Microsoft's lockdown experience puts Satya Nadella on ‘cloud’ nine

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella making the Microsoft Build 2020 keynote address Microsoft

  • Microsoft’s suite of digital products have seen an uptake in March as more people work from home.
  • Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella disclosed that Windows 10 has been a 75% increase in time spent on the OS over a month.
  • “We have seen over two years with of digital transformation in just two months,” he said.
The world may be under the hold of a health pandemic but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is on cloud nine — or cloud Azure as he would like to say. “We’ve seen two years worth of digital transformation in just two months,” he said during the keynote address of the Microsoft Build 2020 developers’ conference.

Microsoft 365, which runs on Azure, is helping organisations stay connected with video meetings calls and chats using Microsoft Teams — leading a major spike in usage as more people than ever before at working from home. As a result, the time that users have spent on Windows 10 has also increased over the last one month by 75%.

Microsoft Teams Usage
Daily active users75 million daily active users
Monthly active devices1 billion monthly active devices
Meeting minutes a day4.1 billion
Apps growth750% over the last year

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Nadella pointed out that currently, 95% of Fortune 500 companies use Azure — from managing, healthcare triage with AI assistant bots to Digital Twins in manufacturing to e-commerce in real. The infrastructure allows you to be remote, simulate and automate any activity.

“We’re building Azure as the world’s computer. We have 61 data centre regions, more than any other cloud provider. And, we’re the only cloud that extends to the edge with all the flexibility that you need,” he said.

“Azure is the first cloud with limitless data capabilities that can deliver a cloud-native data estate for every organisation,” he added.

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Developers are more active than ever
GitHub, with its 50 million developers, saw an uptake in developer activity.

Developer activity on GitHubJan-Mar 2020 vs. 2019
Pull request creation 17% increase
Push volume16% increase
Open source projects created27% increase

Microsoft’s business app development platform — Power Apps — also saw uptake. In the month of March, there was a 50% increase in first-time Power Apps users and 70% in professional developers. Around 70,000 new organisations have started using Power Apps this year.

He cited how John Hopkins University (JHU) brought together epidemiologists and software developers created a canonical dashboard to track the spread of COVID-19 and how many adapted biotechnologies used cloud computing and AI to decode the immune system’s response to the coronavirus. “Our industry has been called upon to help address the world’s most acute needs through this crisis,” he said.
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