Fresh-faced Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the stage at his first major press event since taking over to introduce Microsoft Office for iPad and Microsoft's new Enterprise Mobility Suite.
The suite includes a series of tools designed to make it easier for corporate employees to manage their many devices, easier for companies to protect their sensitive data, and easier for IT professionals to facilitate both of those goals.
"It's all grounded on the complexity that needs to be tamed today," Nadella said.
He continued: "What we are announcing today is both offerings and a road map to build a comprehensive enterprise architecture for IT professionals to be able to bring together their identity management, access management, device management, and data protection into one suite and one enterprise architecture that works across all devices: Android, iOS, Windows."
'Facebook for enterprise'
One of the main ideas behind Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite is that users are bringing their own devices to work more than ever before, and IT professionals until now haven't had an easy toolset to manage all those devices simultaneously.
Microsoft Office Division Product Manager Julia White took the stage to go in-depth on some new capabilities, which take full advantage of Microsoft's Azure cloud services, including Windows Intune and Azure Active Directory.
For example users and IT workers can wipe specific devices remotely of all business information, leaving the rest of their data intact. In addition developers will now be able to integrate Office's DocuSign sign-in verification natively into their own apps, a feature that Nadella called "Facebook for enterprise."
There are also new security features arriving that will allow Microsoft's servers to better detect abnormalities that might indicate a security problem.
Many of these features will go live in April, while the full Enterprise Mobility Suite arrives May 1.
All our cloud
White stressed that everything Microsoft showed off today was delivered by the cloud. "We really are delivering a cloud for everyone on every device," she said.
"The combination of what we're doing with Office as well as Azure provides developers the richest developer surface area for them to be able to express themselves," Nadella added later.
The CEO described a future in which form factors are more varied and every interaction humans have, both with other humans and with machines, is instantly digitized.
He called it "the world of ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence." Part of that is the "coming together" of developers, end users and IT professionals, and that's where Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite will apparently help.
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