This Year's Microsoft Future Decoded Highlights - 2017


ResourceiT attended this years’ Future Decoded to hear from the revered speaker line up, meet new partners and support existing customers with their sponsorship.

With automation set to change the way we work in the coming years...

Microsoft Future Decoded provided insight into the skills and knowledge people will need in business and in technology to thrive in today's world of cloud, data, AI, Blockchain and virtual worlds. Plus, helping businesses to prepare for the seismic impact of tomorrow's computing, based on DNA and quantum computers.

This year was the biggest yet:


Here are a few of our key highlights:

Business Transformation

Clare Barclay, Microsoft UK COO introduced the event with the Chief Editor of Wired UK and opened with the importance of company culture. This set the scene for the whole event, the focus on company culture began the well-articulated story surrounding the new worker, collaboration, creativity and digital transformation.  


The keynote then flowed between different influential individuals at Microsoft with Jean-Phillippe Courtois stating that ‘we are going through the biggest shift we have ever witnessed. Change is about culture. It’s all about empowering every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. That is our purpose.’

The presentations continued to tell the story of change, from research and development surrounding incredible solutions for medical issues fronted by Haiyan Zhang and her Project Fizzyo, a bid to help people with Cystic Fibrosis to Applications, Infrastructure and AI discussed by Julia White Vice-President of Cloud at Microsoft. 

White shows demo of Litware Insurance, showcasing how interactive and easy it is to buy car insurance. Websites can spot if you upload a picture of the wrong car and recognise emotion from photos of the person attempting to buy the insurance. Chatbots will help you get the best deal, adapt to your language, can bring in a real person, when needed.

Mobile is on the rise

Half of the global workforce will be mobile by 2020. The office is no longer restricted to a set of buildings – it’s at home, in a café, a city across the globe, or on a plane. With so many changing locations your device becomes your office and many of our customers tell us that’s what their Surface is to them – a mobile office.

The new Surface Book 2

Panos Panay - Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Devices announced the new Surface Book 2, the 13-inch model goes on sale on 16th November, while the larger 15-inch version will arrive early next year. Very powerful, stylish and lighter version of the Surface. 

Panos demonstrated how teams can come together remotely all over the world. He showed live collaboration on documents and had an artist create drawing on his Surface in the audience. Very impressive.

Demystifying GDPR

Microsoft showed us what they are doing to help ready their partner network, and customers for GDPR. Andrew Butler, Solution Specialist and James Hoggett, Senior Solutions Specialist, of Microsoft talked of how they take this as not a position on GDPR, but more a position on Global Privacy and how to ‘right to be forgotten’ gets strengthened as a basic human right.

Microsoft has simplified this by providing in built security and data management:

Office 365 will block your sign in if you sign in from an unusual browser, or type your password differently to usual – like if you always use shift to type capital letters, and suddenly you’ve tried to use Caps Lock.

Butler talked about how Microsoft can see if your personal details have been stolen and pushed out on the dark web. He mentioned that their mission is to protect individuals identity. Office 365 asks for multi-factor authentication before sign-in. Office 365 also allows organisations to block staff from downloading data from home. You can edit documents, but not download.

Hoggett then talked about how Office 365 allows businesses to easily search for information it has. This helps with personal data requests, or someone asking for their ‘right to be forgotten’.

Quantum Computing

Professor Leo Kouwenhoven, Principal Researcher, and Dr Krysta Svore, Principal Research Manager, from Microsoft take to the stage to talk about Microsoft’s goals, and revolutionary vision for Quantum Computing.

Kouwenhoven talked to us about how Quantum computing worked. He used the example of a maze. Where a traditional computer would go down every route to find the correct one, and although that still happens incredibly fast – quantum computing tried all the paths at the same time, and succeeds quicker. Microsoft aims to use quantum computing to solve the worlds largest challenges in; Nitrogen fixation, Carbon capture, Materials science and Machine learning.

Today you have options to send apps to a mix of GPU and CPUs, however Svore talked about quantum being another option to build your code. She said that Microsoft are working on a universal, programmable quantum computer, based in the cloud where there will be an accelerator option in Azure. Find out more

Microsoft closed out the conference with some light humour from David Walliams. He talked about how his “Computer Says No” Little Britain sketch came about, it was based on a real experience he had attempting to secure a loan at a bank.

What was your highlight from Future Decoded? Tweet @ResourceiT using #FutureDecoded.

We’re certainly asking Father Christmas / our Operations Director for the new Surface for Christmas!

Marley Lacey