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Microsoft Ignite 2018 was packed with insights on enterprise technology—current and future—with a focus on Security, Data, and AI. The intersection of the intelligent edge (the ability to analyze and act on data close to where it is captured) and cloud computing was also in the spotlight.

In his keynote, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlighted the incredible potential of these innovations, saying, “We are pushing the bounds in AI, edge computing, and IoT, while providing end-to-end security to empower every organization to build its own digital capability and thrive in this new era.”

Julia White, corporate vice president for Azure, blogged about how bringing these technologies together creates powerful new possibilities: “Enabling intelligent cloud and intelligent edge solutions requires a new class of distributed, connected applications and will ultimately deliver breakthrough business outcomes. These cloud/edge applications are built as a single solution, yet run in a distributed fashion—optimized to take advantage of both robust cloud capabilities and edge locality.”

Making sense of security

Microsoft thought leaders demonstrated how the company, our partners, and our customers are bringing this vision to life—starting with how security strategies are evolving. Cloud-scale security operations and intelligence are helping organizations predict and prevent cyber-attacks, with Microsoft’s platform blocking more than 5 billion malware threats monthly, making it secure for cloud and edge innovation.

Further, enterprises are expanding their use of password-less authentication to simplify the user experience. They can get an instant view of security across their Microsoft cloud services, with actionable insights that can help them lower the chance of a breach by 30x. And, they can take advantage of AI and human research to speed up security investigations to eliminate threats faster, saving thousands of hours for overtaxed security teams. Perhaps most impactful of all, these new technologies are working hand in hand with new partnerships to help ensure that technology benefits citizens, government, and the economy.

Realizing the promise of AI

The cloud and edge computing have incredible potential to make AI work for everyone. We’ve announced a $40 million, five-year program aimed at using AI to help protect children and refugees and speed recovery from natural disasters. At the same time, we’re releasing new AI-infused products and services at a rapid clip, helping data scientists build and train models faster than ever before, enabling new big data capabilities in SQL Server, and enabling new levels of self-service data exploration.

Building a better blockchain

No conversation about technology innovation is complete without touching on blockchain and its potential to extend digital transformation across corporate boundaries. Microsoft customers are moving from experimentation to implementation, using blockchain to share data and business logic for radical collaboration. Bühler is using the technology to track crops and grains from seed to table, preventing contamination and increasing profits. Shipping giant Maersk is using blockchain and IoT to trace cargo and reduce insurance costs. Building these new shared applications on the cutting edge is challenging—which is why they’re turning to Microsoft’s unified platform for cloud and edge solutions.

Stay ahead of the future

Visit the Ignite website to learn everything that happened in Orlando, and watch for many more announcements in the upcoming year to fill out this vision.

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