Copilot | Microsoft 365 – Huge enhancements coming in July

Windows Keyboard with Copilot Button

As we enter Microsoft’s new fiscal 2025, there a bunch of enhancements coming across the board to the Copilot experience inside the Office Copilot experience which im[acts PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Microsoft Loop. Microsoft regularly update the Office Apps, Team, and rest of their products, including Copilot, but the changes rolling out feel more like a “service pack”!

Here’s the key things coming to the app experiences this month and remember, you can always access the Microsoft 365 Copilot Roadmap –> here <–

AI Powered images coming to PowerPoint and Word.

Microsoft are making it much easier to add visuals to both Word and PowerPoint documents with Microsoft Designer in Copilot. This will make it much easier for content creators to get the right image for a document or presentation and will add to the image options within these apps.

With this update, you will be able to create AI-generated image directly from Word and PowerPoint with a simple prompt in additional to using the existing options for stock images as before.

Up until now, this has required users jumping to a browser to create an image in Bing Image Creator or Microsoft Designers, whereas now, they will be able to do this straight from the Copilot prompt in Word and PowerPoint upon which they will be able to create an image from scratch or find and use an existing image from Microsoft’s stock photography library to select from. Microsoft say that PowerPoint, Designer will automatically add the image into a “compelling slide design”.

Image of adding AI images via Word and PowerPoint via Copilot.
Image (c) Microsoft

Additional “Document Support” in PowerPoint

Also coming this month, Copilot will support grounding for presentation creation from both encrypted Word documents and PDF files, providing more options for users to create presentation from. This gives users richer context to build new presentations, in addition to referencing.

Copilot in PowerPoint “General Improvements

Rolling out in June/July and following lots of feedback from users, creating a new presentation from a Copilot is about to get much better with regards the quality or presentations created with more relevant content and images and improved consistency including:

  • Refined designs for title, section, and content slides.
  • Improved presentation structure with agenda, section and conclusion slides. 
  • Enhanced abilities to improve transitions and animations across presentation content.
Microsoft Image showing new PowerPoint Copilot capabilities.

Copilot is also getting the ability to ground itself on your organisations’ people-centric data and insights from the Microsoft Cloud, Microsoft Graph, and the web using Bing Search. This brings Copilot up to the same level of that of Teams, Copilot Chat and Outlook, meaning that users can stay in the app, ask questions, and maintain focus on creating their presentations without having to jump into dfferent apps or windows.

Refreshed Copilot experience n PowerPoint.


Copilot in Excel is coming out of Preview

In July, Copilot in Excel is also coming out of “preview”.

The first noticable indication will be that Microsoft drops the “in preview” lable that users currently see when using Copilot in Excel.

Secondly, Copilot in Excel is also getting expanded data structure support, meaning it wont be limited to working with just data in tables. Yes, Copilot in Excel will be able to works on data ranges resembling tables so long as the data being worked on contains a single row of headers on top (such as filtered data). Along with this, Copilot in Excel will also now be able to provide more comprehensive answers, just like Word and PowerPoint, Teams and Outlook,

Next up, the edit box will be available on any Excel worksheet, regardless of the selected cell and Copilot will reason over the nearest table, or data range resembling a table, to the user’s selected grid area on the same worksheet.

Finally, Copilot in Excel will provides more conversational and comprehensive answers to a wide array of Excel-related questions, meaning that users can now receive step-by-step instructions to help with complex formulas, fixing errors in formulas or how to do something in Excel.

Copilot in Excel - Image (C) Microsoft
Image (C) Microsoft.

Copilot in Loop

Copilot is coming to Loop too – one of my favourite “new” apps, with what Microsoft call “Copilot-assisted Loop page creation”

For those unfamiliar with Microsoft Loop, it is described as “flexible canvases that assist users in organising and sharing their work with teams.”

Loop users can now utilise Copilot to transform a blank page into a structured document primed for team collaboration in record time. Whether starting from scratch or using an existing page or template, Copilot can swiftly generate a Loop page tailored to specific requirements, be it a project plan, a feedback session, or any other collaborative effort.

Image showing Copilot in Loop.
Image (c) Microsoft.

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Microsoft 365 Roadmap: Microsoft 365 Roadmap | Microsoft 365

Loop to be front and centre in your Teams Meetings

Image of Loop Components in various places.

Microsoft Teams will soon prompt meeting organisers of recurring meetings to create a Microsoft Loop workspace for sharing and collaborating on meeting content and actions.

What is Microsoft Loop?

Microsoft Loop is a transformative co-creation experience that brings together teams, content and tasks across your tools and devices. Loop combines a powerful and flexible canvas with portable components that move freely and stay coordinated across applications — enabling teams to think, plan, and create together.

It is made up of workspaces, pages, and components and it totally transforms the way you work so you can think, plan, and create together. On the Loop homepage, you can access all your existing workspaces and create new ones. In a Loop workspace, you can bring everything you need for your project together in one place. To kick off a workspace, Loop can even do the searching for you, making it easy to add existing project-related information and organize it into pages. You can continue adding to your workspace as your project evolves and organize it the way you want. Loop pages are flexible canvases where you can react, comment, and build on each other’s ideas using different flexible and re-usable components.

Why use Loop for Meetings?

Most recurring meetings lose the focus of what their purpose is. Questions such as “What is the meeting about”, “Has anyone got the agenda”, “Was there a meeting last week”, “did anyone take any notes”.

As such, recurring meetings is the perfect place for Loop, since it helps everyone, plan, organise and review your Teams meetings. For recurring meetings, Loop is all about ensuring we keep and share all our meeting content into a central, durable workspace to enable ongoing collaboration over time (rather than a static agenda that becomes out of date and it hard to update) with separate files being shared via email or chat.

This starts with a Collaborative and dynamnic agenda, (which means it can be amended overtime) and as a recurring meeting series continues, additional content shared in a collaborative note space which keeps the meeting up-to-date for everyone whether they can attend or not. We can also track and keep up-to-date tasks and actions which also (wait for it) sync with our ToDo or Planner Tasks, list making it easy to keep in sync.

Since these are sharable components, its also easy to copy a link to the collaborative notes and share them in other apps too like email, but unlike static text, the loop component is still live and can be updated from anywhere – like magic.

Whilst Collaborative Notes in Teams have been there a while, many still “just” use the agenda field since Loop is tucked away further down the meeting pane.

What is great about the way Microsoft are integrating Loop further into Teams is that after the first meeting in the series ends, organisers will be shown a prompt allowing them to have Teams create a Loop workspace after first allowing them to review and confirm workspace members as well as the shared content.

How it works

After the first meeting in the series ends, organisers will be shown a prompt allowing them to have Teams create a Loop workspace after first allowing them to review and confirm workspace members as well as the shared content.After confirmation, a Loop workspace will be created, invites will be sent to the meeting members, and the shared content will be linked in a Loop workspace.

As the group shares more content in a meeting series, as the teams “chat” over weeks or months, all this new content will be added automatically to the meeting workspace. Workspace members can also add other content to the workspace and can reconfigure the order of content in the left navigation pane of the Loop app.

Note: At launch, Microsoft have said that this feature will be enabled for meeting series with 3-50 invitees, but will increase this later.

This new auto-loop experience will be rolling during June and July 2024.

Copilot+ PCs are now available – What you need to know.

Last month, Microsoft announced the next generation of AI powered PCs from Microsoft and many other OEMs including Acer and Lenovo which leverage the latest Snapdragon ARM chipsets from Qualcomm. I covered this on a previous post here....

Yesterday (June 18th 2024), Microsoft’s own devices (the Surface Laptop 7 and Surface Pro 11) were officially available today to buy and any pre-orders were shipped to customers worldwide 🙂

Microsoft describes Copilot+ PCs as the “most intelligent” Windows PCs ever created. These new processors are capable of performing over 40 trillion operations per second. These PCs also offer long long long battery life and give access to advanced AI tools.

These latest Copilot+ PCs from Microsoft are sleek, lightweight, and elegantly designed to enhance productivity They ship with dedicated NPUs (for processing AI workloads on-chip) and have the longest battery life of any Surface ever.

Microsoft say that the new Surface Laptop and Surface Pro are Copilot+ PCs, are the fastest, most intelligent Windows PCs on the market. They are available in four colour options and start at $999 Estimated Retail Price (ERP) USD on Microsoft.com or at a Microsoft Experience Center (aka store).

What is a Copilot+PCs?

Copilot+ PCs represent a new category of Windows 11 PCs, equipped with a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU), which is a specialised type of processor designed for AI-intensive tasks such as real-time translations and image generation, capable of executing over 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS).

Are Copilot+PC only available from Microsoft?

No. Copilot+PCs are a new generation of PC devices which combined Windows on ARM (WoA) technology, Snagdragon powered chipsets and new updates and features built into Windows.

Other manufacturers are also making Copilot+PCs include (but not limited to).

Are Copilot+PCs for Consumers or for Business?

Copilot+PCs are designed for personal, small business and commercial/enterprise. Devices for Business such as the Surface for Business Range will start shipping in September 2024. More details can be found here.

What can Copilot+PCs do that others cannot?

Microsoft refers to new Copilot+ PC experiences which will be baked in to the next versions of Windows 11 and are advanced AI features unique to Copilot+ PCs that accelerate your productivity and creativity. This will include new AI features such as Recall, Cocreator in Paint, Windows Studio Effects, automatic super resolution and Live Captions.There are many more coming and expect to see new AI powered experiences such as offline Copilot coming to Copilot+PC devices in the future. These features require powerful neural processing units (NPUs) –so will be exclusive to the Copilot+ PC class of devices.

