Build 2018: Everything Microsoft announced for its cloud service, Azure

Alfred Osborne
May 8, 2018

The conference this year is emphasising the company's cloud computing technology and its focus on enabling Microsoft software to be used across devices, not just on Microsoft-created hardware and services.

Azure DevOps services are now available to GitHub customers.

Among the new AI developments is Microsoft's move to open source the Azure IoT Edge Runtime, letting users modify, debug and have more transparency and control for edge applications. Similar to Apple's Continuity feature, Timeline lets you pick up where you left off from a difference device.

A new initiative, Project Kinect for Azure - a package of sensors from Microsoft that contains our unmatched time of flight depth camera, with onboard compute, in a small, power-efficient form factor - designed for AI on the Edge.

On stage at Build this morning, the company showed several of these new capabilities in a demonstration with DJI, Rockwell International and Qualcomm, flying a drone over pipes that seem identical from the outside, using imaging technology to identify damaged pipes, then creating a service ticket published to Dynamics 365.

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In addition, Microsoft talked about its HoloLens mixed reality headset.

"Project Brainwave looks like a really good option for still maintaining a high level of performance at a lower price point than using GPUs", Litvak said. As Microsoft, Amazon and Google race to add AI products and make their clouds run faster, all are boosting work on customized microprocessors to try to gain an edge. Users can also design mixed-reality spaces like room layouts, holograms which can be shared in real-time.

"Project Kinect for Azure" empowers new scenarios for developers working with ambient intelligence to dramatically improve insights and operations.

As part of its cross-platform strategy, Microsoft announced support for Timeline in the Microsoft Launcher.

This week's Microsoft Build conference brings together developers who build tools and applications on top of Microsoft's technology. By comparison, last week social media giant Facebook announced that its Messenger Platform for the deployment of automated bots has 300,000 monthly active bots made by 200,000 developers. Microsoft also announced a partnership with GitHub which integrates Visual Studio App Center on the platform. "Computing is getting embedded in every person, place and thing".

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