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Over the past few weeks, several enhancements for the Microsoft platform have been introduced to move obstacles out of the way, streamline processes and improve performance so developers and companies can focus on the tasks that matter most to their business.

The announcements below demonstrate how some of the latest enhancements across the Microsoft cloud platform can help organizations build software, deploy devices at scale, and handle huge data sets in the cloud with ease.

We also released a new video series on the Microsoft Transform blog: “Work Reworked.” The series helps put a face to the larger trend of digital transformation by profiling real customers in new or evolving roles. The first episode, set in America’s heartland, shows how Land O’Lakes is empowering farmers to grow more food with cloud tech.

Streamlined deployment of IoT devices

One often overlooked aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT)—device provisioning and management—can be a big barrier for companies looking to deploy devices at scale. Simplifying the creation of initial device identities is one way to streamline the process, help customers deploy more devices, and get solutions up and running quickly.

In October, the IoT team announced a big step in that direction with new support for X.509 Certificates Authorities on Azure IoT Hub, featuring a one-time authentication process that makes it easier to keep private keys secret in a supply chain, especially when multiple custodians are involved, and simplifies the workflow for initializing devices.

Faster, smarter features for Windows app developers

Distributed with Windows, the .NET Framework is a development platform for building Windows applications and services. Developers working with .NET received new tools last month to help them work faster and smarter with the release of .NET Framework 4.7.1 as part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

The .NET Framework 4.7.1 is generally available now and will also roll out on Windows Update for other supported operating systems like Windows 7+ and Windows Server 2008 R2+. The team has added support for targeting the .NET Framework 4.7.1 in Visual Studio 2017 15.5 as well. For more information, review the .NET release notes or download the .NET Framework 4.7.1.

Simplified support for Windows Store-ready app creation

Getting a desktop application ready for Windows Store submission became easier last month too, with Visual Studio 2017 Update 4. Once converted to a Windows App Package, an app can utilize Windows 10 platform capabilities including new APIs and features. The new tools allow developers to build, configure, deploy, test, and debug Desktop Bridge applications as they’re being developed—simply by hitting F5. Also new: access to support from within Visual Studio for Windows desktop application projects, including WPF, Winforms, Win32, and more.

More power to process in the cloud

As companies’ cloud computing needs and capabilities mature, massive computation power is essential to facilitate deep learning and analysis for intensive workloads such as scientific modeling, advanced analytics, engineering simulations, and machine learning. Just last week, the Microsoft Azure team announced the latest step in giving customers more horsepower to crunch huge data sets—releasing the new Fv2 family of virtual machine sizes on Azure. Available in seven sizes and powered by the latest Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors (code-named Skylake), the new Fv2 family are the fastest VMs available on Azure, so companies can complete processing-intensive tasks much more quickly and reduce their time to insight.