Microsoft’s innovative new tools for the ‘new normal’

Everybody who survives 2020 will look back on it as a year that stood outside the normal flow of our lives. Tech vendors have had to adapt to the chaotic storm of events that has turned global society upside down.

In addition to the FAANG vendors (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google), Microsoft will remain one of the dominant figures in the eventual post-pandemic phase of our lives. This week at its now virtual-only annual Ignite conference, the Redmond, Washington-based cloud powerhouse cemented its position as an innovation leader.

We could easily focus on Microsoft’s numerous tweaks to its Azure cloud portfolio and Office productivity tools, but these are less interesting than the new and enhanced solutions that are positioning the company for life after COVID-19.

In this coming social order, the most pivotal technologies will be those that enable greater social distancing, more productive remote collaboration, more fluidly immersive reality, and comprehensive biosensing.

Here’s my dissection of the chief Ignite announcements that address each of these trends.

Social distancing

Social distancing increasingly depends on tools for keeping people out of range of those who might spread infection. Contactless technologies are fast becoming most people’s interface for everything from payment to self-service interactions with all enterprise apps and devices.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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