Data and AI Announcements at Microsoft Envision and Microsoft Ignite

Written by Jon Woodward, Business Lead for Data and AI, Microsoft UK

Our two flagship events Microsoft Envision and Microsoft Ignite recently took place in the US. There was a tremendous sense of energy and excitement, with 75+ keynotes, sessions and breakouts at Microsoft Envision, focusing on business leaders with industry-specific transformation scenarios, many of which are made possible by Cloud & Enterprise offerings. At Microsoft Ignite, 650+ Cloud & Enterprise-led sessions and experiences are part of a highly-curated experience designed to give IT and data pros, developers, and ITDMs the information and motivation they need to charge ahead.

Contributing to the excitement, Satya Nadella shared progress on Microsoft's commitment to empowering the quantum computing revolution with topological quantum technology being developed by a global team of renowned scientists. Learn more by visiting

Data + AI Announcements

SQL Server 2017 on Linux, Windows, and Docker, general availability. Starting October 2nd, customers will be able to bring the industry-leading performance and security of SQL Server to Linux and Docker containers. SQL Server 2017 delivers mission critical OLTP database capabilities and enterprise data warehousing with in-memory technology across workloads. Customers will gain transformative insights from in-database machine learning with Python and R, plus rich interactive reporting on any device for faster decision making. Developers can choose language and platform, and container support seamlessly facilitates DevOps scenarios; All built into a single product at 1/10th the cost of Oracle. Learn more.

Machine Learning Server benefit for Hadoop, general availability. Effective October 1st, Microsoft Machine Learning for Hadoop/Spark becomes a Software Assurance benefit for SQL Server Enterprise edition customers. It provides the rights to run Microsoft Machine Learning Server for Hadoop on up to 10 servers for every 2 cores of SQL Server Enterprise Edition under active SA as of October 1st, 2017. Learn more on the Software Assurance page.

Power BI Report Server SA benefit, in market since June, this enables a truly hybrid reporting and dashboard experience by allowing customers to manage SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports alongside Power BI reports. Learn more on the Software Assurance page.

Azure Database Migration Service and Azure SQL Database Managed Instance pre-announce, public preview. New Managed Instance offering within SQL Database offers near-complete SQL Server compatibility and network isolation for easiest lift and shift to Azure. DMS offers a fully managed, first party Azure service that enables customers to easily migrate their on-premises SQL server databases to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance and SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines with minimal to no downtime. Customers can maximize existing license investments with discounted rates on Managed Instance using a new Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server. Sign up for news on availability.

Azure Machine Learning, new capabilities public preview. Updates connect every element of the data science process with enhanced productivity and collaboration for AI developers and data scientists at any scale. Enables them to start building right away with their choice of tools and frameworks. The updated platform includes AI enhanced data cleansing and prepping tools to start the modelling process sooner. The new features will help data scientists develop, deploy, and manage machine learning and AI models at any scale wherever data lives: in the cloud, on-premises, and edge.

SQL Data Warehouse, announcement. This fall, SQL Data Warehouse will preview an "optimised for compute" performance tier that significantly improves performance of analytics in the cloud with workloads running up to 2x faster. In addition, this new tier scales further than ever before - up to 30,000 compute Data Warehouse Units. Get started with provisioning your SQL Data Warehouse today in the Azure Portal or request an Extended Free Trial.

Microsoft Cognitive Services updates. Includes general availability of Text Analytics API, a cloud-based service for language processing such as sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction and language detection. In October, we will also make generally available Bing Custom Search to create customized search experience for a section of the web, and Bing Search APIs v7 for searching the entire web for more relevant results using Bing Web, News, Video & Image search. Read the announcement blog post.

Intelligent search experiences across Microsoft 365. Using AI and signals from the Microsoft Graph, intelligent search experiences surface insights and deliver more relevant search results. New experiences include Bing for business private preview for enterprises, schools, or organizations. It combines public web search with multiple customer-specific content sources - documents, people, bookmarks, and more - to create a unified and efficient way to search for information and documents. Learn more.

For more information around Data & AI announcements or Microsoft Envision and Microsoft Ignite, reach out to your Microsoft point of contact, or to our Partner Concierge at