One super cool feature to call out for gamers is the new Auto Super Resolution (Auto SR) feature which integrates smoothly with Windows, automatically boosting the frame rates of existing games in real time and delivering detailed visuals. This feature is said to surpasses the capabilities of standalone PC hardware. Initially, Auto SR will be exclusive to Copilot+ PCs that have a Qualcomm Snapdragon® X Series processor and will support a select list of games available at a third-party open-source site, which Microsoft has provided compatibility data for.

Do I need a special version of Windows 11?

No – all new Copilot+ PCs running a Snapdragon® X Series processor will have Copilot+ PC experiences pre-installed. Microsoft will be continuing to update and enhance the Copilot+ PC experiences, so there will be new Windows Updates coming which will enable new features delivered as part of the usual Windows Update process. Only Copilot+PCs will get the new AI features.

What about devices with the latest AI chips from Intel and AMD ?

Microsoft are partnering with Intel and AMD as well to bring Copilot+ PC experiences to PCs with their processors in the future.


Microsoft also have a real good FAQ section on their website about Copilot+PCs.

“Windows Recall” feature postponed days ahead of launch

Windows Recall is (was) a new AI powered feature, exclusive for Copilot+PCs that can capture snapshots of your screen every few seconds allowing the user to essentially rewind back to a point in time to back track on work, application state and documents being worked on,

Recall overview (Microsoft)

Announced as the headline feature for the new generation of Copilot+PCs, this new flagship Windows Recall will now arrive at a later date, with a wider public  preview coming soon for Windows Insiders.

There has been many questions, concerns and clarity demanded from the public and tech pros about this new feature since it was announced in May, with concerns over whether Microsoft had “gone too far” in finding a use for AI and the new NPU powered Copilot+PCs. The fact this has not been through the usual process of testing my Microsoft’s loyal Windows Insider testing community was also surprising for such a huge new feature.

The first of the new Copilot+PCs are launching next week (June 18th), and in an expected update have said that their headlining “Windows Recall” feature will not be shipped at launch and  now arrive a few weeks later in an update.

Is Windows Recall too much?

Recall was heavily criticised after sourced said that recall stored it’s Recall  data in an unencrypted state, raising huge concerns among IT experts, users and anti-Windows fans!

Last week, Microsoft released a blog and announcement to try to alleviate these concerns by reassuring people that Windows Recall would encrypt data and require the user to be physically present at the device (via multi factor authentication) to access recall. They were clear however, that not only was Recall safe but they it would ship next week with the arrival of the Copilot+PCs.

The Cisilion Fireside Chat suspected so much.

Just this week, I hosted a fireside chat, and we discussed the view of Recall from a security and privacy violation.

There’s a link to the episode here if you’d like to hear the views of a number of IT leaders…but the view of my customer panel ahead of (the now postponed) launch include:

We’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to protect our data and here we are Tada you can now just have a look at what Kim was sharing three minutes ago.” [link]

“It undermines years and years and years of work and unless they can work out a way there’s no way I’m letting this anywhere near my en.” [00:08:25][Link]

“You are the attack surface… we have to remind the the owners of the business that ultimately it’s their heads on the Block if things go wrong.” [00:45:32]

In short, our panel, beleived that Recall might face significant challenges before its implementation, possibly leading to its postponement or modification, especially in enterprise environments. They highlight the need for clear communication, education, and possibly policy changes to address the concerns raised – looks like this is exactly what happened.

Microsoft committed to trust and privacy but is it enough?

Just earlier this week, Microsoft had said that all images are encrypted, stored and analyzed locally, using on-device AI capabilities to understand their context. When logged into your Copilot+ PC, you can easily retrace your steps visually using Recall to find things from apps, websites, images, and documents that you’ve seen, operating like your own virtual and completely private “photographic memory.” You are always in control of what’s saved. You can disable saving snapshots, pause temporarily, filter applications and delete your snapshots at any time.

The question still on people minds is is this enough, how does this work if viewing content other people are sharing on screen when Recall is being used and what happens if a device is compromised or user subject to ransomware or phishing attack and get access to this device…

Postponed not cancelled?

Perhaps to ensure the backlash over recall doesn’t impact Copilot+PC sales, these new devices will not ship with Recall initially. Microsoft have said that Windows Recall will be added in a future Windows update, but has not given a timeframe for when this will be. This will give their huge Windows Insider Community time to test this with Microsoft and provide the much needed feedback, tuning controls and more.

The updated Microsoft blog post states the following:

Recall will now shift from a preview experience broadly available for Copilot+ PCs on June 18, 2024, to a preview available first in the Windows Insider Program (WIP) in the coming weeks. Following receiving feedback on Recall from our Windows Insider Community, as we typically do, we plan to make Recall (preview) available for all Copilot+ PCs coming soon

Copilot+PCs still get loads of new AI Goodness.

Of course, Recall wasn’t the only AI infused feature that Copilot+PCs will include, and the other rest of the AI features that Microsoft showcased will still be available to use. These include live captions and translations across all apps, new Windows Studio Effects for meetings and video, new. Image creation and generation tools across the stock Windows Apps including paint and photos.

Time will tell

Time and testing wil tell whether this feature gets simply delayed, hugely altered or scrapped all together. What do you think?


Microsoft June 13 2024 Blog Post: https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2024/06/07/update-on-the-recall-preview-feature-for-copilot-pcs/

Microsoft Copilot Pro says goodbye to GPT Builder

This week, Microsoft have announced that the Custom GPT builder which is included in Copilot Pro subscriptions (aimed at consumer and families) will be removed, in “favour” of enhancing the “in app” Copilot experiences.

We are continuing to evaluate our strategy for consumer Copilot extensibility and are prioritising core product experiences, while remaining committed to developer opportunities….We are now shifting our focus on GPTs to Commercial and Enterprise scenarios and are stopping GPT efforts in consumer Copilot.

Microsoft Copilot Team

I’m quite upset by this news, as I have found this to be great learning experience for me and have had fun creating custom GPTs for several topics and interests I have both around and outside of tech industry. For example, my children use a Custom GPT I built to research all about trains and tubes and I’m gutted these custom GPTs will soon be removed 🙁

Secondly, at £20 per user per month, which is a lot on top of a £79 a year Microsoft 365 Family Subscription, the main value of Copilot Pro is now the image creation boosts in Designer and Bing and the faster/access to GPT4-Turbo models. The in app experiences whilst great are no on par to Copilot for Microsoft 365 since there is currently no ability to reference files in Word or PowerPoint which is a huge thing!

I will stick with it for a bit, but keen to see if Copilot Pro continues and if it does, what new features will be announced to retain consumer interest.

What is Copilot Pro again?

Copilot Pro was announced in January 2024, which, along with enhanced and priority access to image creation tools and GPT-4 Turbo, brings the core features of Microsoft 365 Copilot to individuals and families using Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscriptions.

What is happening then?

Microsoft are retiring the GPT Builder from Copilot Pro from 10th July 10 2024, after which time, users will no longer have access to any of their custom GPTs or the associated data, as Microsoft will delete them during a specified period.

The decision to retire the GPT Builder feature is part of Microsoft’s strategy to focus on core product experiences and developer opportunities, particularly in commercial and enterprise… I read this as simply update and use of GPT Builder in Copilot Pro is low!

Excited yet pessimistic

As I said in the intro, I’m Anticipated about the upcoming improvements to the  In-App Enhancements as I feel Copilot Pro was kind of rushed with regards the Office App experiences.

I remain excited, no, hopeful, about the potential improvements to Copilot Pro and would like to see:

  • Ability to reference local or cloud-based files, akin to the functionality available in Copilot for Microsoft 365. This would significantly streamline workflows and enhance productivity, allowing users like me to seamlessly integrate Copilot Pro into our daily tasks.
  • Inclusion in more native apps, including OneNote (why is it not there) and Whiteboard.
  • Generals improvements to PowerPoint to leverage Microsoft Designer (not PowerPoint designer) for images rather than the stock apps or at least as an option.
  • Ability to read and process more data (give it more tokens) to ensure it can rival the likes of Google (and Now Apple).

I do hope Microsoft doesn’t yet again give up on consumer as they have done so many times with other apps and services and instead refine Copilot based on user feedback, I remain hopeful that the upcoming enhancements will enrich the user experience, making Copilot Pro an even more indispensable tool for consumers, artists, and families worldwide. Microsoft need to keep people in their native apps.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while the retirement of the GPT Builder marks the end of an era, it also signals the beginning of a more focused and user-centric approach to Copilot Pro’s development. I do look forward to the next chapter in Copilot Pro’s evolution and the innovative features it will bring.

New Copilot “Catch up” feature coming this month.

Microsoft recently announced “Catch up” feature coming to Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. Whilst similar functionality can be achieved with your own “custom prompt”, this feature will make it easy for anyone (especially those new to Copilot) to catch up!

This new feature will be available later this month (June) in the Copilot chat within Microsoft Teams or from the web interface at https://copilot.microsoft.com.

Catch up in Teams – Image (c) Microsoft.


This new feature, which is rolling during June and July 2024, brings the following capabilities and benefits.

