Microsoft Build 2018: New Windows 'Experiences' for the mobile workforce announced

08 May, 2018, 01:01 | Author: Tara Reeves
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At its Build developer conference this week, Microsoft is putting a lot of emphasis on artificial intelligence and edge computing.

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Microsoft's Satya Nadella is starting to push the tech industry to rethink how it handles user privacy. Although Microsoft's Cortana Assistant is available in more than 141 million devices, the virtual assistance service seems to be lagging when compared to its rivals - Alexa and Google Assistant.

The highlight here is support for Cognitive Services for edge deployments.

Microsoft announced Project Kinect for Azure, a package of sensors, including our next-generation depth camera, with onboard compute designed for AI on the Edge.

Nadella is pitching the technique as a way for companies to "learn, train on encrypted data". As Microsoft explains it, the cloud may be ubiquitous but there'll be times you don't want to rely on it.

The business technology giant signed a partnership with Chinese drone-giant DJI and mobile computing giant Qualcomm.

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While Build is focused on developers, some of the products and services that emerge from the conference may have a major impact on businesses that use Microsoft products both on-premises and in the cloud. The goal is for coders to build Windows apps that can be used during corporate drone projects, like using the robots to take pictures of rooftops for damage inspections. The company has unveiled two Windows 10 iOS apps that will make it easier for your iPhone to work with your PC.

IoT Edge is also getting a number of other updates that don't directly involve machine learning.

"We need to ask ourselves not only what computers can do, but what computers should do", he said.

Microsoft is making Azure the best place to develop conversational AI experiences integrated with any agent.

In terms of cognitive developments, Microsoft showed a preview of Project Brainwave now available on Azure IoT Edge. Nadella pitched Project Brainwave as a way for developers to perform AI tasks quicker by using the company's specialized chips (FPGAs) built by Intel. FPGAs are chips that can be custom-configured after they're manufactured.

In addition, Microsoft said that it's partnering with drone company DJI around a new SDK for Windows 10 - to bring flight control and data transfer over Windows 10 devices - while Microsoft is also working with Qualcomm on a vision AI developer kit that will run Azure IoT Edge.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. Previous year at Build, you heard us talk about our commitment to meeting our customers where they are - across platforms. "By innovating for people with disabilities, we are innovating for us all". So it's not that Google is somehow more friendly to retailers.


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