Welcome to the wrap-up from the penultimate day of this Microsoft Ignite. Please enjoy this hail of bullet points about what's newsworthy from today's Windows IT coverage.
First up: Microsoft Ignite attendees, we hope you like Chicago, because you'll be returning to the Windy City for the 2016 Ignite. (Save the day: May 9-13, 2016.)
Rod Trent breaks down some of the downsides to this year's conference -- it's hard to take advantage of everything Chicago has to offer when McCormick Place is nowhere near the hotels or restaurants hyped and there's a paucity of transportation to and from the center, for example -- but the real problem that needs to be rectified is the value of the sessions to attendees. He explains:
Microsoft produced the content themselves and then hand-selected the speakers they knew would be able to deliver the content that would be favorable to the messaging. Ignite is an IT generalists conference with varying levels of experience and expertise.
For some, the session levels were spot on and technical enough, but for those that are refugees from the other conferences that were merged into Ignite this year – those conferences that provided deep-dive, highly technical content – the content was lacking and sometimes mislabeled. Some sessions that were promoted as level 400 (deep-dive) actually came in around level 100 or 200, leaving attendees wondering how they’d explain to their managers why they came back to work with little more than a list of future product announcements.
Tony Redmond's come away from the confab with one conclusion: Microsoft has declared war on Symantec Enterprise Vault and looks to bring back data into Exchange Online. He explains:
There’s no doubt that Microsoft has Symantec Enterprise Vault (EV) in their cross-hairs. For years, Microsoft has muttered that the “stubs” created by EV when content was exported from mailboxes to the EV database compromised the integrity of the Information Store ...
The world is different now. Exchange boasts a wide range of compliance features in both on-premises and online versions and the latter has massive low-cost storage available to hold literally as much data as you care to throw at the service. Microsoft views this as an opportunity to “bring data home”, much like a shepherd collects their lost sheep.
Nobody will dispute that Microsoft's patching process could use some fine-tuning. Stella Chernyak, Senior Director at Microsoft, believes that Microsoft can solve the patching problem with better telemetry, as it will be used to detect issues that people are having while using the software on an ongoing basis.
Rod Trent counters that, "Just watching Twitter each month, I can pretty much figure out where problems exist almost instantaneously," but the patch-by-Twitter method doesn't hold a candle to the granular update options Microsoft will be offering via Windows Update for Business:
Adopting the Windows Insider program for Windows 10 as a model, WUB will allow companies to choose “rings” of update delivery. Businesses can define their own rings, giving them the ability to define how quickly patches are pulled and delivered from Microsoft. This is really not much different than it is today with WSUS and SCCM, but now updates will be delivered directly to the client from Microsoft servers based on the personalized ring.
If three days of Microsoft Ignite coverage still haven't slaked your thirst for that you-are-there experience, may we suggest looking at this roundup of Day Two sessions that are now online, or this slideshow of life on the expo floor?
And finally, IdeaXchange blogger Jim Lundy points out how Microsoft is shifting to a business strategy of cloud-based collaboration, where their business will rise and fall depending on how well they execute partnerships with their customers.