  • Stay Informed: The ‘Catch up’ tab provides a centralized place for updates on important meetings and documents.
  • Action-Oriented insights: Each update comes with a suggested prompt, enabling users to delve into details and take immediate action.
  • Seamless Integration: Accessible directly within Microsoft 365 and Teams, enhancing productivity without switching contexts.

    This new feature should make it easier for users to stay on top of tasks and collaborations with others, making it another valuable addition for Copilot for Microsoft 365 and Teams users.


Availability of Catch up

The rollout begins late June 2024 and is expected to complete by late July 2024. Users will need a Copilot for Microsoft 365 license to access this feature

Cisco Live 2024: Unveiling an AI-powered and secure future

Cisco’s annual event, Cisco Live 2024, has seen a huge number of new AI-powered innovations and investments from a Cisco as they took to the stage in Las Vegas. This year the focus has been about powering the AI transformation and has been particularly impactful with the introduction and expansion of AI-enriched solutions across networking, security, and observability domains.

Here’s my take aways from the event based on snipits I watched and blogs from Cisco I’ve read over night on how these advancements are set to further transform the tech industry across almost almost every vertical.

Digital Resilience Through AI

Cisco talked about how their AI-powered innovations which are heavily focussed on the platform that drives transformation (the network and connectivity) are designed to enhance digital resilience, combining the power of the network with industry-leading security and observability. This integration simplifies adoption and provides comprehensive visibility across the digital landscape.

$1 Billion AI Investment Fund

Cisco annouced a new Global AI Investment Fund in a bold move to foster industry innovation and customer readiness and likely help them fund and invest into future aquisitions which is becoming common in the industry with start up innovation and backing. This strategic initiative supports Cisco’s vision of an AI-powered future, connecting and protecting organisations of all sizes through Cisco innovative networking and secure cloud technology platforms.

New Strategic Initiatives

Cisco’s collaboration with industry giants like NVIDIA, Splunk (who they aquired earlier this year) , and others, showcases its commitment to customer success and growth. Cisco referenced some of their largest clients including Steve Madden and McLaren F1 Racing that see Cisco continuing to play a vital role as a strategic ally in business and technology across their entire portfolio from network, security observability and collaboration.

New certifications to empower partners

Designed to prepare partners and ensure skills for the AI powered future, Cisco annouced new AI Fundamentals for their Partners including a new Certification in AI. Cisco plan to ensure they continue to equip partners and the workforce with the necessary skills to thrive in an AI-driven landscape which shows no sign on flowing down.

New innovations to their portfolio announced

Cisco has also announced new AI-powered features for their contact center solutions at Cisco Live 2024. These include.

  • New capabilities in Webex Contact Center will help organizations design and manage conversational self-service experiences. . This means businesses can automate their customer service to a greater extent, improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.
  • An AI Assistant is being provided for contact center agents. This assistant can help agents handle customer queries more effectively and efficiently, leading to improved customer service.
  • Cisco is also enabling the integration of third-party virtual agent solutions into their contact center offerings12. This allows businesses to leverage a wider range of technologies and services to enhance their customer service.

There is no AI without data and networking

With Cisco networking already the motorway for connectivity inside data centres, organisations IT and for connecting people, things and devices: 

  • Nexus HyperFabric AI clusters. This is a “breakthrough” AI cluster solution developed in collaboration with NVIDIA and provides a single place to design, deploy, monitor, and assure AI pods and data center workloads. This means businesses can manage their AI workloads more efficiently and effectively.
  • Cisco Hypershield support for AMD Pensando DPUs and Intel IPUs,which Cisco say will enables enterprises to “realize an AI-driven, distributed security architecture” that seamlessly goes from the cloud to the data centers to the edge while still being highly performing and energy efficient.
  • Cisco will also combine the the power of the Splunk with their AppDynamics Application Performance Monitoring (APM) with the introduction of Splunk Log Observer for Cisco AppDynamics. This integration will enable users to drive faster troubleshooting across on-prem and hybrid environments.

Excitement overdrive

As a leading UK Cisco Partner, Cisco Live brought excitement to our teams and will give new innovation enablement for Cisco customers.

Cisco’s innovations will help us continue to help out customer build a more resilient, intelligent, and secure digital environment.

We’re thrilled to share incredible innovation and new AI-powered capabilities for our customers this week at Cisco Live… Cisco is uniquely positioned to revolutionize the way infrastructure and data connect and protect organizations of all sizes, and we are confident we are the right strategic partner for our customers in this era of AI.”

Chuck Robbins |Chair and CEO | Cisco.

For Cisco, it represents a step forward in leading the industry towards an inclusive AI-powered future. And for partners like Cisilion, it’s an opportunity to leverage these advancements to deliver cutting-edge solutions to our clients.

It’s not over yet.

Stay tuned for more updates from Cisco Live 2024, as we continue to explore the possibilities of AI and its impact on the world of technology.

Read more at Cisco

What are you most excited about for Cisco Live and what were you hoping they annouced and didn’t?

Forrester: Microsoft Leading the Charge in XDR Innovation

This blog post captures Microsoft’s latest achievements, innovations and recognition in cybersecurity as reported by Forrester in their recent wave report on Extended Dedection and Response (XDR) plafforms. Here is have focussed on the latest developments and Microsoft’s move to leading in this report.

The ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, organisations face the challenge of defending against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. Based on the analysis performed by Forrester in their 2024 Wave report, Microsoft has yet again risen to the occasion, with them being placed at the far out leader in Forrester Wave: Extended Detection and Response (XDR) platforms – Q2, 2024, pushing them ahead of both Palo Alto and Crowdstrike in this recent report. They have been leaders in this space for over 4 years but this year pulled further ahead than ever before.

In the last year, 75% of security professionals witnessed an increase in attacks with 85% attributing this rise to bad actors using generative AI

Report By Security Magazine 2023


The Forrester report details how to protect against the constant and more spohisticated AI powered “intelligent attacks”, a Unified Approach to Cybersecurity is needed rather than a traditional add-on and multi-vendor approach. Forrester comment how Microsoft Defender XDR stands out with its unified visibility, investigation, and response capabilities. It integrates seamlessly across endpoints, IoT, OT, identities, email, collaboration tools, SaaS apps, cloud workloads, and data insights, providing end-to-end protection.

Generative A is the Game-Changer

Forrester say that the introduction of Microsoft Copilot for Security marks a significant milestone in Microsoft’s approach to XDR. This generative AI solution simplifies incident remediation, reverse engineers malware code, and empowers analysts with natural language processing to generate Kusto Query Language (KQL) queries.

Microsoft’s Automatic Attack Disruption – also powered by their latest AI and Threat Hunting services, has led to the development of automatic attack disruption features in Defender XDR. This technology can detect and disrupt ransomware and other advanced attacks within minutes, showcasing the power of AI in cybersecurity. The services work seemlessly toegther across their wider Azure and Microsoft 365 security portoflio making these a real multi-layered protect, detect and respond approach rather than multiple products stacked on top of each other.

The Future of Cyber Defense

Microsoft’s recognition by Forrester underscores its dedication to innovation and excellence in cybersecurity. As cyber threats continue to evolve, Microsoft’s XDR and unified security operations platforms will remain essential tools in the arsenal of cybersecurity professionals.

In Microsoft’s own blog post on the matter they state that “We believe Forrester’s recognition showcases that Microsoft Defender XDR is the broadest native XDR solution on the market and that our most recent additions of Microsoft Defender for Cloud data and Microsoft Purview Insider Risk Management data are critical to give the SOC access to end-to-end data. Its incident-level visibility, automatic attack disruption of advanced attacks, and accelerated detection and response now work across endpoints, Internet of Things (IoT), operational technology (OT), on-premises and cloud identities, email and collaboration tools, software as a service (SaaS) apps, cloud workloads, and data insights.”

“Microsoft is refining the most complete XDR offering in the market today, their dedication to innovation is demonstrated by its percentage of the R&D budget by revenue, which rivals the most innovative vendors in security.”

Forrester Wave Report: Q2 2024

Summary

Great to see Microsoft continue to innovate in this area, after Satya Nadella stated that they are “priotitising security above all else” in a recent report.

The recent report from Forrester does not of course mean that the other vendors in this report are no good. The familiar vendors such as Palo Alto, Crowdsrike continue to innovate in this space and the others are working hard to move up the quadrant.

Others to mention are Cisco who have moved into the Challengers Quadrant this year, following huge investments in thier Cisco Secure Cloud platform and their continued invenstment to bolster their security portfolio.

It is worth noting that XDR is just one of the security pillars reported on by Forrester and other leading analysts like Gartner.

Copilot in Excel is getting huge  upgrades as it comes out of preview in June.

Microsoft will be taking Copilot in Excel out of preview next month and are adding a bunch of new and needed features.

The Microsoft 365 Roadmap calls out a key feature (ID: 394275) which will allow users to receive more conversational answers to various Excel-related questions and prompts. This aims to provide less expert Excel users with step by step help on formulas, ability to do more things using natural language and also finally the ability to work on data sets that aren’t confined to being encapsulated in an excel table.

The aim: to emoower everyone to use Excel better whether beginners to more advanced users.

Copilot can assist users in completing tasks by providing helpful steps, including formulas to copy and use. It can also explain formula errors and offer corrected formulas along with additional guidance.

