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May 25, 2021

Microsoft Build 2021 | Everything You Need to Know

Like every year, Microsoft brings together the community of developers and software engineers from around the world to announce their services and platforms’ new features.

In last year’s edition, we were fortunate to be an active part of the event, creating a Virtual Stage through which the speakers could be recorded from their homes as if they were in a professional recording studio, therefore ensuring that the essence of the event was not lost.

The 2021 edition promises not to disappoint and will be loaded with new surprises from their most popular technologies, such as Office 365, Microsoft Edge, or Office. If you don’t want to miss anything, keep reading because we have all the highlights.

We will be updating this post every day with the latest releases and announcements.

When and where is Microsoft 2021 being held

For the second consecutive year, and due to the global pandemic, the conference will be held online and its dates are already confirmed: May 25-27.

Because of the virtual nature of the event, this year it will be completely free and open to everyone, you just need to visit the official Microsoft Build 2021 website to get your ticket. And as we already saw last year, this online modality will continue to maintain its goal of promoting professionals in order to build the present and future of companies. All attendees will be able to learn about the most innovative technology solutions nowadays for 48 hours non-stop.

Microsoft Build 2021 sessions

This edition will be packed with innovative proposals, and rumors suggest the “the next Windows generation” will be one of the novelties, in addition to sharing more about their plans for Visual Studio 2022.

The sessions will feature renowned figures such as Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), Amanda Silver (CVP of Product, Development Tools), or Scott Guthrie (Executive Vice President, Cloud + AI Group). Furthermore, the sessions will be organized in several virtual modalities in order to connect attendees with Microsoft engineers, experts, and other speakers:

  • Connection Zone: Attendees can gather to discuss various topics, connect with experts, find solutions and dig a bit deeper after their favorite sessions.
  • Learning Zone: Whether you are a student or an experienced professional, here you will be able to find content designed to help you progress.
  • Product Round Tables: You can bring out your critical side and exchange feedback with Microsoft about their own products and services.
  • Cloud Skills Challenge: There is also time for contests. Here you can develop skills in Cloud technologies to strengthen your knowledge and win prizes.
  • Personalized Consultations: If you need something a bit more customized, you can arrange a session with a Microsoft engineer to get technical answers tailored to your needs.
  • Digital “Prize”: You will be able to represent Microsoft Build anywhere and anytime, just by downloading their promotional material.

As of today, we can’t share much more with you without dropping some spoilers, which won’t be very appreciated by the organizer, but we can assure you that there are many interesting announcements that will be presented in a different and innovative format 😉

Microsoft Build 2021 | Recap

Day 1 | Recap

Microsoft Windows Update

Satya Nadella announced a major update on Windows focused on increasing the possibility of both creators and developers. Like every year, Windows will receive two major updates, the first of which is already being rolled out and is focused on bug fixes and increased security.

“We will create more possibilities for Windows developers and make it an increasingly innovative platform for creating, distributing and monetizing applications.”

Changes in Microsoft Teams and Outlook

After a year marked by the pandemic, both solutions have been increasingly demanded by an exponential number of users. And Microsoft is looking to attract more users, but most importantly, to build loyalty amongst its current ones. To this end, Satya Nadella announced a new category of “collaborative applications across all types of devices”.

Microsoft Edge

The first day of Build 2021 also featured the announcement of the new Microsoft Edge 91 release; better and faster. The main features of the new version are aimed at performance improvements and opening up the range of devices on which it can run at full performance.

Azure AI

Microsoft announced a number of updates to its Azure Artificial Intelligence services, with the aim of making it easier for developers to modernize the processes they run most frequently.

Azure Bot Service: The integrated environment designed for bot development adds a visual authoring canvas with open-source tools.

Azure Metrics Advisor: The time series monitoring platform is aligned with data ingest, anomaly detection and other functionalities, without the need for extensive Deep Learning expertise.

Azure Video Analyzer: Still in its beta version, AVAnalyzer brings Live Video Analytics and Video Indexer together under a single service making it easy for developers to create intelligent video and AI-based applications and automatically extract metadata.

“The goal of Azure Applied AI Services is to provide a little more packaging and structure to really accelerate the development of Artificial Intelligence solutions for common business processes.”

ML Updates

Microsoft announced two new ML capabilities to help accelerate AI model deployments. Azure Machine Learning managed endpoints are now in preview. It helps developers and data scientists more easily build, deploy and operationalize ML models by automating the creation and management of the underlying compute infrastructure, including updates and security.

Azure Communication Services

A user interface (UI) library for the fully managed communication platform. Developers can access a wide variety of Fluent UI component options, such as pre-built composites or specific UI components, and build a customized communication experience.

Azure Logic Apps Updates

New hosting options, performance and developer workflow enhancements have been announced, including improved consistency and integration with developer tools such as Visual Studio Code.

Azure IoT Edge

The updates for Azure Internet of Things (IoT) are focused on a collection of Microsoft-managed cloud services that connect, monitor and control IoT assets, enable secure data connections and the use of Windows and Linux.

Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) becomes generally available. EFLOW allows customers to use both Windows and Linux instead of having to choose just one. Customers retain their existing Windows IoT assets and get the power of Windows IoT for applications that require interactive UX and high-performance hardware interaction.

