Microsoft ready to "Ignite" new all-in-one tech conference in Chicago

Yesterday, Oct.16, Microsoft announced the name of its new and upcoming unified enterprise technology conference. The company had been teasing out information about this mega-conference since May, when it announced its intentions to commingle other various conferences under a single umbrella, including the long-running and highly regarded TechEd conference, where so many elements and aspects of the Microsoft certification programs and credentials have made both their debuts and repeated appearances.




A new post at The Official Microsoft Blog titled "Introducing Microsoft Ignite and our lineup of top conferences in 2015"  offers lots of details and colorful verbiage about what's in store, but I'll sum up some high points here, particularly those of likely interest to IT professionals thinking about or pursuing Microsoft certifications.


As usual, Microsoft will trot out many of its various luminaries at Ignite next May for keynotes plus product and platform strategy discussions. Expect to see some or all of these folks at that conference:


— Satya Nadella, CEO
— Brad Anderson, Corporate VP, Program Management for Windows Server and System Center products
— Joe Belfiore, VP, Winodws Phone Program Management & Design
— Dave Campbell, CTO, Server & Tools Division
— Peggy Johnson, Executive VP, Global Business Development
— Chris Jones, Vice President, OS Group
— Julie Larson Green, Chief Experience Office "My Life & Work" team
— Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate VP of Office Lync and Speech Group


Here's what Microsoft itself presents as the essence of the new Ignite conference:


Ignite is where you'll come up with your next great idea, based on what you learn about the upcoming wave of products and services. We're going to cover it all, across cloud infrastructure and management, big data and analytics, productivity, unified communications, operating systems, mobile devices and more. You'll get the practical guidance and the insight you need to build a game plan for that big project. You'll learn from people who have reached the pinnacle of success, overcome the impossible and learned the hard lessons. You'll dive deep with our experts, share stories with other professionals, and have some laughs, too.


For those interested in technologies and training, Ignite will feature hundreds upon hundreds of technical sessions and numerous more focused, lengthy and detailed training courses. The conference will also offer dozens to hundreds of hands-on labs where attendees can explore and interact with tools and technologies. From courses to exam prep sessions to scheduled test-taking sessions for certification, and various "birds of a feather" sessions, IT professionals can also hear about, learn, prepare for, and even earn Microsoft certifications at Ignite.


Given the timing of Ignite in May of 2015, and planned public releases of Windows 10 and the next Windows Server version sometime early in the second half of that same year, I'll be very surprised if Ignite doesn't offer beta versions (or at least, sneak previews) of the next generation of certification exams for those new operating systems. And with the MCSA for Windows Server and Desktop versions, and several of the MCSE credentials that focus on Windows Server due for an overhaul in the wake of these planned releases, I'm also willing to bet that MS will be ready to share some details and information at Ignite about what's coming and what's changing where those particular certifications are concerned.


For those who might be interested, Ignite registration is already open. Even for those who can't attend, but are interested in MS certs and training, it will probably be worthwhile tuning into conference content and coverage from time to time. Also, you can count on me to report further about what's coming up at Ignite in future blog posts as more interesting (or revealing) details make their appearance. Stay tuned!


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About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.