Here’s a breakdown of what can be done with this newer functionality coming to Copilot in Excel:

  • Understand your questions and requests in a more natural way, making it easier to get the help you need and how to perform what you need in excel
  • Be able to answer a broader range of Excel-related questions, not just specific tasks and will also be able to provide clear instructions, including relevant formulas.
  • Help with formula errors by explaining the issue and suggesting corrected formulas with additional guidance.

Microsoft “Team Copilot” – what is and what does it do?

At Microsoft Build this week (May 2024) Microsoft set out their vision for the next stage of Copilot within Microsoft 365 with the announcement of Team Copilot. With the usual sizzle videos, blogs and presentations on this, the vision for the future of Copilot in Microsoft 365, whereby they see Team Copilot as a meeting moderator, group collaborator, or project manager – making it a “valuable team member” as Microsoft put it.

What is Team Copilot?

Team Copilot is the latest iteration of Copilot for Microsoft 365, designed to assist with tasks and activities across various aspects of team collaboration, projects, and meetings through AI support.

Microsoft say that Team Copilot expands Copilot for Microsoft 365 from a behind-the-scenes personal AI assistant to a valuable new team member, improving collaboration and project management. Team Copilot will act on behalf of a team, a department, or an entire company and you’re always in control – assigning tasks or responsibilities to Copilot so the whole team can be more productive, collaborative, and creative, together. Team Copilot will be available where you collaborate – in Teams, Loop, Planner, and more.

Microsoft showcases capabilities where Team Copilot can serve as a meeting moderator, group collaborator, or project manager, undertaking tasks such as:

  • Manage meeting agendas, meeting flow and also take notes in the Teams app;
  • Support employees in better performing their duties and solving problems through proactive notifications, suggested actions and guidance
  • Oversee project execution by assigning tasks, tracking deadlines, and informing team members of their required contributions.

Like Copilot for Microsoft 365 in the “personal assistant space”, The Team Copilot service will be tightly integrated across Microsoft’s core Office applications, such as Teams, Loop, and Planner.

The need for Adoption & Change Management has never been higher

We love the pace of innovation and change coming across the digital technology eco system. Services like Microsoft 365 have always have a rapid release and new feature cycle with literally hundreds of changes and improvements in development and rollout at any time.

Team Copilot – Image (c) Microsoft

In this rapidly evolving landscape of the AI powered workplace, the integration of Microsoft 365 and Copilot represents a significant leap forward. However, to truly harness the potential of these innovations, organisations need to ensure they have a robust and proven Adoption and Change Management (ACM) service in place. Training and coaching in line with this ACM, ensures that employees are not only aware of the new tools, their potential and how to use them, but also that they are coached and mentored to use them proficiently and to their full extent in order to release the value they offer.

This strategic approach mitigates resistance, fosters a culture of continuous learning, and aligns technological advancements with business objectives, thereby maximizing the return on investment.

Being on a Copilot journey ourselves in my organisation (Cisiilion), I see three paramount reasons why we invested in ACM for our Copilot deployment – these apply to almost all of the organisation we are working with today.

  • User Competency: Simply providing tools is not enough; employees need guidance to use them effectively. If you don’t have a dedicated ACM team in house, the importance of ensuring there is budget to use ACM services from your technology partner is critical to sccess and bridges the gap between access and ability, leading to increased productivity.
  • Cultural Integration: Tools like Microsoft Copilot are most effective when they become woven into the organisational fabric. Paying for professional ACM services (or leveraging your own in house team) facilitates this integration, ensuring that new technologies enhance, rather than disrupt, workflows.
  • Optimised Utilization: Without ACM, there is a risk of underutilization or incorrect use of sophisticated tools, which can negate the benefits. ACM services ensure that organizations extract maximum value from their investments.

In essence, simply dropping a license to a user (we did try that first), without support is akin to providing a car without any driving lessons or road to drive it on – it is the mastery and understanding fostered by ACM that truly puts an organisation in the driver’s seat of innovation and supports their employees in understanding, adopting and getting the best our using these technologies to improve the ways they work and get work done.

When will Teams Copilot be available?

Based on the information shared at Build, a preview version of Team Copilot will be available to Copilot for Microsoft 365 license holders before the end of the year.

You can read more from Microsoft on their official blog –> here <–

Balancing Act: Microsoft’s “Recall” Feature

The day before Microsoft Build 2024, Microsoft unveiled the future of Windows and the PC with what they dubbed “Copilot+ PC”. The build conference (as expected) has unveiled a plethora of innovations aimed at developers and of course AI has at heart of everything.

One of the key pieces of innovation announced at Build and at the Copilot+PC launch was the new AI-powered ‘Recall’ feature which will be coming soon to Windows 11 and will be enabled on devices with the new Copilot+PC powered by the new SnapDragon Elite processors.

This new AI powered feature promises to revolutionise how we interact with our digital histories, but it also raises important questions about privacy.

What is Microsoft Recall?

Recall is designed to transform searchability and predictive search within Windows 11 by recording / snapshotting user activities on their device. It captures snapshots of your screen every five seconds, allowing you to search and retrieve past activities, including app usage, communications in live meetings, and websites visited – giving you (and it) the ability to rewind time to any point (subject to configuration) to help you find what you need or pick up from where you left off. Your snapshots are then locally stored and locally analysed on your PC.

Microsoft Recall – Image (c) Microsoft

Recall’s analysis allows you to search for content, including both images and text, using natural language. Nothing is shared with other users or used to train their AI models. Privacy, Microsoft say is key!

The Promise of Recall

The benefits of Recall are immense. Imagine being able to revisit any moment of your digital life (work or personal), retrieve information from a past meeting, or recall a website or document you reviewed yesterday, last week or last month. This could significantly boost productivity and ensure no detail is ever lost in the digital ether. To “recall” this information, you simple “describe how you remember” using natural language, and Recall will retrieve the moment you saw it. In Microsoft’s blog post around this, they use this example:

Trying to remember the name of the Korean restaurant your friend Alice mentioned? Just ask Recall and it retrieves both text and visual matches for your search, automatically sorted by how closely the results match your search. Recall can even take you back to the exact location of the item you saw.”

Do we need Recall – what is wrong with search and history?

Recall does sound awesome and very clever – but are Microsoft is creating a solution for a problem that isn’t really there?

Microsoft said in the announcement “We set out to solve one of the most frustrating problems we encounter daily – finding something we know we have seen before on our PC. Today, we must remember what file folder it was stored in, what website it was on, or scroll through hundreds of emails trying to find it.”

Personally, I think search works pretty well on Windows 11 anyway and Edge has a great history, favourites and collections feature to help me find stuff I was browsing (they even work across devices). So why do we need recall?

Well…Recall will definately build on this make it much mich easier to find things and “go back in time”, essentially giving Windows 11 a “photographic memory,” as Microsoft explains it. The reason I think this will be a really awesome feature is less because I can never find something, but is more about the experience I want and am starting to expect from AI.

A webpage, image or document we are looking at doesnt paint the whole picture and with search these things are isolated. Recall brings this all together. Maybe I was researching a trip or a topic – with recall it can colate the whole story, bringing together context, images, notes, documents, searches, websites together.

Privacy Concerns

Recall’s powerful capability to record and store every action poses significant privacy concerns and social media has been rife with this (no such thing as bad press right). The thought of someone else accessing this data is unsettling, yet Microsoft assures us that the data remains fully encrypted, local, and linked to that user’s profile. It is not shared with anyone, accessible by anyone or used to train their Large Language Models or dor advertising purposes.

Of course, despite this, the potential for misuse cannot be ignored, especially if sensitive information like passwords or financial details appear on-screen so people I guess are rightfully concerned and since this is not actually “available” yet many of the concerns, assurances etc., are not yet “proven” either way.

Microsoft has a FAQ section that explains how Recall works. This is something everyone panicking about Recall should read.

Microsoft’s Safeguards

The integration of Recall into Windows 11 by Microsoft is designed to keep user data secure and private. Personally and knowing how Microsoft always put the user in control of what is and is not enabled in Windows 11, I am personally not concerned, but understand why some might be initially.

Secondly, Recall works on-device and not across the cloud. This means, no data leaves the PC to Microsoft’s servers. Microsoft will not improve its large language models using this particularly sensitive data. Microsoft say that they will also not use the data for targeting advrtisments. Recall data isn’t available to other applications.

To mitigate these concerns, Microsoft has implemented several safeguards:

  • Recall will not capture InPrivate browsing or DRM-protected content.
  • Users can pause, stop, or delete captured content at any time
  • Users can exclude specific apps or websites from being recorded
  • Users can disable recall and not use it at all.

I also wanted to share directly from Microsoft’s post around this – their approach around privavcy and responsible AI

Microsoft has been working to advance AI responsibly since 2017, when we first defined our AI principles and later operationalized our approach through our Responsible AI Standard. Privacy and security are principles as we develop and deploy AI systems. We work to help our customers use our AI products responsibly, sharing our learnings, and building trust-based partnerships. For more about our responsible AI efforts, the principles that guide us, and the tooling and capabilities we’ve created to assure that we develop AI technology responsibly, see Responsible AI.

Recall uses optical character recognition (OCR), local to the PC, to analyse snapshots and facilitate search. For more information about OCR, see Transparency note and use cases for OCR. For more information about privacy and security, see Privacy and security for Recall & screenray“.

The Future of Recall

As we move forward, the Recall feature will likely evolve, based on feedback from the Window Insider Community and MVPs. Microsoft will need to continually balance AI innovation with user trust, ensuring that privacy is not sacrificed for convenience and that users are given choice with regards features that record and track usage and interactions. The conversation around Recall is just beginning, and it will be fascinating to see how it shapes the future of digital interaction and privacy.