Day 2 | Recap

Azure governance and analysis updates

In this edition of Microsoft Build, new features have been presented that combine data integration, enterprise data storage, and big data analysis to provide real-time information.

Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse: removes barriers between data from commercial applications and analytical systems. Developers can now bring their entire Dataverse environment to Azure Synapse for predictive analytics and new insights.

Synapse Apache Spark Hardware Acceleration: Azure Synapse Analytics now supports the use of processors designed to handle AI better, accelerate Apache Spark and ML. This will help to use large data sets to develop new product lines, transform supply chain models or respond to security threats.

Azure Purview: extends the scope of Purview Data Map to Azure open-source databases, where mySQL and PostgreSQL clients will be able to automatically scan and classify these sources and visualize the lineage at the time when these data are transformed.

Azure Synapse compatible para Spark 3.0.1 : clients using Azure Synapse data engineering and Big Data workloads can use the runtime of this version, with additional optimizations of improvement directly from their workspace.

Green Software Foundation

Another major initiative launched in this edition has been the non-profit organization affiliated with Linux Foundation. Together with Accenture, GitHub and ThoughtWorks have just launched Green Software Foundation, which aims to help the technology industry meet its sustainability responsibilities and reduce emissions by 45% by 2030, following the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Azure Cosmos DB

The new updates focus on giving greater security, cost-effectiveness, control, and flexibility. You can now modify specific fields or properties within a document without the need to read and replace the entire document; optimize costs and run applications more quickly with traffic patterns with Serverless; compile, test, and learn for free and crazy on your Linux and macOS machines; ensure that confidential parts of data sets are only available to the right audiences…

.NET 6 Preview 4

New features on the platform include: a cross-platform app user interface to create native applications for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android now compatible with Visual Studio; ASP.NET Blazor hybrid applications; native cloud investments (smaller container images); more device targets and flexible deployment; increased performance in improving runtime and build time.

Developer Velocity Lab (DVL)

Microsoft has launched this new research initiative in which the company includes its research laboratories and GitHub. The goal is to improve and apply the work and well-being of developers through research in productivity, community, and well-being.

Visual Studio 2019 16.10

It includes improving productivity as new IntelliSense features to automate common workflow tasks and new testing quality tools. Compliance features for C++, enhanced security, new Git tools to automate workflows, and more Docker and Azure tools have also been implemented.

Azure Active Directory

You can now update and test applications that use Microsoft Graph APIs to make applications more secure. The new access revisions allow these to be periodic for service entities and applications assigned to directory roles. This will enable minimum privilege policies to be enforced, reducing the damage caused by an attack.

New options of OpenJDK

Microsoft now offers an option for customers to create their Java applications. Optimizations in the execution of workloads at scale in services such as LinkedIn, Minecraft, Yammer, and other internal systems will be recommended.

This deployment is free for anyone to deploy anywhere, plus includes OpenJDK 11.0.11-based Java 11 binaries on x64 servers and desktop environments on macOS, Linux, and Windows.

Microsoft Graph Updates

The company service is the safest, highest-performance connector designed to copy selected Microsoft 365 productivity data sets and whose updates include: connectors that will allow adding information to employee profiles from more sources; they will soon be available on Teams and Windows in addition to Microsoft Search on SharePoint, Office.com and Bing; support for eDiscovery to search for content on third-party systems connected to Microsoft Search.

Durable Functions

It is an extension of Azure Functions and allows users to write workflows without a server, and is now supported by PowerShell. The application allows to management complex Azure resource implementations involving sequential and parallel steps.

Process Advisor

Another release is Process Advisor, a process mining hosted in Power Automate that helps identify which activities are more repetitive in an organization, making recommendations on what to automate. Without having a large coding capacity, Allows can create in an automated way mundane and repetitive tasks, achieving greater productivity.

News in Power BI

Users can now embed Microsoft Power BI analysis reports into a Jupyter Notebook, an open-source development tool that presents live documents. Power BI Premium includes real-time data flows and automatic aggregation, speeding up reporting, consumption, and supporting projects with large data sets quickly and easily.

Azure Confidential Ledger (ACL)

Microsoft has launched a new service consisting of a tamper-proof registry to store confidential data for record-keeping and auditing. It is the only technology that uses confidential computing to protect data, even in multi-site scenarios where multiple people need to access this information (digital certificates, encryption keys, intellectual property…).

This service can be used in collaborative workspaces with little confidence to provide guarantees when verifying possible data alterations.

 

May 27

  • 4:00 AM – 4:30 AM (CEST) – Welcome to Microsoft Build Day 2
  • 4:30 AM – 7:00 AM – Microsoft Into Focus with Scott Guthrie, Rajesh Jha, and Scott Hanselman. Keynote: Join Kevin Scott to discuss the future of technology.
  • 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Connection Zone: Connect with your global community in local sessions.
  • 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM – Welcome to Microsoft Build Day 2
  • 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Microsoft Into Focus with Scott Guthrie, Rajesh Jha, and Scott Hanselman. Keynote: Join Kevin Scott to discuss the future of technology.
  • 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Work Sessions: You’ll have the opportunity to select the sessions that best fit your role and interests.
  • 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Connection and Learning Zone: Engage with your global community in small group sessions, community-leading table topics, and more.
Elena Canorea
Author
Elena Canorea
Content & Copywriter

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