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Microsoft floods enterprise IT market ahead of Windows 10 launch

Software vendor covers all bases in response to SaaS and cloud competition.

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Microsoft is set to flood the enterprise IT market with updates for its office software and managed cloud Azure, as it prepares for the release of Windows 10 later this year.

Speaking at the firm’s Ignite Conference in Chicago, the company showcased Office 2016, analytics for its corporate social network Office Delve, and updated versions of its collaboration tool SharePoint and email server Exchange.

Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft, said: "No business can succeed and scale without IT innovating and transforming.

"Empowering IT professionals is a key part of Microsoft’s technology agenda spanning Windows 10, Office 365, Azure and other cloud technologies."

Microsoft has become more aggressive since the appointment of Nadella last year, after the tenure of previous chief Steve Ballmer saw the company slip behind software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers such as Salesforce and cloud companies such as Amazon Web Services.

Alongside updates to its software portfolio, Microsoft showcased SQL Server 2016, and the platform-as-a-service offering Azure Stack, intended to provide the analytics and flexibility that business is increasingly demanding of enterprise IT.

Joining Nadella on stage in Chicago, Jose Angel Sanchez, chief executive of Real Madrid FC, said: "Real Madrid is a club with a great tradition of winning, and our partnership with Microsoft for digital transformation will help us win both on and off the field.

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"The Microsoft cloud and its entire product portfolio is helping us change into a truly data-driven organization and to provide 450 million fans around the globe with exclusive, personalised content and services — before, during and after matches."

Microsoft also launched a preview of Advanced Threat Analytics, a response to demands for greater data in cybersecurity, and announced improved security controls of its cloud software package Office 365.

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