I’ve spent four days on MS Build 2018 conference in Seattle and here my observations and thoughts. It’s not news though, and you can read/watch all announcements from MS Build 2018 somewhere on the Internet. Also please note that I’m probably biased towards one or another.


  1. Microsoft is very serious about 2 Billion first line workers and building solutions to tap into their workflows and processes.

  2. Once engaged into Microsoft stack businesses can’t stop but move forward integrating more and more Microsoft technology in their workflows.

  3. Microsoft has strong consultancy wing that builds custom enterprise solutions and helps grow the ecosystem of service providers who, in turn, integrate more and more Microsofts/Azure tech into enterprises.

  4. Microsoft helps integrators and agencies only when they bring substantial value to Microsoft itself - big customer that uses Azure products, or great use case with enterprise customer that they can make case study or video about it, etc. (though it’s like every other company)

  5. There wasn’t much mobile news anymore; it’s just a platform where users should have access to Microsoft Graph, Microsoft Teams, Office 365, Azure Cognitive Services and interact with new platforms like Mixed Reality.

  6. I am (almost) complete stranger in Microsoft Ecosystem (and still is), but I see big enterprises are there, ecosystem is there, and Microsoft’s pace of innovation is on par and in some spaces even better than Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple (consider AI stuff, HoloLens and Microsoft Graph).

As a conclusion, Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure (+ everything else in MS stack) is the great place to be for any consultancy and service business if they want to work with big enterprises, but MS looks like a hard die for everyone who doesn’t have previous experience with MS products and switched long time ago to all Mac/Linux paradigm. However, MS is closing this gaps with an introduction of Linux shell support and event Notepad support Unix style line endings :)

Cloud & Edge

  1. Everyone is migrating to the cloud, from on-premise and privately owned data centers. It started occurring 3-5 years ago within enterprises and will be continuing further. More data are coming to companies more migration efforts needed in the future. (Just copying petabytes of data is not an easy endeavor).

  2. More data leads to more requests in data analysis and AI infrastructure needs to retrieve and process data. And more opportunities for services based on Microsoft Graph and Spatial Analytics to provide value for customers.

  3. Cortana will be on par with Google’s Duplex in 2-3 years but for enterprises. Make chores like meeting confirmations, reminders, gathering information according to the brief or soliciting requirements.

  4. It will help with meetings and execution of mundane tasks in companies from travel arrangements to customer research. Outlook once killed assistants’ job and Cortana powered with Microsoft Graph will free time and boost productivity for accountants, lawyers, event managers and HR specialists.

  5. Real-time is hard, and MS is continuing moving inference and data processing to the edge. It’s playing a card of smart factories and enterprises. I think this is a huge market where technology can add substantial value to real-world problem like making factory floors safer, more predictable and satisfying.

  6. Containers and Kubernetes are everywhere in web dev, in AI/ML, IoT, etc. It’s like the new standard in software engineering.

Cognitive Services - AI, NLP, Vision, Audio, etc

  1. MS strong in AI API’s, algorithms and they are not losing their pace. We can expect more intelligence in NLP and vision (especially for enterprise tasks - manufacturing, factory floor, drones, etc.)

  2. ~25 AI services are available and easy to train and use. And now they are even available as a function in Excel connected to the whole Azure infrastructure and DBs.

  3. Microsoft’s research in AI and FPGA based hardware are strong. You can easily encounter on their papers ranging from NLP to 3D pose tracking with the state-of-the-art results and datasets.

  4. Sensors + Software + Hardware + Cloud we can see this formula is unrolling in Project Kinect for Azure and Spatial Analytics Audio device that they showcased on expo floors.

Mixed Reality - AR/VR on Microsofts Terms

  1. Thousands of people are working on Mixed Reality in Microsoft. It’s a big bet for them and they are leading the innovation here with a) HoloLens and b) Project Kinect for Azure sensors.

  2. It wasn’t directly confirmed but all signs that MS is working on HoloLens v2. We can expect more computational power, better tracking with new Kinect sensors hardware and integrated collaboration services like Microsoft Assist and Microsoft Teams. (speculation)

  3. Mixed Reality is for collaboration and shared experiences.

  4. While Amazon and Google are building connected homes, MS is building connected offices, factory floors, and warehouses.

  5. The most popular use cases for MR in enterprises are:
    • Training
    • Remote assistance (integrated with companies system and processes)
    • Design together (car design etc.)
  6. Almost all manufacturing is dealing with CAD and 3D models, and they want all their processes to be organized around 3D models. Any system should support and work on all platforms - PC, Web, Mobile and VR/AR headsets now.

Collaboration epos

  1. Everything always was around people and collaboration. Hence avatars, multi-player, body/faces expression/eyes tracking, etc.

  2. All services and media are about the collaboration of people with other people. In MR, in chats, in training and remote assistance, and so on and so on.

Spatial Analytics: Sensors & Enterprises

  1. MS is pushing forward with the vision of smart connected floor that continuously tracks everything and provides back insights and analytics.

  2. Spatial Analytics: Audio Array + Project Azure Kinect (the best in class depth sensor) + Smart Camera with on the edge processing. All this will be glued together with dedicated smart Azure services in 1-2 years.

  3. Cortana + Spatial Analytics “feelings” and we have a factory supervisor like intelligent spaceship “Justice of Toren” from “Ancillary Justice”.


  1. Yep, Azure has blockchain services ready for enterprise integrations.


Vision is easy; execution is much-much harder. Switch gears and tap into execution and delivery of real systems and solutions that work for enterprises of the future.