In conclusion, Microsoft’s Recall stands at the crossroads of technological advancement and privacy. It’s a powerful tool that promises huge benefits but also requires careful consideration and management of privacy concerns. As with any new technology, it will be up to both Microsoft and its users to navigate these waters responsibly.


Would love to hear your views on this? What do you think, excited for this new feature (on the new Copilot+PC hardware) or will you be turning it off or jumping OS!! 🙂 

For more detailed information on the feature and its capabilities, please refer to the official announcements and resources provided by Microsoft.

AI wave helps Cisco deliver beyond expectations despite Q3 revenue drop.

Last week, Cisco reported its Q3 fiscal results which beat market in terms of both top and bottom-line.

Cisco achieved this despite a continued decline in overall revenue, showing that like many of the US tech giants, Cisco have become leaner and more cost effective as an entity. It is also recognition of their shift to a software organisation (that also sells hardware).

As a Cisco partner, we understand why Cisco have attributed the majority of their sales revenue decline being due to their customers still deploying data centre and networking equipment purchased late last year due to shifting busienss priorities and re alignment over hybrid work practices. This is certainly something we have seen some still an overspill from the huge chip and stock shortages we saw in COVID-19…

Cisco remain confident that Q4 will see a turn around. Personally, we (Cisilion) have already seen a great Cisco Q3 personally and expect a great Cisco Q4 with some large networking and data centre refreshes.

Riding the AI Wave

Cisco are also making big step forward in the new AI powered world in two parts.

Aquisitions and Parnering

Firstly, Cisco have recently closed the $28 billion acquisition of security and observability software Splunk. Whilst not yet assimilated and incorporated into Cisco’s mainstream portfolio (this won’t likely happen until mid to late FY25) the aquisition will boost their cybersecurity and AI goals. With Splunk, Cisco is gaining a tool to better compete with their competition such as  Palo Alto and Crowd Strike and ensures they remain relevant. 

I covered the Cisco / Splunk aquisition in a recent fireside chat and blog.

Cisco is also well-aware that in order to grow, they need to join forces and work with the other tech giants that dominate the cloud and modern workplace technologies. Their partnership with Microsoft in the modern work space and alignment with building more services for Azure as well as supporting their digitial market place for software and service sales will also boost their reach.

Last month, Cisco have announced a new partnership with NVIDIA to enable enterprises to quickly deploy and manage secure AI infrastructure with new hardware being announced.

As a Cisco and Microsoft Partner, it is great to see the partnership paying off, and our customers live the choice, flexibility and sustainability offerings possible through the deep integration of Cisco meeting room technology on Teams, their integration with Microsoft Sentinel and the work they have done with Cisco Webex Contact Centre which now offers one of the most feature rich and mature customer experience platforms on both Cisco Webex and for Microsoft Teams.

Through these partnerships and aquisitions, Cisco seemed well placed to help organisations build, power, support, and secure AI

Partnership is great for our customers and for us (Cisilion) as a partner.

The Network: Powering the AI Wave

In a recent interview and video we did to celebrate the opening of our new Customer Experience Centre in London, Chintan Patel (Cisco UK CTO) said that “there is no AI without the network“.

This statement, made by Cisco CTO, underscores the critical role that networks play in the functioning and advancement of AI.

Cisco and Cisilion talking AI with Cisco UK CTO

AI rely heavily on data – they need to ingest, process, and learn from vast amounts of information to function effectively. This data needs to be transported, often across great distances, and this is where the network comes in. Without a robust and reliable network, data cannot be moved efficiently, and AI systems cannot operate at their full potential.

Cisco, with its extensive experience in network provision, is uniquely positioned to provide the high-speed, reliable network infrastructure that AI systems require. Their networks are designed to handle the high data volumes and fast data speeds that AI applications demand.

AI is fuelled by the Data Centre.

The Data Centre is the heart of any AI operation. They house the servers that store and process the data AI systems use and are vital for any organisation or service provider building out training their own AI models.

Having been along time leader in the data centre space, offers state-of-the-art technology, from a a compute and networking stack that help organisations design and build through their partners, modern environments that can handle the intensive computational needs of AI, providing a stable and efficient environment for AI operations.

When we come back to partnership and alliance, some of the largest AI service providers, including Microsoft and Adobe use data centres powered by Cisco (amongst others) and rely on their network and data centre (Azure) to power their AI services like Copilot and Azure AI. Cisco’s advanced network solutions and data centres provide the necessary infrastructure for these companies to run their AI applications effectively.

As we see more organisations look to build their own large and small language models, Machine Learning and AI computational and generative AI, Cisco will be helping to power this AI revolution.

As such their technology infrastructure will plays a crucial role in enabling AI service providers to deliver innovative solutions that drive business growth and societal advancement.

I’m confident this will re innovate the infrastructure market across both businesses and service providers.  In conclusion, Cisco’s statement that “there is no AI without the network” rings true. As AI continues to evolve and become more integrated into our daily lives, the role of network and data centre providers like Cisco will only become more critical.

Of course Cisco aren’t the only provider in this space, but I’m impressed with shift and direction Cisco are moving to stay relevant and partner with the other AI giants. As a Cisco partner this is great to see.


To read more about Cisco technology, data centre, observability and network, you can check out their pages below.

https://www.cisco.com/site/us/en/solutions/artificial-intelligence/infrastructure/index.html

New Surface Pro 11 and Surface Laptop 7 | Copilot+PCs

Surface Pro 11 and Surface Laptop 7

After unveiling the next generation of Windows and Windows hardware (the PC), Microsoft also launched (available to order today), the first of their flagship Copilot+ PCs – the new Surface Pro 11 and Surface Laptop 7 – both powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite and Snapdragon X Plus Chipsets.

Surface Pro and Surface Laptop start from £1049 and are available on pre-order today!

Key themes are improved environmentals (more than 72% recycled components), repairability, ARM (Qualcomm Snapdragon powered), upgraded screens and cameras.

New Surface Laptop

The latest Surface Laptop offers a modern design with ultra-thin bezels, a vibrant touchscreen, an AI-powered camera, superior audio quality, and a new haptic touchpad. This comes in both 13.8” or 15” screen options and are available in four different colours – Platinum, Black, Dune and Sapphire .

Surface Laptop 15″ version provides up to 22 hours of video playback, while the 13.8” version offers around 20 hours – a staggering increase over previous iterations of the device making them perfect for hybrid, remote work and education. These both deliver exceptional performance and cutting-edge AI features.

Microsoft say it is 86% faster than Surface Laptop 5 and can power up to three external 4K monitors. As a Copilot+PC it’s new NPU delivers a staggering 45 TOPS NPU unlocks new AI experiences and delivers industry-leading performance for seamless productivity. It includes a large variety of ports and features Wi-Fi 7 technology. .

This has been redesigned from the inside out and is sleeker than ever before. It also has a brand new PixelSense touchscreen display with razor-thin bezels and 120Hz refresh rate, HDR technology, Dolby Vision IQ™vii and Adaptive colour technology which adapts perfectly to light for indoor or outdoor use. This generation, while including super responsive multi-touch, does not support use of Surface Pen and neither will Surface Laptop moving forward.

New Surface Pro

The newest Surface Pro builds on what has always been great with Surface, providing a versatile 2-in-1 laptop device redesigned for increased speed and longer battery life and to enable groundbreaking AI capabilities.

Powered by Snapdragon® X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors, Microsoft say these deliver performance that is 90% faster than Surface Pro 9. They support up to three external 4K displays, with two USB 4 ports, and a new 13” display (with optional OLED with HDR technology). Surface Pro comes with Wi-Fi 7 and optional 5G to keep you connected where ever you are.

Camera’s get an upgrade too, with ultra-wide, quad-HD front-facing camera – the best Surface camera ever. This makes the new Windows 11 AI-powered Windows Studio Effects like Automatic Framing, keep you in focus, even as you move around your space. The upgraded 10MP Ultra HD rear-facing autofocus camera also supports 4K video.

The new innovative Surface Pro Flex Keyboard, usable both attached and detached, offers improved stability, integrated storage and charging for the Surface Slim Pen. It also has a quiet haptic touch pad. Microsoft say that Surface Slim Pen also gets better – ink  flows which feels more natural with Zero Force inking, ultra-precise shading, 4,096 points of pressure sensitivity and a built-in haptic engine for a more natural writing experience… These are also backward compatible with previous Surface Pro models!

The Surface Pro incorporates a higher percentage of recycled materials compared to the Surface Pro 9, featuring 72% recycled content within its enclosure. It is also designed to be serviceable, with an increased number of replaceable components, such as the motherboard, battery, and cameras, among others..


It’s great to see Microsoft offering their customers more choice in this new realm of AI PCs with both Intel and Qualcomm options.

What do you think about new line up?

Copilot+PC – Fastest, most AI-ready Windows PCs ever built.

Today (20th May 2024), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled a new category of PC that features the latest generative AI tools built directly into Windows and powered by the latest generation of AI computing hardware. Microsoft say this is “the most significant change to the Window platform in decades“.

Microsoft said this entirely new class of Windows PC is engineered to unleash the power of distributed AI in conjunction with the latest generation of AI-Powered chip sets from Qualcomm which bring new AI hardware which will power these new AI features which will be “part of” the Windows OS.

