While making predictions in this environment is difficult, there is a list of five Microsoft technologies that could impact Microsoft’s business customer base in 2021.
Predictions this year seem to be more unreliable than usual. As shown by the year 2020, attempting to predict what any more do not make sense. But these five may have the greatest potential impact on business users in 2021.
- MetaOS for mobile masses:
Microsoft has an evolving strategy and baseline in the Microsoft 365 cloud space that is somewhat better known internally than externally. This initiative is known as “Meta OS” (and also sometimes as “Taos”). Metaos is conceived as a single mobile platform that provides a consistent set of services for work and entertainment on all devices. It is not an OS, unlike Windows, but it consists of a number of layers or layers, including the Office substrate and Microsoft Graph, as well as the application model, which includes the work that Microsoft does with the Fluid Framework (its fast collaborative editing and object embedding technology); Power Apps development tools and Visual Studio.
In 2021, we will learn more about how Microsoft views applications as a set of products and services for a single task (for example, Planner, Stream, Tasks, Lists, Files, Whiteboard, Notes). Fluid Framework plays a big role here. This strategy and its implementation can have serious implications for developers, consumers, and first-level employees.
- Universal Search: new information at your fingertips
Microsoft founder Bill Gates sought to give users the ability to get information, rather than search for it. His keynote address at Comdex 1990 was even titled ” Information at Your Fingertips.” Decades later, Microsoft is finally getting closer to bringing this idea to life with its universal search technology.
From 2018 to 2020, Microsoft teams created elements for unified search in Windows, Edge, and existing Office applications. Microsoft Search is the company’s unified intranet search offering, which should exist alongside Bing, Microsoft’s web search technology. Microsoft Search and the basic Microsoft Graph API are designed to help understand users ‘ working lives (documents, objects, people they regularly work with, etc.). According to officials, Bing’s main goal is to provide an understanding of the world outside the organization, with the extraction of abbreviations and entities, the understanding of machine reading, computer vision and other tools and technologies.
In 2021, Microsoft will actively look for ways to encourage more users to “enable” single search and use it to get results wherever they are-in the Office app, in the new Edge browser, or even inside Bing. Unified search works perfectly with Project Cortex, Microsoft’s knowledge management technologies. And, just like in metaos, single search is focused on people and is not tied to any particular device.
- The “Smart Frontier”: More than just the Internet of Things
Microsoft was the first major cloud service provider to adopt hybrid solutions. While some officials have called PCs and servers examples of” smart peripherals, ” Microsoft’s adoption of this definition is likely to become more prominent in 2021 and beyond.
When many people think of “peripheral” devices, they immediately think of Internet of Things (IoT) products. But over the past couple of years, Microsoft has expanded its portfolio of peripherals. Secure PCs such as Azure Stack Edge Pro and Pro R are peripherals. Any device with built-in AI processing capabilities qualifies as an intelligent peripheral device. Even the recently announced Azure modular data centers – data centers inside shipping containers that can operate without an internet connection, connect periodically and / or continuously via satellite – are also peripherals.
Microsoft has yet to announce its competitor AWS Outposts, codenamed Fiji. It is expected that this could be a 2021 announcement. It is designed to provide users with the ability to run Azure as an on-premises cloud, managed by public Azure and provided as server racks provided by Microsoft directly to users. Fiji is also part of Microsoft’s smart device family.
- Cloud PCs-Desktop virtualization at a fixed rate:
Microsoft is expected to announce its “Cloud PC as a Service” offering in the spring of 2021. The cloud PC, codenamed Deschutes, is built on top of the existing Windows Virtual Desktop service. But, unlike WVD, Cloud PC will be a fixed-rate service on a subscription basis, not on a consumption price.
A cloud PC will be an option for customers who want to use their own Windows PCs made by Microsoft and / or other PC manufacturers, mostly as thin clients, with Windows, Office, and possibly other software virtually delivered by Microsoft. It could debut alongside Windows 10X, giving the first group of 10X users a way to run their existing Win32 applications (as the first version of 10X will not include support for the Win32 container, our sources say).
Depending on how different cloud PC plans are priced, this service has the potential to become a strong member of the Microsoft 365 / commercial cloud stable service package.
- Windows 10X – Another test for Chromebook Compete:
In 2021, Microsoft Device Director Panos Panay and his team hope to prove that the company has decided to invest more in improving Windows. Through various efforts, including the launch of Windows 10X, a new version of Windows 10 that should be simpler and better in every way.
Microsoft’s original plan was for 10X to debut as an OS for dual-screen and foldable Windows devices. The new post-COVID plan calls for 10X to debut on new single-screen PCs, including clamshell laptops and 2-in-1s, among other form factors. Microsoft officials have publicly denied that the 10X is the company’s latest attempt to compete with the Chromebook, but sources say it’s definitely the best place for 10X devices. Their initial target markets include education and rank-and-file workers – the same customer groups that Microsoft focused on with Windows 10 in S Mode (and which officials also declined to publicly state was an attempt to compete with Chromebooks).
Microsoft officials have not made 10X available to external Windows Insider testers. Word is 10X will only be available on brand new (not existing) PCs, and shipments to these devices may begin this spring. Windows 10X is expected to run on Intel-based PCs at launch, but Microsoft is testing 10X internally on Arm devices, sources say, so it’s possible it will also be available on new Arm-based devices at some point in the future.