Microsoft unveils Azure tweaks before partner conference

SAN FRANCISCO – Microsoft hopes to steer attention away from this week’s layoff news with the kickoff of its Worldwide Partner Conference July 12-16 in Orlando.

While CEO Satya Nadella delivers the keynote July 13, he may have to briefly address the topic of 7,800 Nokia employees who will be let go as the software giant continues to untangle itself from that acquisition. But the focus will be on urging the company’s army of global resellers to guide customers toward its growing cloud business, Azure.

To that end, Microsoft announced Friday that its Power BI business analytics service would be coming out of beta on July 24. The service promises to allow improved, streamlined access to cloud-based data.

“We believe Power BI is, by a very wide margin, the most powerful business analytics SaaS service,” wrote James Phillips, vice president of Microsoft’s Business Intelligence Products Group, in a blog post. “And yet even the most non-technical of business users can sign up in five seconds, and gain insights from their business data in less than five minutes with no assistance, from anyone.”

The company promises to unveil other Azure improvements during the conference, which also will feature talks by COO Kevin Turner as well as inspirational speeches by the likes of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson. The two mountain climbers recently completed a daunting ascent of one of El Capitan’s toughest routes – the Dawn Wall – this past January in Yosemite National Park.

Original News: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/07/10/microsoft-unveils-azure-tweaks-before-partner-conference/29999107/

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