👋🏻 Hello and welcome to this edition of Interesting Stuff, your fortnightly dose of things I think you’ll find interesting if you’re in the world of Azure, partners, small business, and Microsoft. I’m James Marshall, SMB Azure Partner Success Lead for the UK at Microsoft, and if you find this content useful please remember to subscribe and share this with your network. Thank you! 😎

In this edition, you’ll find:

💭 My thoughts the recent Microsoft Ignite event.
📝 A summary of the latest Azure updates.
📰 Interesting articles I’ve seen around the web.

Some Thoughts

Last week, it was Microsoft Ignite, the annual event for technologists and IT Pros to come together and see the best of what’s next in technology! If you couldn’t attend in person, or virtually, I’d highly recommend watching the on-demand content. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in particular gave a brilliant keynote.

Without doubt, AI was at the heart of the event, but did you know there we more than 100 new updates across event facet of the Microsoft technology portfolio? Check out the famous Book of News and the official Microsoft blog to learn more about the key announcements.

Personally, my big take away from the event is that we’re currently going through an even bigger leap forwards for technology than the one we saw with the mainstream availability of hyperscale cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure. For partners, more than ever, ‘standing still is moving backwards’ when it comes to developing practices and solutions that solve business challenges for customers. Most partners don’t have to become a deep expert in every new thing, but the opportunity created by these innovations can’t be ignored. Don’t believe me? Check out the Work Trend Index Special Report; early users of Copilot for Microsoft 365 don’t want to go back to working without it: 77% said they don’t want to give it up.

There are too many updates to list out here, but some of my favourites include:

  • The Microsoft Loop app is now generally available. I’ve become a big fan of Loop and love using it personally, and collaborating with my team.
  • Dall-E 3 is now available in preview in Azure OpenAI Service. GPT-4 Turbo (preview) and GPT-3.5 Turbo 16K (GA) will be available in Azure OpenAI Service at the end of November 2023. GPT-4 Turbo model offers lower pricing, extended prompt length, and structured JSON formatting with improved efficiency and control.
  • GitHub Copilot Chat will be generally available in December 2023. Bringing natural language as the new universal language for software development, GPT-4 powers Copilot Chat providing code-aware suggestions and code generation. I cannot tell you how blown away by this I was when I first experienced it.

What are you most excited about from Microsoft Ignite? Let me know in the comments!

Azure Updates

As ever, there’s always something new to know, so here’s a selection of updates you might find interesting: Get the digest!

Interesting Stuff from Others

Cloud Native Innovations with Mark Russinovich

Mark is Microsoft’s Azure CTO, and a Technical Fellow, as well as an author, developer, artist - in fact, I’m not sure there’s anything he can’t turn his hand to. His sessions at any conference are always packed. Check out this session where he’s in conversation about the latest innovations in cloud native computing.

How to Use Copilot in Microsoft Word to Create Awesome Documents

The productivity coach, and fellow colleague Stuart Ridout put this great video together looking at how best to use Copliot to your advantage when creating or editing Microsoft Word documents.

Until next time…

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