UPDATED 17:31 EDT / NOVEMBER 04 2019


Microsoft rides JEDI momentum as Ignite 2019 kicks off with new product launches

When a company scores a single $10 billion contract, it can generate quite a tailwind.

That’s the total projected amount of a deal between Microsoft Corp. and the U.S. government when the company was awarded a hard-fought contract last month to provide technology services for the Department of Defense’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI cloud project. It was also very much on the minds of participants at this week’s Microsoft Ignite gathering as the show kicked off on Monday.

“It is a big deal, Microsoft really spent a lot of time the last couple of years going deeper into public sector, making sure they’ve got the governance and compliance,” said Stu Miniman, co-host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the opening day analysis at the Microsoft Ignite event in Orlando, Florida. “There’s still work that Microsoft needs to do. They don’t have the Level 6 security clearance yet, which Amazon does, and they’ve been given less than a year to get that to make sure they can fulfill this.”

Miniman was joined at the conference by co-host Rebecca Knight and they discussed the growing role of citizen developers in computing and the significance of Microsoft’s latest announcements in a hybrid world (see the full discussion with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)

Tools for ‘citizen developers’

While Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella (pictured) did not elaborate on the JEDI contract in his keynote remarks on Monday, he did discuss the company’s major product announcements around new tools for the Azure cloud platform. He also noted the influence of 2.5 million “citizen developers,” and indicated that much of what Microsoft launched today was aimed at making it easier to code and develop applications.

“So many of the tools that have been introduced today are all about creativity, collaboration, time management, productivity,” Knight said. “Microsoft is saying: ‘we are for the citizen developers and we want to democratize computing.’”

One of Microsoft’s major announcements was Azure Arc, a solution to provide customers with cloud services and management outside of the Azure platform, including in Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud environments.

“With Azure Arc, I can automate updates with my policies across any environment, not just Azure,” Miniman said. “What we’re really hearing here is a comprehensive reimagining of hybrid. Microsoft has been a leader in hybrid and they’re realizing they need to make a significant change to the portfolio to really deliver on the promise of hybrid and multicloud.”

Here’s the complete video analysis, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Microsoft Ignite event. (* Disclosure: Cohesity Inc. sponsored coverage of Microsoft Ignite, and some segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE are sponsored. Sponsors have no editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: Microsoft/livestream

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