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Microsoft Targets Security, AI, Data, IoT and Edge Computing at Ignite

Bullseye

…user authentication across websites and mobile services, and security vendors for tool integration among mutual customers through the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association. The vendor also announced general availability of the Microsoft Graph Security API to help technology partners deliver better threat detection and faster incident response.

AI and Data

Microsoft continues to incorporate AI into products and services, most recently in last week’s announcement about new AI applications for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 portfolio. Today, there’s more news about AI and services designed to help companies get more value from their data.

  • Some updates to Azure Machine Learning (AML), which helps data scientists and developers build and train AI models faster, include automated machine learning to identify the most efficient algorithms and optimize model performance, additional hardware-accelerated models for FPGAs, and a Python SDK that makes AML services accessible from popular IDEs and notebooks.
  • SQL Server 2019 preview offering new big-data capabilities that enable users to take on any data project, from OLTP, data warehousing and business intelligence to AI and advanced analytics. 
  • Azure SQL DB hyperscale is a new service tier that’s adaptable to workload needs up to 100 TB per database — available Oct. 1.
  • Azure Data Explorer public preview is designed to accelerate discovery and insight from large volumes of event data.
  • Updates to Azure Cosmos DB Multi-master help customers build mission-critical, globally distributed apps such as the Cassandra API and Reserved Capacity.

Microsoft 365 also got some AI love with new capabilities and enhancements that make it easier for users to find information, create content, analyze data and collaborate with others.

  • Microsoft Search makes it easier to find documents and data from both inside and outside the organization without leaving the flow of work. How it works? The vendor says it pulls together the power of the Microsoft Graph and AI technology from Bing to make it more relevant to what users are working on. The new capability can be previewed today as it’s rolled out on Bing.com and Office.com, including app start pages in the SharePoint mobile app, with more endpoints to come, including Microsoft Edge, Windows and Office.
  • Ideas in Office uses AI to offer intelligent recommendations for Office applications. It will be rolled out first for Excel and PowerPoint.
  • General availability begins today for new intelligent enhancements in Excel that turn data into insights for users. There’s also a new feature – Insert Data from Picture – that allows users to take a picture of a table from their phones and convert those pictures into an Excel file that be edited, analyzed and shared. A public preview is available on Android. Other major enhancements include performance improvements to existing Excel functionality.
  • Users will be able to connect Office 365 and Linkedin accounts, which means they can send emails and share documents with first-degree connections on LinkedIn directly from Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. There’s more Office 365 and LinkedIn integration coming later this year, such as users being able to see LinkedIn information about the people they’re meeting directly in meeting invites.
  • Microsoft Teams AI capabilities are now generally available. The new capabilities target business meetings, for example. Background blur uses facial detection to blur your background during a video meeting, and users can get speech-to-text transcriptions via meeting recording — the transcripts are searchable and automatically apply captions to the recording. And one more: Users are now able to create and stream live on-demand events in Microsoft 365.
  • Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise allows enterprises to build custom skills ad agents, test them with users and fully manage deployment within their organization. For now, this solution is available by invitation; however, companies and developers will be able to request an invitation in the near future.

Also on the AI front, Microsoft announced …

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