Microsoft has unveiled a new release of Azure for AI, mixed reality, IoT, and blockchains. This release will enable the creation of hybrid applications for cloud and edge computing. This according to a report from Reuters, May 02, 2019.
Just ahead of their Build 2019 developer conference, Scott Guthrie, Executive VP of Microsoft Cloud and AI Group, said organizations are now building applications that will span an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Launching a product offering that meets these needs going forward will help Microsoft tap that relatively niche software market.
Microsoft disclosed that more than 1.3 million developers use Azure Cognitive Services to integrate AI into their applications. The new AI service from Azure will allow text analytics, facial detection, speech recognition, and natural language comprehension. Furthermore, Azure is the first public cloud that is enabled both in the cloud and at the edge.
The company is introducing a cloud-based blockchain service in addition to its current blockchain platform. Microsoft, which is working with J.P. Morgan on the Quorum blockchain that runs JPM Coin, will be seen increasing its presence in the FinTech space.
The biggest advantage of the new tools are the coding benefits; with synthetic inputs, users can make artificial intelligence models without writing underlying code and the models can be ‘trained’ using the business owner’s data on the cloud. It allows for a larger developer base and increased experimentation in artificial intelligence.
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Large companies like Finastra and Fiserv may see demand for their services decline going forward. The beauty of distributed ledgers is the ability to model a database and financial system exactly to the needs you have without significant annual cash outflow, and Microsoft allowing users to set up a cloud-enabled blockchain with minimal resources may be a stepping stone from corporate held databases to individual databases.
FinTech companies mainly serve banks, NBFC’s, and asset managers. If these smaller companies were able to hire a few developers to build a stress test an internal network, they wouldn’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on technology every year. While this isn’t possible with larger entities who require an extra layer of security, the smaller ones can considerably reduce their operating costs.
Microsoft has been going eye-to-eye with Amazon and Salesforce as a cloud provider. Despite Amazon’s recent foray into blockchain, Microsoft is diverging from Amazon’s path and trying to create its own niche, it is showing the market its ability to create entirely new offerings as per industry demands; Microsoft is undoubtedly the goliath of software and the new Azure release could have a significant impact on the industry.