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Microsoft's AI journey goes beyond Office



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Source: Microsoft

Microsoft's move toward becoming a company with the advent of Linux and open source to the cloud is proof that this is no longer the Windows experience. Your father's company. During yesterday's Microsoft Build keynote, entrepreneur and cloud expert Brian Guthrie of Microsoft bragged about drawing the largest open source community on GitHub, which now has over 1

7,000 contributors. The fact that Linux is a world class citizen, not only on Azure, but also on SQL Server 2017 marked a turning point in Microsoft's development.

But if the main message of Build was this week, Microsoft went against AI, a subtle basic message is to give Windows some respect. The focus is on Microsoft 365, which appears at first glance as Office 365 on steroids. Mary Jo Foley provided a detailed account of one of the scenarios: an almost futuristic description of how office meetings can be transformed by a combination of technologies that begin with Office, but incorporate services such as Cortana, Windows ML, and Surface Hub.

In a sense, each of the cloud providers seeks similar bouncing rights. AI delivers the headliner case in point.

While Google has made a name for itself as a pioneer in the use of AI for its businesses, each cloud provider is now at the forefront of broad AI services. Each of them offers at least a dozen such services, from chatbot conversations to voice-to-text and vice versa; Image and face recognition; Language translation; and deep learning.

But there are differences in their approaches to AI. In the rush to fill all the checkboxes, each has chosen different approaches to pummeling non-specialists. Amazon SageMaker launches you in a masonry garden of about a dozen ready-made algorithms. In the meantime, Azure Machine Learning Studio looks more like a classic IDE. Google Cloud AutoML is at an early stage and focuses on neural networks, but at the moment only models for machine vision are available.

With all the flashing of the AI, we had the lasting impression of our preliminary discussions and the first day of live keynote streaming was the morphing of Microsoft Office to something more holistic. Unlike AWS or Google Cloud, Microsoft was born locally and fortunately used it as a launchpad rather than a ball and chain. The cloud makes it possible to expand Office's portfolio using knowledge graphs, digital assistants, IoTs, and containerization under cover. In fact, Office 365 has triggered much of the early growth of the Azure cloud.

Microsoft encourages the ability to meet the user on any device he's on. From the Windows shell (remember Windows?) There are common APIs that allow you to access this document or table from a mobile device to a desktop with a user experience that remains in context. You can call a cloud function in a local Excel spreadsheet. Backing Microsoft 365 is the Microsoft Graph that brings the context of interaction across a time sequence, thanks to an extensible knowledge diagram that goes beyond the standard Office documents and corporate directories, capturing spatial, geographical, and device data from the outside. The roadmap integrates with Cortana to extend the personal assistant, not just to orchestrate office meetings, but even talk to Uber about Amazon Alexa.

To help us avoid front-end issues, Microsoft is also appealing to companies that work with it to create physical assets and either produce products or maintain and install mixed-reality applications, supplemented by HoloLens. The real world also comes about through Azure IoT Edge, which has a common programming environment running on or near the device and in the cloud. And this is where Linux comes into play. The same code that is provided as a Docker container can run on a Windows PC or a Linux-based Raspberry Pi device. Microsoft is hardly alone in expanding the presence of the cloud to its limits; Amazon Greengrass also offers a serverless device that expands the footprint of AWS to its limits.

Each of the three major vendors originally approached from different Cloud origins. For Amazon, it was the economies of scale of its back office business data centers that attracted companies after they came across the tires with development / test projects. Today, Amazon continues to offer the widest range of cloud services and infrastructure instances. It was Google's reputation to leverage the company's know-how, which is known for operating its artificial intelligence business, and its light-out approach to infrastructure management. But if there is one single distinguishing feature for Microsoft, it is the platform on which knowledge workers spend their time.


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