing it briefly and then moving to Data and AI.

Customer examples covering Tetrapak (liquid food packaging) to Land of Lakes to AI for Cancer Treatment, and EPIC.

EPIC is building out their platform on Azure – 200 million American health records are stored in EPIC.

Closing up with moving back to vision and the amount of compute now available to apply to previously unapproachable problems.

Closing with a discussion of Quantum Computing – how it’s a combination of Math, Physics, and Computer science and 4 doctors on stage for a panel discussion about those topics. I won’t pretend I’m smart enough to really transcribe this – discussion of the square root of -1, Schrodinger’s cat, fluid dynamics, and more.

Ok – I’ll try.

The essential idea for building a quantum computer is that everything is turning on and off but nothing has a state until it’s measured which creates a huge amount of computing potential. Even with topological protection, this machine can’t run at room temperature – needs to run at 0.01 Kelvin – that’s crazy cold.

They showed a quantum computer – at first it wasn’t there and then later it was – quantum jokes.

Announcing Quantum Simulator on Azure or local desktop, Quantum programming language, Visual Studio Extensions – sign up today at http://microsoft.com/azure

That’s a wrap – ending with some philosophy about the soul.

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