The annual Microsoft channel partner meetup was held in Washington DC during July. This year old name Worldwide Partner Conference was replaced with Microsoft Inspire 2017. More than 17,000 attendees congregated at the conference.
They were looking for inspiration about technology, business opportunities and, not least, from networking with other Microsoft-partners. If you weren’t there, you still have the opportunity to watch the keynotes by Satya Nadella and other top-level executives and catch up on the details about new product and business offerings at the Inspire website .
To make life a little bit easier for you, I have extracted, percolated and filtered the announcements from the conference into an overview of the most important news.
This is my own subjective selection and interpretation, which does not necessarily reflect Microsoft’s view.
One-stop shop for partners
Partners are an essential part of Microsoft’s business model and to underline this, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of One Commercial Partner, Ron Huddleston, presented Microsoft’s new partner strategy . Microsoft is trying to simplify and harness their partner offerings so business development, marketing skills and technical support is put under one umbrella. The intention is to make it easier for partners to draw on Microsoft’s expertise.
Microsoft 365 = Office 365 + Windows 10 + Enterprise Mobility + Security
Microsoft packaged some of their business software offerings in one package; Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 comes in two sizes; Microsoft 365 Enterprise, which is aimed at enterprises and Microsoft 365 Business which is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.
By combining Office 365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Outlook etc.) with Windows 10 plus Microsoft’s mobility solutions and security offerings, most office-based work tasks – even when working from home – will be covered by Microsoft 365 in a secure way, is the message from Microsoft .
Microsoft 365 Enterprise is available from August 1 this year.
Microsoft 365 Business will be a public preview on August 2 this year and will become generally available on a worldwide basis in the fall of 2017, priced at US $20 per user, per month.
Azure Stack – Your own private cloud
Another interesting announcement at Microsoft Inspire 2017 was the Azure Stack, which is an on-premise version of Microsoft’s Azure .
With Azure Stack you or your client can run Azure services in your/his own data centre. This private cloud can be combined with Microsoft’s Azure public cloud. Microsoft claims it enables “a truly consistent hybrid cloud platform” where customers are in control over where applications and workloads reside.
Dell, HPE and Lenovo are already taking orders for delivering their certified systems in September this year.
More information about pricing and support can be found here .
For developers interested in exploring the possibilities, there is an Azure Stack SDK available .
Windows 10 Virtualization for Cloud Solution Providers
Staying in the cloud, Microsoft announced an interesting option for customers who are considering/are already using Windows virtualization, where Windows clients Virtual Machines (VM) are running in a data centre. Starting in September virtualization use rights will be coming to Windows 10 subscriptions in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. This will allow CSPs to host virtualized Windows 10-clients in Azure or with 3rd party hosting partners .
 Microsoft Inspire 2017
 One Commercial Partner: Putting Partners First
 Introducing Microsoft 365
 Microsoft Azure Stack is ready to order now
 How to buy Azure Stack
 Azure Stack Development Kit
 Windows virtualization use rights coming to CSP