Microsoft call this new category ‘Copilot Plus’… which will see the creation of the latest, fastest, most AI-ready Windows PCs ever built. Copilot+ PCs represent a significant advancement in computing, offering powerful performance and pioneering AI capabilities. Equipped with Snapdragon® X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors, these PCs are engineered to provide peak processing efficiency and swift response times.

Copilot+ PCs can run AI workloads up to 20x faster and 100x more efficiently than traditional PCs.

Microsoft have also announced today, their first Copilot+ PCs, in both the new Surface Pro 11 and Surface Laptop 7 – both powered by these new AI Chipsets. They are also working with Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung who will also be bringing their Copilot+ PCs to market.

Here’s the Sizzle Video.

Copilot+PC – Microsoft (c)

As Microsoft took to the stage in front of the world’s tech press, they said that they estimate more than fifty million “AI PCs” will be sold over the next 12 months, given the appetite for devices powered by ChatGPT-style technology.

“…more than 50 million AI PCs will be sold over the next 12 months”

Satya Nadella | Microsoft.

The Copilot+ PC is here

The concept of Copilot+ PC is not merely to offer a handful of AI features. Instead, it is about having a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) on a Copilot+ PC that continuously runs multiple language models in the background of Windows 11. These models will monitor all your activities on your PC to provide contextual information whenever you need to prompt Copilot effectively. Microsoft refers to this functionality as Recall, describing it as a “sensor for AI.”

Satya Nadella announcing the Copilot+PC
Satya Nadella announcing the Copilot+PC

As suggested in the sizzle video above, this implies that a Copilot+ PC can retrieve a line from a document you write or reviewed days earlier, remind you of a commitment or action you made in an email last week, or monitor your web browsing to suggest frequently visited websites and services based on your current activity or “intent”. Whilst there are clear privacy concerns, Microsoft claims that Copilot+ becomes an AI superpower when fully operational and respects your privacy at all times – helping you to do more.

Constant monitoring will be at the heart of a Copilot+ PC, but Microsoft say that it’s substantial AI computing power can do much much more. For example, there will be many creative tools that leverage AI, ranging from Photoshop’s generative AI fill to Microsoft’s AI image generation, to AI video and voice effects in meetings. With a Copilot+ PC, these functions are executed locally on the device – saving time, reducing the need to rely in cloud services and reducing CPU workload and power consumption.

Microsoft have said that users will always be in control and will have the option to disable the always-on AI tracking and to be able to review and delete these AI snapshots individually.

To be classed as Copilot+ status, PCs must be able to deliver at least 40 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) of AI processing power from the Neural Processing Unit (NPU). This represents a significant increase from previous offerings, such as Intel’s Meteor Lake, which provided only 10 TOPS from the NPU.

Under the Hood of a Copilot + PC

So, what is powering these new Copilot+ PCs? Despite Microsoft announcing the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 for business earlier this year, the new Copilot+ PCs are not powered Intel or AMD chips.

“Over the past year, we have seen an incredible pace of innovation of AI in the cloud with Copilot allowing us to do things that we never dreamed possible…..

Now, we begin a new chapter with AI innovation on the device…..

We have completely reimagined the entirety of the PC, from silicon to the operating system, the application layer to the cloud, with AI at the center, marking the most significant change to the Window platform in decades”

Microsoft (May 2024)

Instead, the initial series exclusively features the Snapdragon X Elite or Snapdragon X Plus chips, each boasting more than 40 TOPS of AI power. According to Qualcomm, these chips provide over four times the AI power of their competitors‘ chips and have more than enough power to run the latest AI infused games.

The Copilot+PC also include the dedicated button to prompt the Copilot AI assistant at any time.

Security is also AI Powered

Microsoft focussed heavily on Security. As with the current ARM powered devices such as the Surface Pro X and Surface Pro 9 5G, every Copilot+ PC comes secured out of the box.

The Microsoft Pluton Security processor (which goes way beyond TPM) is activated by default on all Copilot+ PCs, and they are introducing several new features, updates, and defaults in Windows 11 24H2 that will simplify, yet enhance user security. Additionally, Microsoft are integrated additional personalised privacy controls to safeguard personal and sensitive data.


Microsoft’s vision is to ensure this new AI standards for PCs will enable the next generation of AI development which is timely given their annual Build Conference runs this week in which they will be driving new development capability to develops eager to ride the AI gravy train for Windows system and application development.

As the primary investor in OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, Microsoft also confirmed that the newly announced GPT-4o model, which powers the chatbot, will also be integrated into Copilot+ PCs “soon”. GPT-4o is currently available in preview in Azure AI.

Microsoft confirm GPT-4o is now available on Azure AI

Just ahead of Microsoft Build, the Azure team have announced the availability of GPT-4o, OpenAI’s latest flagship model on Azure AI. This innovative multimodal model combines text, vision, and audio capabilities, establishing a new benchmark for generative and conversational AI experiences. GPT-4o is now available in the Azure OpenAI Service for preview, with support for text and image inputs.

This is a preview for testing now

What does GPT-4o Bring?

GPT-4o represents a paradigm shift in the interaction of AI models with multimodal inputs. It integrates text, images, and audio to deliver a more immersive and engaging user experience.

What does the “preview” include?

Currently in preview, Azure OpenAI Service customers will be able to test GPT-4o’s broad capabilities via a preview playground in Azure OpenAI Studio. This initial version emphasizes text and visual inputs, offering a preview of the model’s possibilities and setting the stage for additional functionalities, including audio and video.

The preview is free to try but has limitations around usage and location availability.

Designed for rapidity and efficiency, GPT-4o’s sophisticated processing of complex inquiries with fewer resources has the potential to offer both cost efficiency and enhanced performance.

Note: At time of writing, this is preview is available in two US regions only West US3 and East US.

What about GPT-4o in Microsoft Copilot?

We don’t know yet, but we do know that there will exciting updates around the rest of the Microsoft AI stack this week. Microsoft has an agressive and innovation fuelled roadmap for Microsoft 365 Copilot so as Microsoft continues to update and integrate OpenAI’s latest models into Copilot – I’m looking forward to hearing more this week.

What else is coming?

This week is Microsoft Build 2024 in Seattle and online. I expect this to be (pretty much) all about Copilot, and AI so expect to hear more about GPT-4o and other Azure AI updates.


Further Reading

You can read more about GOT-4o at the official OpenAI Blog which is < here >.

Microsoft Surface – Are you ready for what m”ai” be next?

Next week is Microsoft Build, and the day before (that’s Monday 20th May), Microsoft is set to host a significant event in-person in Seattle about the the future and of Windows, Surface and Copilot.

The event (which is not being live streamed unfortunatley) takes place at 17:00 UK Time (10:00am Pacific Time) and will showcase (I hope filled with the famous Microsoft sizzle videos) the next wave of innovation for Surface, Windows and Copilot powered by new AI powered chipsets…

As usual Microsoft has not disclosed specific details about what is being announced, but there have been many “suggestive” leaks, predications and teases about what is coming. What we do know is that this will be a big and “special” announcement.

This year, Microsoft have already launched the first generation of new AI PC with the release of the Surface Pro 10 and The Surface Laptop 6 which were built on the new Intel AI Boost technology – which you can read more about here.

So what is being announced?

We know this is a pretty big annoucement and we do know that this is the year of AI and the year of the AI PC, so we can expect some pretty exciting annoucements. Despite the various leaks, we wont know until monday what is actually coming, but we do know that Microsoft’s previous product updates were only around the Intel based devices and their ARM powered devices haven’t yet received an update.

Windows Insiders will be well aware of the all the AI innovating coming to the next generation of Windows 11 so we can expect some new AI wow to be announced for Windows 11 as Microsoft gear up for the 24H2 update coming later this year.

Next Generation of Windows and Surface (and Copilot)

Given the new Qualcomm chipsets such as the Snapdragon Elite X, it would make sense for this to feature in the announcements. These new chipsets (which I discussed here) provide huge NPU capabilities which are needed to process AI workloads efficiently without sloooooooowing down the device so it will be exciting to see if these feature in the future of Surface and Windows!

Will Copilot work “locally/Offline?

What? Well today, all the AI and Copilot experiences we have seen with Windows 11 (and Microsoft 365 Copilot) take place in the cloud, but I also wonder if Microsoft will discuss their plans and advancements around local/on-device Generative AI experiences. With the newer AI Boost PCs from Intel, what is now available with Qualcomm and what Microsoft have in their arsenal with Copilot and OpenAI, it will be interesting to see what Microsoft can tell us about how they could de-couple the AI experiences, providing the ability to run local LLMs “on chip”. This of course is as much about the software (Windows OS) as it is the hardware that powers it.

What about Windows 365?

I hope so – since Windows 365 is very much part of the Windows story and I’m hoping we will hear some updates about what is coming to Windows 365. We have seen huge performance and boot time increases this year, new innovation with Windows 365 Boot and Windows 365 Switch (i have covered this in another blog) so be great to see what is next for Windows 365. There were also many things annouced over the past 12 months such as offline mode that haven’t yet made it to market – could this be finally coming?

Will 2024 be the year of Windows 11 on ARM?

We are not even six months into 2024, yet we have already seen some of the most exciting innovation to hit the PC in a decade.

