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Microsoft Inspire 2018: What we can learn from the casinos

Good morning (or afternoon depending on what time zone you’re reading in) and welcome to Microsoft Inspire 2018.

As we’re a little further behind and you’ll all be off home before this year’s first keynote is delivered, I thought I’d get blogging early.

What better subject to pick than gambling and technology – we are in Vegas after all. And there’s no better way to have fun in Vegas than watching other people lose money!

So, as we’re perched around the blackjack table, I couldn’t help noticing that one of the many screens – all encouraging different ways to part with your cash – wasn’t displaying properly.

Disturbingly, the Windows XP logo was bouncing around the screen. Windows XP!

We’d actually just been talking about the huge potential for fraud, especially given the number of devices and the number of people who would be involved in servicing them.

Relying on an unsupported, highly vulnerable, end-of-lifed operating system doesn’t seem like a great starting point?

So, the question that I suppose we’ll never answer but can speculate on, is how do they keep everything safe and secure?

At least the gamblers are all pretty much anonymous so that’s one less thing to worry about and, unlike everyone across Europe, they’re not completely paranoid about GDPR.

However, there’s a scary amount of money swilling around – an incomprehensible amount and everything about Vegas is huge.

That could hold the key to the answer. Is there so much money around that they can afford to pay Microsoft to keep supporting XP? I might be wrong but I’m pretty sure there are still some US military systems running on XP.

Another alternative is that they’re so good with data, statistics and analytics that they can spot irregular patterns within seconds.

They’ve got data experts at every table which is why it’s not coincidence that the house always comes out on top.

They’re also tracking what’s happening. At the roulette table – we moved on from blackjack – there are screens showing the trends. Percentage of reds vs blacks, 7 blacks in a row at one point (what are the odds on that!?)

Again, the volume of data must be scary but I suspect the BI tools they use to analyse it are pretty sophisticated.

Whatever the answers, I don’t suppose they leave security to chance. A lesson for all of us!

Time for breakfast and to get across to the T-Mobile Arena. Ciao for now.