Microsoft has kept mum over the past couple of weeks. Aside from occasional updates, such as the expansion of its Cisco cloud partnership and announcement of an artificial intelligence project to compete with Apple's Siri, we haven't heard much news from Redmond.
They say that hindsight is 20/20, and after this week it's easy to see why Redmond has been quiet. Microsoft unleashed an avalanche of news during multiple events over the past few days, updating its massive audience on advancements pertaining to its productivity offerings, big data projects, and Windows 10.
The beginning of this week marked the start of Microsoft's 2015 Convergence conference held in Atlanta, Ga. This year was a turning point for the conference, which had previously focused on Dynamics ERP and CRM. Attendees were promised an experience that was broader but no less enriching.
This year, Microsoft set the stage for a more comprehensive event that places greater emphasis on business value concepts and less on individual products. While products remain at the core of Convergence, it seems as though Microsoft sees the need for attendees to place greater focus on how those products fit in with their evolving tech strategies.
Changes to the event were clear from as early as CEO Satya Nadella's keynote on March 16. Going forward, Microsoft has altered its strategy to focus less on specific systems and more on enabling people, organizations, and industries to drive their agendas forward. It is not a device business, Nadella explained. It is an empowerment business.
"Devices will come and go," said Nadella. "The most interesting thing is the data that's being collected."
Throughout the rest of Nadella's keynote, and the following presentations from Microsoft's Kirill Tatarinov and Julia White, attendees learned about updates to the Microsoft lineup, including an Azure IoT suite, Skype for Business preview, a new version of Dynamics CRM, and upgrades to Office Delve and Office 2016.
During the conference, Microsoft spilled the news of the demise of Internet Explorer, which will be replaced with Project Spartan for millions of users in Windows 10. Businesses will still have access to Internet Explorer, but most customers will be using its replacement, which doesn't yet have an official name.
Not all of Microsoft's news came from Convergence, however. Officials also released news from the renewed Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China. We learned that Windows 10 will attempt to eliminate traditional passwords by employing biometric authentication, which users can try on eligible devices when the OS launches later this summer.
It has certainly been a busy week for Microsoft. Click through to learn more about this week's updates and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.