Earlier this year we saw the birth of the “AI-PC” which saw Intel ship their new Core Ultra chipset which includes their AI Boost technology (essentially an NPU) along with the much improved Intel Arc graphics chips which brought performance increases far beyond the i5 and i7 chipsets we have been using for years.


Why do we need NPUs again?

As we use increasingly more AI services, whether that is image blurring, sound enhancement or running a local LLMs on your device, Neural Processing Units (NPUs) are much much faster at processing these workloads locally and because they do all the hard work, the CPU doesn’t need too, also freeing up CPU time increasing overall performance. . This therefore also leads to more efficient processing and less battery use.


I remember back (too many) years ago, when the chipset battle was between Intel and AMD. This has moved on significantly of late though with Qualcomm now a real contender in realm of AI workloads, portability and battery/eco performance. Qualcomms new Snapdragon chipsets are built on what was previously called “Oryon” which was designed by NUVIA (which QualComm brought for $1.4 Billion in 2021).

Interesting fact: Nuvia was founded by a group of ex-Apple engineers who were responsible for the original Apple M1 + chipset architecture.

This Oryon chipset (known now as the Snapdragon X series) has been the result of that acquisition and ongoing investment. These ARM chip brings an amazing addition to lower power usage and energy consumption, mobile connectivity, longer battery life and amazing performance (especially with AI workloads) and will soon be running the current and next generation of Windows 11 on ARM technology.

Is Surface RT – Back from the Dead?

Well, yes and no – more sort of.

If you have been using Microsoft hardware (and Surface in particular for while, you may remember the Infamous Surface RT device that Microsoft launched in 2012 along side the Intel Powered Surface Pro (v1). Whilst not a success at the time (and laughed at by many), this was the real exploration of using ARM architecture in mainstream computing running a desktop Operating System (Windows 8.1 back then). Windows 8.1 RT was based on Windows 8 at the time but compiled specifically for the ARM chipset that drove the Surface RT.

Surface RT was a hybrid tablet developed by Microsoft. It was the first personal computer designed in-house by Microsoft and was released in October 2012. It ran on Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 optimised for ARM processors. It has a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor, 2GB of memory, a 10.6-inch display, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, and a magnesium chassis.

But it failed right? It did – but the failing (in part) was not really down to the ARM technology itself, it was more because the mainstream computing world only really knew the world of Win32 or x64 applications which were built on a totally different architecture and could not run on ARM. There were a number of Win32 applications that were recompiled for ARM and made available via the (then limited) App Store, but these were few and far between (a bit like Windows Phone) which meant that Surface RT was a good good for web browsing and web apps, plus the stock apps and re-compiled Office Applications which worked quite well.

ARM – “I’ll be back”

With the “fail” of Windows RT, ARM was pretty much a thing of the past until 2019, when Microsoft released the Surface Pro X, which I still love and use today. This was the start of a new era for Windows on ARM (some seven years later) which saw Windows 10 (WoA) running on a Microsoft customised Qualcomm which Microsoft called the SQ1.

The SQ1 was based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx laptop chip but with some customization.
It combined Snapdragon hardware with AI capabilities, resulting in a powerful chipset, which gave impressive battery life (well more than in the intel version), and quick charging (to 80% in just an hour). It also featured 4G connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi. Graphics are powered by the Adreno 685 GPU

Microsoft did a brilliant job of this. They produced a super sleek and super thin, fanless Surface Pro device which ran full Windows 10 on ARM. Unlike the Surface RT, whist it could of course run native ARM apps, it was also able to run x64 apps through x64 emulation. These apps did ran slower than they would on their intel counterparts, but and ability to run these apps without recompiling the code removed (mostly) the “app gap”. With devices now going to market (other vendors followed), it also saw software giants like Adobe, beginning to develop their own apps compiled for ARM to run natively. Looking ahead to today, there’s a good steady (and growing) number of apps that are natively compiled for ARM.

As Windows 11 was released in October 2021, we saw a new and refreshed experience for fans of ARM devices with the the support to run Win32 and x64 apps through emulation as well as native ARM apps of course. Microsoft have recently released updated to their ARM powered Surface Pro devices (only Surface Pro devices currently ship with an ARM option), the latest being the Surface Pro 9 5G which features the Microsoft SQ3 processor.

The SQ3 was built on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. This is an 8-core processor with 8 threads and is based on the second generation of Qualcomm Snapdragon chips. Graphics are powered by the Adreno 690 GPU. This also features 5G connectivity.

The Future of AI Powered PCs

There is no doubt we are witnessing a seismic shift in the market as devices are next generation devices are being primed for AI capabilities, and it’s nothing short of revolutionary. With Intel shipping their new AI powered chipsets in the fist part of 2024 and with what is coming from Qualcomm in the second half, 2024 looks to be the year for Windows 11 on ARM with new devices coming soon from leading PC/Laptop manufacturers, including new Microsoft Surface devices based on the rumours! Apple of course have also announced the M4 for their newest devices.

Intel Ultra with AI Boost

Earlier this year, Microsoft led the charge with the Surface Pro 10 for Business, armed with the Intel Core Ultra processor. What makes this processor different to the previous Intel generations is what they call their integrated AI Boost! This cutting-edge feature turbocharges performance by processing AI tasks locally. This results in a significant reduction in reliance on the CPU and, in some fortunate cases, even the GPU. This means faster, more efficient processing that’s sure to supercharge your productivity, powered by the Intel NPU.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite

But that’s not all! Qualcomm has also thrown its hat into the ring with the Snapdragon X1E Elite and Plus chipsets. This comes hot on the heels of their acquisition of Nuvia, marking a bold new chapter in their AI journey which we are about to start seeing hit the market.

Qualcomm AI Engine, Snapdragon X Elite can run generative AI models with over 13 billion parameters on-device. Qualcomm claims it has 4.5 times faster AI processing than its competitors. Qualcomm has called Snapdragon X Elite the “most powerful, intelligent, and efficient processor in its class for Windows,”

Apple M4

Yes so Apple have recently announced their new M4 Processor which will power the new iPad Pro. Apple say that the M4 promises 50% faster CPU performance than Apple’s M2 and is four times faster than the M2 in GPU performance.

Intel vs Qualcomm vs Apple

While benchmarking processor performance can sometimes be influenced by the manufacturer or even be misleading to the end user, the numbers below are really interesting to see.

The new Intel Core Ultra 5 chipset has also shown significant improvement, boasting a score of 2,150 and 10,450 for single core and multicore respectively. These numbers highlight the rapid advancements in AI capabilities and the potential they hold for our work.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite made a grand entrance with a single core score of 2,574 and a multicore score of 12,562. This immediately positions it as a formidable contender, outperforming the Ryzen 9 7940HS.

Qualcomm has added an AI engine to the X Elite too, which they say is capable of 75 TOPS (trillion operations per second) — that’s a huge increase over the roughly 34 TOPS the Intel Core 7 165H chip is capable of.

There are not yet scores for the Apple M4 to compare against the Snapdragon X Elite since the benchmarks for the M4 are not out yet.

Conclusion

With the latest iterations of Windows 11, we have a mature and stable build of ARM on Windows, that can run Intel apps in both Win32 and x64 mode, as well as native ARM applications. There are more apps than ever that run native ARM in Windows – and even Google have now launched an ARM version of their Chrome Browser.

The marked performance of the Snapdragon shows that will accelerate both the performance and advancements of AI edge compute in Windows 11, along with the efficiency and battery life expected. With this, the next generation of Qualcomm AI PCs on Windows 11 looks extremely exciting.

As we move into the second half of 2024, I think business, consumers, education and more are going to be super excited about the ability to get a new range of super quiet, super fast, super efficient devices with a real stonker of battery life that is able to run AI and traditional workloads with a breeze. All powered by Windows 11 on ARM and Snapdragon X Elite at the core.

So is 2024 the year for Windows 11 on ARM ?

Interview: Mark Brown – VP Solutions Engineering at Splunk

This week, I had the pleasure of running a Fireside Chat with Mark Brown, who leads the engineering team at Splunk. The chat was streamed live on Linked In and YouTube as part of Cisilion’s monthly technology chat show which has been running for more than three years.

This month, we took to the virtual stage to discuss the acquisition of Splunk by Cisco, the history and innovation that Splunk brings across security and data analytics and observability, and some of the huge success stories and customers of Splunk since the company’s founding in 2003.

Cisilion and Spunk – May Fireside Chat

In this month’s show, we delved into Splunk’s history and capabilities, its evolution over the last 20 years, and its role as a data analytics platform. We talked about Splunk’s diverse customer base, including huge “high street” brands like Siemens and Gatwick Airport, where we discussed how Splunk’s data analytics is helping to enhance operational efficiency and security at the airport and how by processing local traffic and weather data along with real time people traffic in the airport, they help to ensure that LGW meet their people flow SLAs of getting people from check-in and through security.

Finally we talked about why Cisco have acquired Splunk, the market opportuntiy it creates and how partners like Cisilion will be able to leverage this aquisition into the Cisco portfolio over time. Mark talks about this being a strategic move to integrate Splunk’s data analytics with Cisco’s network and security solutions, offering a comprehensive approach to observability and security and giving them a real competitive edge whilst, increasing their market share and making the solutions simpler for their customers.

Using the power of AI, I have used Microsoft Copilot to breakdown the key sections of the video and help you to navigate to areas you think might be useful to you.

