It’s man with machines, not man vs machines: Satya Nadella at Build 2016

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft on Wednesday kicked off its annual Build developer conference in San Francisco with its first keynote spearheaded by CEO Satya Nadella.

The company showcased its move towards conversational intelligence with cloud services, tools and bots.

“Human language is the new UI layer, bots are like new applications, and digital assistants are meta apps. Intelligence is infused into all of your interactions,” said Nadella

Speaking to an audience of nearly 5000 developers, Nadella introduced improvements to Cortana and announced previews of new cloud services and tool kits to create intelligent bots.

“We want to build intelligence that augments human abilities and experiences. Ultimately it’s not going to be about man versus machine. It is going to be about man with machines,” added Nadella.

The major announcements were the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Cortona Intelligence suite, interactive bots, Microsoft Cognitive Services, improved pen support, Xbox One development kit and HoloLens integration.

The software giant also announced the HoloLens Development Edition for developers and enterprises while highlighting that developers can use the Universal Windows Platform to create new mixed reality with holograms.

“With Windows 10 now running on over 270 million active devices, we’re celebrating with our fans by delivering the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. We are dedicated to making Windows the most productive development environment for all developers, with all-new capabilities for the Universal Windows Platform and all-new tools for bringing apps to Windows 10 from any platform,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Windows and Devices Group.

Microsoft announced new additions to the Cortana Intelligence Suite- Microsoft Cognitive Services and Microsoft Bot Framework.

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of intelligence APIs that allows systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret commands using natural methods of communication.

On the other hand, the bot framework can be used by developers — programming in any language — to build intelligent bots that enable customers to chat using natural language on a wide variety of platforms including text/SMS, Office 365, Skype, Slack, the Web and more.

It also released the Skype Bot Platform. With this platform, developers can build bots that leverage Skype’s multiple forms of communication, including text, voice, video and 3D interactive characters.

By: Debashis Sarkar



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Microsoft Aligns With NetEnrich on Azure Migrations

Microsoft, NetEnrich

Microsoft is working with NetEnrich to provide partners with a white-label service they can use to move application workloads into Azure.

As part of an effort to significantly expand the consumption of cloud services on the Microsoft Azure platform, Microsoft is enlisting the aid of NetEnrich to provide its partners with a white-label service they can invoke to move application workloads into Azure.

NetEnrich CEO Raju Chekuri said the goal behind the alliance is to give partners access to the expertise needed to move a workload to the cloud without requiring them to hire IT professionals with that expertise. Not only are those IT professionals in short supply, but the need to move a workload into the cloud is sporadic in nature, Chekuri noted. So it doesn’t make sense for every partner to develop that capability on their own.

However, once that migration is complete, that partner then benefits from the ability to resell subscription licenses to a variety of Azure applications and services, he said.

“This creates an opportunity to drive new streams of revenue,” said Chekuri. “Partners can opt to just sell the migration or go deep with Microsoft services.”

NetEnrich has already piloted this service with roughly 250 partners and has nearly 500 trained engineers certified on Microsoft technologies. The goal now is to enable the roughly half a million service providers around the world to more easily migrate workloads into the Microsoft Azure cloud.

At this juncture, it’s inevitable that many workloads will be moving into the cloud. Prakash Parikh, chief operating officer of SNP Technologies, a solution provider that now focuses exclusively on cloud services, said that for partners that focus on small and midsize businesses (SMBs), the NetEnrich service makes economic sense. In contrast, Parikh noted that SNP Technologies has already built out its own migration expertise.

“I don’t think we would use more complicated applications in the midmarket,” said Parikh. “But for SMB customers that typically only have two servers this could make sense.”

Whatever the approach, Parikh says solution providers that do opt to focus on the cloud will ultimately be more profitable because the days of having to invest in trucks to deliver IT services to customers running servers on premise are increasingly coming to a close. The only issue now is how quickly that transition to the cloud will occur.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.

By: Michael Vizard

Source: Channelinsider