Microsoft kicked off its Ignite 2016 conference in Atlanta today, and much like last year's event, enabling businesses to make a digital transformation emerged as a major theme. One way the Redmond, Wash., software giant believes it can help organizations along their digital transformation journey is with the latest release of its cloud-friendly server system software.
As promised earlier this summer, Microsoft today announced the official launch of Windows Server 2016, with general availability to occur next month.
Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, called the system software "a major enhancement of Windows Server" during a keynote address. "It's cloud-ready and incorporates a lot of the deep learning that we've had running our own cloud with Azure, including the core capabilities that you need to run a software-defined data center."
Customers can now download evaluation copies of Windows 2016 and System Center 2016, also launched today. General availability is scheduled for mid-October, at which time volume license customers can download fully licensed copies.
On the security front, Microsoft announced an array of new services, including a virtualization-based, secure web browser technology for Microsoft Edge called Windows Defender Application Guard. By employing isolated containers in hardware, the feature blocks malware from spreading between devices and across corporate networks. Windows Defender Application Guard will be available on Windows 10 Enterprise next year.
To help Microsoft's hybrid-cloud customers reduce administrator overhead, the company announced new Azure monitoring capabilities and updates to Operations Management Suite that help them consolidate their cloud and on-premises management. The company also announced Azure Stack Technical Preview 2 ahead of its official release next year. Microsoft caused a bit of a stir this summer when it announced that Azure Stack would first be solely released in the form of prevalidated software and system bundles from select hardware partners while leaving the door open for a future software-only solution.
Building on their existing partnership, Microsoft and Docker announced that not only is the popular application container technology supported on the newest version of Windows Server, but the companies inked a commercial support and distribution agreement making the Docker Engine available to all Windows Server 2016 customers at no extra cost. More information can be found in Sean Michael Kerner's report.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Adobe's CEO, Shantanu Narayen, took to the stage this morning to announce that Adobe had selected Microsoft Azure as the preferred cloud platform for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite. Describing the move as "a massive, massive milestone," Nadella said the decision reflected the product and business transformation occurring at Adobe.
Speaking about that work being done to integrate Dynamics 365 and CRM from Microsoft and Adobe Marketing Cloud, Narayen said his company believes "that there's an opportunity to, out-of-the-box, provide integration for all of our joint customers in terms of being able to have one unified and integrated sales and marketing service." Read Darryl K. Taft's coverage for more details.