(I have a video on how to do this which you can access -> here -<

Cisilion and Splunk Fireside Chat – Key Coversations

  • [00:01:18] Introduction of Mark Brown from Splunk
    • Leads the UK solution engineering team
    • Discusses Splunk’s recent acquisition by Cisco
    • Highlights the value Splunk brings to businesses
  • [00:03:00] Explanation of what Splunk is
    • Describes Splunk as a platform for searching logs in data centers
    • Evolved into a leader in security and observability
    • Known as the “Google for the data center”
  • [00:18:09] Cisco’s acquisition of Splunk
    • Seen as a natural fit with little overlap in technology offerings
    • Expected to enhance both Cisco’s and Splunk’s product portfolios
    • Acquisition aligns with Cisco’s strategy to expand software offerings
  • [00:08:14] Reference customers of Splunk
    • Splunk’s reference customers span 110 countries and includes major brands across various industries
    • Talking through examples including Siemens, Singapore Airlines, and Gatwick Airport
    • Talking about wider use cases that demonstrate Splunk’s adaptability and impact
  • [00:14:22] Splunk’s competition in the market
    • How and where Splunk competes with and partners with various tech companies such as Data Dog and Relic
    • How Microsoft Sentinel have also become a leader in the SIEM space in just two years and how Microsoft and Splunk are working together to deliver Splunk Solutions to customers in Azure.
    • How Splunk have been leaders for more than 10 years.
  • [00:17:46] Cisilion’s perspective on the acquisition
    • How Cisilion are excited about the integration and potential for new market opportunities and the alignment between Cisco and Microsoft, Cisilion’s two strategic partners.
    • How we see the acquisition as a way to complete the technology journey for clients bringing together multiple technnologies and creating a single pane of glass for security logs and observability.
    • Our forward looking view on the game-changing advancements in observability and security this aquisition could bring to Cisco.
  • 00:25:23] The chat continues around use cases, market trends and the future of security and observability

Welcome your views on the video and the discussion as always.

Microsoft and Splunk Lead in Gartner 2024 MQ for SIEM

The digital security landscape is constantly challenged by sophisticated threats, making the role of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems more critical than ever. In the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for SIEM, Microsoft and Splunk have been recognised as leaders, demonstrating excellence in vision and execution in the SIEM space.

Gartner said in their 2024 report that “The SIEM market grew from $5.03 billion in 2022 to $5.7 billion in 2023 (see Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2023), a 13% annual growth rate compared to a 22% increase the previous year. The primary drivers of a SIEM purchase are threat detection, response, exposure management and compliance. Buyers are seeking a SIEM ecosystem with broad and deep capabilities to satisfy multiple security and business use cases with capabilities to support a diverse environment.”

Image (c) Gartner 2024

The Significance of SIEM in Cybersecurity

SIEM technology is essential for organisations to effectively manage security events and information. It provides real-time visibility across an organisation’s information security systems (multi vendor), providing single pane of glass event log management, compliance reporting, and incident response capabilities. The ability to swiftly detect, analyse, and respond to security incidents is what makes SIEM a cornerstone of enterprise security strategies.

Friends and Foes?

In 2023, Splunk and Microsoft agreed to partnering to help build Splunk’s enterprise security and observability offerings on Microsoft Azure. This means that Splunk solutions are now available for purchase on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace as well as AWS Market place. This is great for both parties and Microsoft Partners who sell and deploy Azure Services to their clients.

Microsoft’s Leadership with Sentinel

Microsoft has been acknowledged as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SIEM for its comprehensive, cloud-native solution, Microsoft Sentinel1. According to Gartner, Microsoft Sentinel stands out with its unified security operations platform, blending SIEM, XDR, AI, Threat Intelligence, and extended posture management into a single experience. This platform is powered by generative AI, offering end-to-end protection and consolidating various security operations tools into a coherent experience.

Strengths:

Best Fit for Sentinel:

Gartner cite Microsoft Sentinel as being best for organisations that require or demand a cloud-native SIEM solution with advanced AI capabilities and integration with other Microsoft security products will find Microsoft Sentinel to be an ideal fit. Sentinel works with a huge number of external cloud and on-premises data connectors (including Splunk).

Splunk’s Data-Centric Excellence in SIEM

Splunk remains a joint leader in the SIEM market, praised as always for their data-centric security analytics solution, The Enterprise Security application from Splunk is available both on-premises and as SaaS. Splunk provides pricing flexibility, which can be based on daily data ingestion or cloud workloads, referred to as Splunk Virtual Compute. Splunk primarily serves large enterprise organizations in North USA

Splunk have said they are launching a new AI Assistant for Security, which will be integrated with Enterprise Security to enhance detection and response functions. Cisco finalized the acquisition of Splunk on March 18, 2024 and we expect to see integration and cross pollenisation of their combined portfolio at somepoint in 2025.

Gartner point out that currently Splunk has a significantly higher-than-average cost compared to other vendors in their report, is more complex to deploy and configure (measured in pro services days) and currently low numbers of sales support staff outside the US – though with Cisco’s aquisiton of Splunk this is likely to change over the next 18-24 months.

Strengths:

  • Overall observability: The Splunk platform can integrate security, IT, application and other data sources. This, coupled with its federated search and analytics capabilities across third-party data stores, is a strength for clients seeking to build highly enriched queries and alerts.
  • Extensive integration: Splunk’s integration of SOAR enhances a wide range of common SIEM use cases. Clients wanting quick time to production automation for common SIEM operational functions will find Splunk’s library of playbooks a strength.
  • User interface: Splunk’s UI and dashboard provide significant customization. Clients requiring custom animations and visualization for specialized monitoring, such as OT or financial systems, will find the UI editor an overall strength

Best Fit

Splunk is particularly suited for very large organisations that value a data-driven approach to security and need powerful analytics to manage complex security environments. Microsoft is actually one of Spunk’s largest customers.

Conclusion

Microsoft and Splunk continue to lead the SIEM market with their innovative solutions. Sentinel offers a world-class leading, cloud-native, AI-enriched platform that simplifies operations and accelerates threat resolution.

Splunk provides a robust, data-centric approach to security analytics, enabling organizations to respond to threats with speed and precision and is ideally suited for the largest of enterprises as well as those who remain mainly on-prem and less “all in with cloud”. Splunk also has a strategic alignment and integration with Microsoft Sentinel.

As a Microsoft and Cisco leading UK partner, we are excited to be working with both Cisco and Splunk (Cisco) in this space with the abiluty to guide and consult around customer hosted, Azure hosted and cloud-native SIEM solutions. We also love ther fact that we can now meet customers on their ground with the ability to deploy Splunk on Azure via the market place to our clients.


Microsoft Places now in Public Preview

Microsoft have finally (after a long wait), released the much-anticipated Microsoft Places into Public Preview. When it launches later in 2024, Places will be licensed as part of Microsoft Teams Premium.

What is Microsoft Places?

Microsoft Places, is Microsoft’s “AI-powered” (of course it is), connected workplace app that has been “designed to revitalise flexible work by helping employees coordinate where they work, modernise in-person connections, and provide valuable data for IT, Real Estate and Facilities Management to optimise the workplace.

Microsoft Places Promo (2024)

What’s included in the Places Public Preview

At launch of the public preview, not all features will be available, but more features will roll over time based on feedback on those in the private preview and MVPs. The following is included initially.

  • Location Plan: Allows people to share their proposed location schedule and see who else will be attending in-person – this makes in-person huddles, team lunches and “working together” easier.
  • In-Person Meeting: Sounds like an odd one, but provides updates to meeting invites and calendaring to communicate the organisers “intention” for people to work together with an in-person meeting invite (no Online Meeting) – this is good for team meetings, workshops etc.
  • New Hybrid RSVP: Intended to help us plan better – this shows a collated view of who is coming into the office, allowing people to adjust their location plan directly from their Calendar.
  • Expanded Presence: Provides the ability for people to easily add their location to your presence state, indicating when they are in the office, working at home or from another specific location.

What won’t be available in the preview?

As discussed above, there are some features that Microsoft spoke about when they first announced Places back in 2022. These include:

  • Access to the Places Directory: This will not be available yet as part of the public preview
  • As such the following sub-services that this enables will also not be available including
    • Space Analytics and occupancy data
    • Ability to find rooms by buildings in the Places Finder
    • Ability mention @nearby in Teams

Microsoft have also said that the integration of Places data into Microsoft Copilot will make coordination even easier. Coming in the second half of 2024, you will be able to use Copilot to understand which days are best to come into the office.

To me, personally, we will be playing with this in a demo environment as many of the key benefits I see are in the Places Directory.

Keep an eye on the Places Space to keep up-to-date with updates and changes as the public preview progresses.

Integration with Building and FM Providers

Microsoft are partnering with a wealth of FM and building companies across this market. With Microsoft Places, they have built a ecosystem of partners (listed below) who will build on top of the Places platform with new and existing solutions, leveraging, and enhancing data related to people, location, and space. Microsoft have listed the following launch partners but have said that more are coming rapidly.

  • Avanade
  • AppSpace
  • AVI/SPL
  • CBRE
  • Cisco Spaces
  • Chestron
  • Eptura
  • ISS
  • JLL
  • Service Now
  • Verge Sense

I’m super excited by the integration into App Space and Cisco Spaces 🙂


How do I get on the Microsoft Places Public Preview?

The Microsoft Places public preview is available on request and IT need to sign up using the link below. You can register your primary “live” environment or demo/dev environment (we did both). To sign up follow this link here: