10 cool things to check out at Microsoft Build 2019

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Microsoft Build is underway in Seattle, and this year’s premier developer conference is focused on empowering developers of all kinds, from experienced computer scientists to tech beginners with big ideas. We’re sharing the latest on Microsoft platforms, tools and services that are making it easier to create and innovate using AI and mixed reality with the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge, as well as helping people and organizations do more each day.

Here’s a peek at some of the event’s highlights:

1.

Check out the new features in Microsoft Edge built on Chromium OSS that will make it easier to collect, organize and share content, and give you additional privacy controls to make your own decisions about how third parties can track you.

2.

See how technology is helping Starbucks and their baristas deliver great customer experiences including managing predictive maintenance on coffee machines with Azure Sphere; giving personalized recommendations to customers via the Starbucks mobile app with reinforcement learning on Azure; and powering digital traceability efforts to track coffee beans from farm to store with Azure blockchain service.

Photo of Starbucks barista smiling and making an espresso drink
Technology is helping Starbucks and their baristas deliver great customer experiences (Photo courtesy of Starbucks)

3.

Read about Fluid Framework, a web-based platform expected to be available later this year that will give teams new ways to create together, enabling content to be deconstructed and reconstructed into modular components and allowing intelligent agents to work alongside people to co-author, provide photo suggestions, translate data and more.

4. 

Learn more about Microsoft’s vision for intelligent agents that leverage breakthroughs in conversational AI and machine learning pioneered by Semantic Machines, which Microsoft acquired in May 2018. We’re showcasing a calendaring application of the technology that can make organizing your day with an intelligent assistant a more natural and powerful experience, and the same technology will eventually be integrated into our conversational AI moving forward across all of Microsoft’s products and services.

Photo of woman holding smartphone and screenshots of her calendaring activity in the background
A woman engages in a smooth, back-and-forth dialogue with an intelligent assistant that helps her juggle upcoming appointments on her calendar.

5.

See how more everyday uses of AI in Microsoft 365 and Office 365 can help improve productivity, including Ideas in Word for Word Online, which can help you easily design and present polished documents, and Microsoft Search, a new enterprise search experience that applies AI technology from Bing and deep personalized insights surfaced by the Microsoft Graph.

6. 

Learn more about a new platform that can help make it easier for companies to create autonomous systems, whether it’s a robot that can help in life-threatening situations, a drone that can inspect remote equipment or systems that can autonomously calibrate factory equipment. The first component in this platform is now available in a limited preview program.

Photo of snake-like robot with two lights on the front
An experimental version of the Sarcos Guardian S, a robot that can be used in disaster recovery or for industrial inspections, uses Microsoft’s autonomous systems platform. (Photo by Dan DeLong)

7.

Learn what developers will be able to do with Microsoft Graph data connect, a service that helps organizations bring together productivity data from the Microsoft Graph with their own business data securely, providing new opportunities to create insight-powered apps while helping address the challenges of moving and managing large amounts of data.

8.

Learn about the new tools and capabilities in Azure AI for developers and data scientists, including Ink Recognizer, which lets developers embed digital ink recognition, an advanced speech-to-text capability that transcribes meeting conversations in real time so participants can fully engage in the discussion and know who said what later on.

9.

See how the new Azure Blockchain Service will empower developers, letting them deploy a fully managed consortium network with a few simple clicks and use built-in governance to add new members, set permissions and authenticate user applications. They’ll also be able to monitor their network’s health and activity.

10.

Check out IoT Plug and Play. One of the greatest challenges customers face when deploying Internet of Things solutions broadly is connecting their IoT devices to the cloud. IoT Plug and Play offers a new open modeling language to help make this happen seamlessly, as well as a large ecosystem of partner-certified devices that simply work, with over a dozen certified devices now available.

Get more details on all of these announcements and more on our Microsoft Build 2019 website.

 


Lead photo by Brian Smale

 

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New intelligent cloud and intelligent edge advancements ushering in the next era of computing

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Since the inception of Azure, we have been focused on delivering a true hybrid cloud where applications spanning public cloud and on-premises datacenters are built and run consistently. As organizations are now building applications that span the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge, the same approach is needed. Fundamentally, the principles and technology needed for developing hybrid cloud applications are the same as intelligent cloud and intelligent edge applications. Azure’s longstanding leadership in hybrid cloud provides developers with unique know-how toward building modern applications that span the edge and the cloud.

Next week at Microsoft Build, more than 6,000 developers will join us in Seattle to experience the latest advancements in dev tools and cloud services. Today, to help usher in Build, I’m excited to share some of the new Azure innovations that we will be showcasing at Build that enable developers to build this new generation of hybrid applications with greater productivity and success.

To begin, we’re announcing several new AI services and capabilities that makes it easier for developers to build AI-powered applications. Furthering our commitment to building the most productive AI platform, we’re delivering key new innovations in Azure Machine Learning that simplify the process of building, training and deployment of machine learning models at scale. These include new automated machine learning advancements and an intuitive UI that make developing high-quality models easier, a new visual machine learning interface that provides a zero-code model creation and deployment experience using drag-and-drop capabilities and new machine learning notebooks for a rich, code-first development experience. Furthermore, new MLOps (DevOps for machine learning) capabilities with Azure DevOps integration provides developers with reproducibility, auditability and automation of the end-to-end machine learning lifecycle. To enable extremely low latency and cost-effective inferencing, we are also announcing the general availability of hardware-accelerated models that run on FPGAs, as well as ONNX Runtime support for NVIDIA TensorRT and Intel nGraph for high- speed inferencing on NVIDIA and Intel chipsets.

Azure Cognitive Services give connected devices, bots and apps the ability to see, hear, respond, translate, reason and more. Azure is the only public cloud that enables these Cognitive Services to be containerized to run on-premises, in the cloud and at the edge. Today we’re giving developers even more ways to create “smart” devices and services with a new Cognitive Services category called “Decision” that delivers users specific recommendations to enable informed and efficient decision-making. Azure Cognitive Services such as Content Moderator, the recently announced Anomaly Detector and a new preview service called Personalizer, which uses reinforcement learning to provide each user with a relevant experience to drive engagement, will be part of this new category. We’re also delivering several new services in public preview, including Ink Recognizer for embedding digital ink recognition capabilities; Form Recognizer for automating data entry by extracting text, key-value pairs and tables from documents; and new conversation transcription capability in Speech Service, which transcribes meeting conversations in real time so participants can fully engage in the discussion, know who said what when and quickly follow up on next steps.

We are also bringing AI to Azure Search with the general availability of the cognitive search capability, enabling customers to apply Cognitive Services algorithms to extract new insights their structured and unstructured content. In addition, we are previewing a new capability that enables developers to store AI insights gained from cognitive search, making it easier to create knowledge-rich experiences leveraging Power BI visualizations or machine learning models. You can read more about today’s Azure AI announcements here.

Intelligent cloud and intelligent edge applications have evolved from primarily low-compute IoT devices working with the cloud to powerful compute at the edge, which requires a new modern hybrid application approach. A key aspect of enabling this is supporting the spectrum of edge compute and data needs. SQL Server and Azure SQL Database are the leading data engines for enterprise workloads on-premises and in the cloud, respectively, and today we are bringing these powerful data and analysis capabilities to the edge with Azure SQL Database Edge preview. Azure SQL Database Edge runs on ARM processors and provides capabilities like data streaming and time series data, with in-database machine learning and graph. And because Azure SQL Database Edge shares the same programming surface area with Azure SQL Database and SQL Server, you can easily take your applications to the edge without having to learn new tools and languages, allowing you to preserve consistency in application management and security control. This consistency in database programming and control plane across cloud and edge is essential to running a secure and well-managed hybrid application.

In addition, we’re announcing IoT Plug and Play, a new open modeling language to connect IoT devices to the cloud seamlessly, enabling developers to navigate one of the biggest challenges they face — deploying IoT solutions at scale. Previously, software had to be written specifically for the connected device it supported, limiting the scale of IoT deployments. IoT Plug and Play provides developers with a faster way to build IoT devices and will provide customers with a large ecosystem of partner-certified devices that can work with any IoT solution.

Perhaps one of the best examples of a cloud and edge application is with Mixed Reality — using the combination of mixed-reality device with cloud services to create entirely new experiences. We have barely scratched the surface for possibilities with Mixed Reality development. Now we’re making it easier to create applications for HoloLens 2 with the HoloLens 2 Development Edition, which starts at $3,500 or as low as $99 a month. It provides the community of mixed-reality developers with access to solutions to help them build and run mixed-reality experiences across a range of mixed-reality devices, and with Azure credits and three-month free trials of Unity Pro and the Unity PiXYZ Plugin for CAD data. Unreal Engine 4 support for streaming and native platform integration for HoloLens 2 will be available by the end of May for developers to create high-quality, photo-realistic renders and immersive, augmented-reality and virtual-reality experiences for architecture, product design and manufacturing. Read more about our IoT and intelligent edge announcements here.

Blockchain is showing potential across many industries to manage complex workflows and logistics. Last year we announced Azure Blockchain Workbench, which gave developers a simple UI to model blockchain applications on a preconfigured Azure-supported network. Today we are doubling down on our investments to empower blockchain developers by announcing Azure Blockchain Service, which simplifies the formation, management and governance of consortium blockchain networks, allowing businesses to focus on workflow logic and app development. Azure Blockchain Service deploys a fully managed consortium network and offers built-in governance for common management tasks, such as adding new members, setting permissions and authenticating user applications. And, the service is already receiving enterprise traction — we also announced this week that J.P. Morgan’s Ethereum platform, Quorum, is the first ledger available in Azure Blockchain Service, enabling Microsoft and J.P. Morgan to offer the first enterprise-grade Ethereum stack to the industry. Read more about today’s blockchain announcements here.

Today’s announcements give developers cutting-edge tools to create the next generation of hybrid applications spanning the cloud and edge. We have even more to share on Monday at the start of Build. Be sure to tune into Satya’s keynote at 8:30 a.m. PT on Monday, May 6, here, and look forward to seeing what you go build!

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Build 2019 is packed with big potential to learn, create and have fun

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Microsoft Build is our premier developer conference, providing access to cutting-edge technology, the ability to collaborate with peers, and an open door to fresh perspectives. Our goals are to foster community and transparently share our developer roadmap and monetization strategy — which we believe leads to even better collaboration and innovation.

While it maintains its roots of being produced by developers for developers, this year’s event is focused on empowering developers of all kinds, from experienced computer scientists to tech beginners with big ideas we have so much in store! Whether you want to learn a new technology or level up your skills in a certain area, we have you covered. With more than 180 sessions, from developing for accessibility to responsible AI design to building apps for HoloLens, and a gamut of topics in between, class is in session.

Speaking of class, for the first time, attendees are invited to bring two family members ages 14-21 to the event. The brand-new Student Zone is dialed in to provide students access to experts, hands on labs, co-coding opportunities and more. And for the first time, the Imagine Cup World Championship, a strongly contested student developer competition, will open the event!

In the competition spirit, we’re also showcasing eight innovative startups and we invite you to help us determine the “Startups at Microsoft Build: Attendee Choice Award.” Meet these cloud-born founders in person and vote on which startup you feel has the most compelling pitch. To turbo-charge their growth, the winner will be awarded a comprehensive set of go-to-market benefits, valued at more than $1 million USD.

We also have some very exciting news for our partners. We are deepening our investments and will be making several announcements benefiting both our ISV and reseller partners when they leverage our commercial marketplace to collaborate on joint sales. We also have dozens of partners on site at Build with deep dive sessions, hands-on labs, and an exhibition area with a ton of experts on hand.

But that’s not all. We’re weaving wellness and community-focused areas throughout Build as well. Our Hang Out lounge provides a cozy place to recharge between sessions and features a variety of content from our Cloud Advocates and LEAP Program participants. It also plays host to daily popup experiences, including an IoT day and an opportunity to get hands-on with classic Commodore 64s, among other engaging opportunities.

I encourage you to spend some time with the session catalog to craft your ideal schedule. These sessions are created and delivered by the engineers who create our products and provide a great opportunity to connect with them on a personal level. A couple can’t-miss sessions include:

From Zero to DevOps Superhero: The Container Edition
This is not another “Hello World” session with quick tips, but rather a deep dive into how you can truly go from zero to DevOps superhero by selecting container tooling built for simplifying the process. You’ll also learn how these tools can provide better orchestration for cloud services, abstraction and encapsulation for your microservices deployments and visibility into what runs where and why.

Azure IoT platform services: a comprehensive overview
In this demo-heavy session, you will learn what’s available for modern IoT developers. Azure IoT Hub, Device Provisioning Service, Time Series Insight, Azure Maps and Visual Studio Code will all be put to contribution and you won’t believe all that can be achieved in only 60 minutes.

And, we’ll have exciting speakers who were selected from the call for proposals, including this one:

Designing for speech
Designing a natural language interface can be difficult. Is the interface supposed to be able to interpret every single nuance of speech? And how about slang? Or should we aim more towards forced language and make our users learn how to interact with simple commands? According to Comscore, 50% of all searches will be made by voice by 2020. Today, 40% of adults use voice commands at least once per day. Get ready now and your bots and apps will be a delight to talk to!

While we’re hosting the physical event in Seattle, our aim is to make it interactive for those who can’t make it in person as well! Satya Nadella’s opening keynote will be streamed live beginning at 8:30 a.m. Pacific on May 6, and core sessions will be online for free viewing within 24 hours. You can find it all on the Build site.

For those headed to Build, we can’t wait to welcome you to Seattle, to share and collaborate, and to imagine, create and code together!

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Dell Technologies and Microsoft expand partnership with new VMware Solutions

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The cloud is enabling organizations of all types to innovate and move faster toward their business goals. It has enhanced productivity and security and opened up new opportunities for companies to tap into the potential of technologies like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT). The cloud is helping businesses in every industry transform: Retail is becoming more personal, banking is becoming more seamless, and healthcare is becoming more predictive and preventive.

This digital revolution demands that technology vendors be open and flexible to help address a wider range of customer needs. Over the years, we’ve worked with partners to create solutions that are customer-centric and enable easier adoption of technology. Some great examples include our partnerships with SAP, RedHat, Adobe, Citrix, and more. These partnerships are enabling customers to take advantage of Microsoft cloud solutions with the tools and technologies that already exist in their environments. Today, we are excited to continue this trend by announcing an expanded partnership with Dell Technologies to provide customers with a native, supported, and certified VMware experience on Microsoft Azure. Additionally, we are welcoming VMware into the Microsoft 365 ecosystem to extend the management and security capabilities of Microsoft Intune, as well as extend the capabilities of Windows Virtual Desktop.

 Azure VMware Solutions

Azure VMware Solutions deliver a comprehensive VMware environment in Azure allowing customers to run native VMware-based workloads on Azure. Customers can now seamlessly run, manage, and secure applications across VMware environments and Microsoft Azure with a common operating framework. Customers will be able to capitalize on their existing VMware investments, skills and tools, including VMware vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and vCenter while leveraging the scale, performance and innovation of Azure.

Azure VMware Solutions enable customers to extend and redeploy their VMware workloads natively on Azure dedicated hardware without having to refactor their applications. This integration also enables organizations to tap into Azure’s massive scale, security, andVMWare logo fast provisioning cycles to innovate and modernize applications while improving performance. Some of the more common customer scenarios include datacenter reduction or expansions, disaster recovery and business continuity and modern application development.

VMware workloads on Azure can be easily modernized via integration with a broad range of Azure services such as Azure Active Directory, Azure AI and IoT enabling new, intelligent experiences. Customers can also take advantage of unmatched Azure pricing and benefits for Windows Server and SQL Server hosted on Azure VMware Solutions including Azure Hybrid Benefits and free Extended Security Updates.

Shifting to a modern workplace

As customers embark on their digital workplace journey, Microsoft 365 provides organizations with a complete, intelligent solution to empower employees to be creative and work together, securely.

We are excited to welcome VMWare Workspace ONE into the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Customers will be able to use Workspace ONE to manage and secure the powerful productivity features of Office 365 across devices via integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory Premium as part of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security suite. VMware Workspace ONE will be updated to integrate with APIs provided by Intune to deliver device status and health data to update the Azure Active Directory conditional access policy resolution status. Configuration of conditional access policies for Office 365 and Azure-based apps will continue to be done in the Azure Active Directory administration portal. This integration will provide additional technology choices for customers as they accelerate their digital transformation.

We also recently announced Windows Virtual Desktop, the only service that delivers a multi-session Windows 10 experience, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps. The excitement for the public preview has been incredible, and thousands of customers have already previewed the Windows Virtual Desktop experience. As a part of today’s agreement, VMWare will extend the capabilities of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop to enable customers to further accelerate their cloud initiatives. Initial capabilities are expected to be available as a tech preview by the end of calendar year 2019.

Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. And we’re committed to realizing this mission through technology innovations and strategic partnerships that unlock shared value.  This collaboration is a great example of our ongoing commitment to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

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From finance firms to factories — technology powers industry innovation

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Judson Althoff joins in the Redmond opening of the new Bank of America on Microsoft’s campus. The branch is testing new technologies powered by Microsoft Azure and AI.
Judson Althoff joins in the Redmond opening of the new Bank of America on Microsoft’s campus. The branch is testing new technologies powered by Microsoft Azure and AI.

Recently, I joined a ribbon-cutting at the new Bank of America location on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington. The financial center is a great example of co-innovation with our customers. It features some test technology only available at this location, like a holographic greeter, with capabilities in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. The bank’s associates are equipped with Surface Pros to help stay connected and deliver customer service.

Like Bank of America’s example, businesses around the world are transforming. Our customers across finance, health and manufacturing are partnering with Microsoft to power solutions across cloud, AI and IoT, including companies like Neiman Marcus, Albertsons Companies, TomTom, Goodyear, ExxonMobil, Schneider Electric, Telefónica, AT&T, Razer, Emirates, Daimler AG, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, Electrolux, Airbus Defense and Space and Siemens Gamesa. We also announced new details about the Open Data Initiative, our partnership with Adobe and SAP that will enable mutual customers like Unilever, among others, to unify their business data across lines of business applications and unlock new AI-driven insights.

There are innovation stories behind each of the diverse brands with which we have partnered over the last quarter. What I find most inspiring are examples of how customers are using our IP to innovate faster than ever. Here are just a few examples:

A year ago, we announced a $5 billion investment in IoT. Fast forward to today, where customers like Starbucks, Chevron, Walmart, Walgreens, BMW, Volkswagen and Toyota Material Handling Group are leveraging Azure as their cloud platform with IoT and AI services to accelerate their digital transformation. In fact, IoT is creating a big impact in industries you encounter daily. For example, Ohio-based GOJO Industries, the inventor of PURELL Hand Sanitizer, is a growing digital innovator in public health. The company is using Azure IoT to power its PURELL SMARTLINK Technology solutions. It has about 25,000 connected dispensers that help more than a hundred healthcare facilities streamline hand hygiene compliance through motion sensors, Internet-connected dispensers and a cloud platform that collects and analyzes data.

Two GOJO Industries employees
GOJO Industries, inventor of PURELL Hand Sanitizer, helps hospitals monitor hand hygiene with secure IoT dispensers and hand hygiene data from a PURELL SMARTLINK Technology solution running on Azure IoT.

In the manufacturing sector, digital transformation from the top floor to the shop floor continues to reshape how customers and partners run their businesses. At Hannover Messe 2019, for instance, we partnered with BMW Group to launch the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) built on the Azure Industrial IoT cloud platform and designed to break down productivity-slowing data silos by creating an open technology framework and cross-industry community. The OMP’s goal is to significantly accelerate future industrial IoT developments, shorten time to value and drive production efficiencies while addressing common industrial challenges.

BMW Group factory
Microsoft’s Azure Industrial IoT cloud platform powers the partnership announced with BMW Group.

A long-standing challenge for manufacturers is how best to boost productivity while simplifying employee training and development. Commercial truck designer and manufacturer PACCAR shows digital solutions can be applied to manufacturing and across other industries as well. Thanks to its adoption of Dynamics 365 Guides and HoloLens 2 — our next generation  wearable holographic computer that enables businesses to take advantage of out-of-the-box applications — PACCAR employees can access step-by-step holographic instructions to guide them through unfamiliar tasks like assembling a truck door or follow lighted arrows from each instruction card to the precise hole where a wire needs to be threaded or to the location of the correct tool on the factory floor. Holographic drawings superimposed on the actual door demonstrate how to perform that task and brighten structures behind the steel panel that normally cannot be seen.

Worker using HoloLens 2 on assembly line
PACCAR is exploring Guides and HoloLens 2 to improve manufacturing productivity and employee onboarding. PACCAR employee Chelsey Potts works on a Kenworth truck assembly line.

Toyota Material Handling Group offers an additional manufacturing example. The company is the largest forklift maker in the world, but its customers require much more than warehouse trucks and equipment. By providing solutions with artificial intelligence, mixed reality and the IoT, Toyota Material Handling Group is helping customers meet the global rise in ecommerce, and move goods quickly, frequently, accurately and safely. With Microsoft technologies, the solutions range from connected forklift and field service systems available today to AI-powered concepts that pave the way for intelligent automation and logistics simulation – all designed with Toyota’s standards for optimizing efficiency, operation assistance and kaizen, or continuous improvement.

Toyota workers in factory
Toyota Material Handling Group innovates forklift, factory, service and logistics solutions with digital transformation, and Microsoft Azure AI, IoT and mixed reality.

Customers looking to accelerate the digital evolution of their business need partners who can collaborate, co-create and co-innovate with them. That was the impetus behind the February launch of the Accenture Microsoft Business Group, a venture created by Accenture and Microsoft, in conjunction with Avanade, that brings together more than 45,000 professionals — the world’s largest group of Microsoft solution experts — to advance organizations’ digital transformation agenda.

When it comes to collaboration and the modern workplace, Razer is a global phenomenon in a multibillion-dollar industry that boasts 2.3 billion customers worldwide. Razer has 15 offices and is recognized as the leading brand for gamers. Today, the company uses Microsoft 365, a complete, intelligent solution that supports creative teamwork, to achieve the same rapid communications, fast decision making and real-time collaboration required to win a game, while using these same attributes for a competitive advantage in the business world.

Razer employees using virtual teamwork
Virtual teamwork that happens regularly in the Teams collaboration environment inspires creative problem solving at Razer where stakeholders in product development weigh in on design issues, despite time zones and geographies.

In the airline industry, Virgin Atlantic wants employees to have the tools and information they need to make each travel step as smooth as possible. Using Microsoft PowerApps and Dynamics 365, Virgin Atlantic now has a better view of its customers and can quickly and easily develop apps that help its business and field workers excel at their jobs and create an enjoyable travel experience.

Two Virgin Atlantic workers in front of plane
Virgin Atlantic turns to Microsoft PowerApps to help increase customer satisfaction, boost employee engagement, and reduce costs.

Digital is also changing how public sector agencies help families and children. For example, New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) caseworkers are using Microsoft  365 security, Office apps, and Surface Pro devices running on Windows 10 to investigate more than 50,000 cases a year of suspected child abuse or neglect. That time-sensitive work used to involve hours of typing reports and multiple trips between families’ homes and the office to retrieve documents. Now, from anywhere in the field, they can instantly access critical resources and capture notes to focus on protecting and advocating for children and families.

New York City children's caseworker with a Surface Pro
New York City children’s services caseworkers are using Surface Pro devices enabled with LTE to help manage their digital files and notes securely. Shown here: Eric Blackwood, Child Protective Specialist.

No matter the industry sector or geography, digital continues to drive how companies and organizations are reimagining their business models — from how they generate new data and insights, to how they engage customers and enhance workplace experiences for employees. We look forward to extending our collaboration with our customers and partners as they unlock new capabilities and pursue new markets thanks to their digital transformation.

Microsoft acquires Express Logic, accelerating IoT development for billions of devices at scale

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IoT sensors are being infused into just about everything, from industrial equipment to consumer devices, and increasingly these devices are connecting to the cloud. By 2020, Gartner predicts there will be more than 20 billion connected devices*. In April 2018, we announced we’re investing $5 billion in IoT and the intelligent edge over the next four years. Since then, we’ve been making a number of investments from product innovation – including Azure Sphere, Azure Digital Twins, Azure IoT Edge, Azure Maps and Azure IoT Central – new partnerships with DJI, SAP, PTC, Qualcomm and Carnegie Mellon University for IoT and edge app development, and programs to help drive the next wave of innovation for our customers.

Express Logic logoToday, I am incredibly excited to share we have acquired Express Logic, a leader in real time operating systems (RTOS) for IoT and edge devices powered by microcontroller units (MCUs). Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS has over 6.2 billion deployments, making it one of the most deployed RTOS in the world per VDC Research. This widespread popularity is driven by demand for technology to support resource constrained environments, especially those that require safety and security. Manufacturers building products across a range of categories – from low capacity sensors like lightbulbs and temperature gauges to air conditioners, medical devices, and network appliances – leverage the size, safety and security benefits of Express Logic solutions to achieve faster time to market. Even highly constrained devices (battery powered and having less than 64KB of flash memory) can use Express Logic solutions. Over 9 billion of these MCU-powered devices are built and deployed globally every year, many of which can benefit from Express Logic solutions.

With this acquisition, we will unlock access to billions of new connected endpoints, grow the number of devices that can seamlessly connect to Azure and enable new intelligent capabilities. Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS joins Microsoft’s growing support for IoT devices and is complementary with Azure Sphere, our premier security offering in the microcontroller space. Our goal is to make Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS available as an option for real time processing requirements on an Azure Sphere device and also enable ThreadX-powered devices to connect to Azure IoT Edge devices when the IoT solution calls for edge computing capabilities. While we recommend Azure Sphere for customers’ most secured connections to the cloud, where Azure Sphere isn’t possible in highly constrained devices, we recommend Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS over other RTOS options in the industry because of its additional certifications and out-of-the-box connectivity to Azure IoT Hub.

As we’ve stated consistently in the past, our primary goal is to simplify IoT – from the cloud all the way down to the smallest MCU based devices. We do this by meeting our customers where they are with the right developer tools, software and intelligent cloud services to manage their solutions at scale. Express Logic’s technology and team will be an incredible addition to Microsoft in our quest to give every customer the ability to transform their businesses, and the world at large, with connected solutions.

 

*Gartner, Inc., “Leading the IoT: Gartner Insights on how to Lead in a Connected World”, by Mark Hung https://www.gartner.com/imagesrv/books/iot/iotEbook_digital.pdf

Building for the future: Helping students become global innovators

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Every year, professionals from around the globe join us at Build, our premier developer conference, to learn about new technologies, gain hands-on experience, and level-up their development skills. It’s one of my favorite events, and this year, it’s getting even better as we extend these opportunities to students.

For the first time, Build attendees are invited to bring up to two family members aged 14-21 to participate with them—for free. We’ll also bring in local Seattle-area high school students to participate in some of these learning opportunities. The newly created Student Zone at Build is designed to provide an immersive educational experience for the students and attendees, with access to a Surface-equipped lab, on-site experts, a career center, workshops, tech talks and live co-coding opportunities. Naturally, there will be Minecraft—and so much more. Students can talk to cloud engineers, explore data with Azure Cognitive Services, learn about how to code on GitHub and use Visual Studio Code. There will be opportunities to learn more about AI and explore the most important technologies and skills developers of tomorrow will need.

Microsoft is committed to empowering the next generation of creators to pursue their dreams through access to technology, resources and learning opportunities. One way we encourage students to break boundaries and address real problems is through the Imagine Cup, which has seen students from around the world continually raise the innovation bar through teamwork. Now in its 17th year, the competition empowers tomorrow’s talent to use their creativity, passion and diverse perspectives to solve the world’s most pressing issues.

Momentum for the Imagine Cup continues to grow—more than 2 million students from 190 countries have competed in Imagine Cup since it started—and this year, I’m excited the World Championship will be held during Build. In fact, the Imagine Cup champion will be announced to kick off Day One of the event and will be immediately followed by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote.

Returning host, Corey Sanders, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Solutions, is especially fitting for the Imagine Cup—he holds four patents and was the creator of the Infrastructure-as-a-service offering for Azure, so he’s deeply familiar with the innovation cycle on many dimensions. Last year’s MC, Kate Yeager, is also making a return appearance to call the action.

Corey SandersKate Yeager

To get to the World Championship, teams must win their highly competitive regional competitions, which are wrapping up soon. These finalists have developed truly life- and world-changing ideas, like last year’s winning concept, smartARM, a robotic hand that uses a camera embedded in the palm to recognize objects and calculate the most appropriate grip for the object.

This year’s champion will take home $100,000 USD, $50,000 USD in Azure credits, mentorship from the team at M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) and a mentoring session with Satya Nadella. A team of business and technology professionals will collectively decide the 2019 winning team, and you can watch the championship via live stream on the Build site on Monday, May 6 at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. If you are interested in attending Build and haven’t signed up, there is still time to register.

Judges include:

  • Amy Hood, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, who leads Microsoft’s worldwide finance operations, including acquisitions, treasury activities, tax planning, accounting and reporting, and internal audit and investor relations.

Amy Hood

  • Arlan Hamilton, Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, who built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. Her firm is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ.

Arlan Hamilton

  • Amjad Masad, CEO and founder of it, who has dedicated his career to making programming more accessible. A founding engineer of Codecademy, he helped build the platform that introduced tens of millions of people to coding. He later joined Facebook to lead the JavaScript Infrastructure team to build and maintain developer tools like React.js. With Repl.it, he’s focused on building collaborative developer tools that lower the barriers to entry for building and shipping software.

Amjad Masad

Each year, I’m more and more impressed by the solutions created by Imagine Cup students. And I’m thrilled that hundreds of students will be joining us at Build this year to form lifelong memories while exploring what could become a future career in tech. The future is in their hands, and I’m confident they’re up for the challenge!

One Year In: How our $5B investment in IoT and intelligent edge is accelerating customer, partner and solution innovation

Written by admin_wp_f1. Posted in Parceiros

One year ago, we announced our commitment to invest $5B in IoT (Internet of Things) and intelligent edge – technology that is accelerating ubiquitous computing and bringing unparalleled opportunity for transformation across industries. Our commitment is to a build trusted, easy to use platform for our customers and partners to build solutions – no matter where they are starting in their IoT journey.

Our customers are embracing IoT as a core strategy to drive better business outcomes, improve safety and address social issues – from predicting and preventing equipment failures, optimizing smart buildings for space utilization and energy management and improving patient outcomes and worker safety. From the intelligent cloud to the intelligent edge, this year has been one of tremendous growth – in IoT technology portfolio, partner ecosystem and customer momentum – and we are only just beginning.

Accelerating customer innovation in IoT from cloud to edge across industries

What’s truly exciting is seeing our customers achieve real business outcomes with Azure IoT and intelligent edge-based solutions. Our IoT platform is powering customer solutions with thousands of devices, at scale, and the number of devices supported has grown nearly 150 percent year-over-year. This year, many customers such a Starbucks, Chevron, Walmart, Walgreens, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota Material Handling Group and more are leveraging Azure as their cloud platform with IoT and AI services to accelerate their digital transformation.

Starbucks is using Azure Sphere to connect select equipment, enabling its partners (employees) more opportunity to engage with customers. This includes everything from beverage consistency, waste reduction, the management of energy consumption and predictive maintenance.

With Azure and our IoT services, Chevron is connecting a critical piece of equipment – heat exchangers, which manage the heat from fluids flowing through it as part of the plant’s fuel processing – to do predictive maintenance and ultimately prevent unscheduled outages.

In Walmart’s technology center in Austin, Texas, which is designed accelerate digital innovation, the retail leader is embracing IoT as a way to save energy and prevent product loss. Walmart is using thousands of IoT sensors on HVAC and refrigeration systems that process a billion daily data messages from stores worldwide.

As part of Microsoft’s partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) to make health care delivery more personal, affordable and accessible for people around the world, WBA will use a portfolio of connected IoT devices for nonacute chronic care management, delivered by Microsoft’s cloud, AI and IoT technologies.

This week with BMW Group, we announced the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP), a new technology framework and open community to share smart factory solutions across the automotive and manufacturing sectors to significantly accelerate future industrial IoT developments.

This year Volkswagen announced a partnership with Microsoft to create the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud with Azure and Azure IoT Edge to create a seamless experience for drivers from the moment they enter, use and leave their vehicles. From 2020 onwards, more than 5 million new Volkswagen brand vehicles per year will be fully connected and will be part of the IoT cloud.

By infusing solutions with artificial intelligence, mixed reality and the IoT, Toyota Material Handling Group is providing solutions to customers meet the global rise in ecommerce, and move goods quickly, frequently, accurately and safely. With Microsoft technologies, the solutions range from connected forklift and field service systems available today to AI-powered concepts that pave the way for intelligent automation and logistics simulations – all designed with Toyota’s standards for optimizing efficiency, operation assisting and continuous improvement.

The stories continue to roll in.

New innovations in our IoT platform

In the last year, we launched more than 100 new services and features in our IoT platform, designed to make IoT solutions more secure and scalable, reduce complexity, make our platform more open and create opportunities in new market areas. Our core focus has been to address the industry challenge of securing connected devices at every layer, as well as advancing IoT to create a more seamless experience between the physical and digital worlds.

Simplifying IoT and securing IoT endpoints at scale

IoT is complex, requiring deep knowledge of cloud, security and devices, but the business benefits are significant. With Azure IoT Central, which became generally available this year, we have created a way for businesses to get started in IoT by quickly provisioning a solution in just a matter of hours and with built-in security features. With valuable data moving closer to the edge, IoT security demands a holistic approach. This year we introduced Azure Sphere, a world-class security solution for connected microcontroller devices (MCUs), which go in everything from smart-home and medical devices to equipment on the factory floor. Windows 10 IoT Core Services includes security and reliability updates for the operating system to keep device security up to date. Azure Security Center for IoT now includes support for Azure IoT services to proactively monitor IoT devices, enabling businesses to implement security best practices for detecting and mitigating threats.

Delivering spatial intelligence at scale

IoT is no longer just about connected endpoints. It’s the sum of the endpoints – the digital objects – that create a holistic solution. We see significant opportunity for our customers to use spatial intelligence to manage physical assets and spaces with digital models and mapping across smart spaces, cities and buildings. This fall, we introduced Azure Digital Twins to enable customers and partners to query data in the context of a space – rather than from disparate sensors – empowering them to build repeatable, scalable experiences that correlate data from digital sources and the physical world. Azure Maps provides developers from all industries powerful geospatial capabilities, and new MR services including Azure Spatial Anchors and Azure Remote Rendering enable customers to create precise points of interest in with mixed reality in physical space as well as enable interactive, high-quality 3D models.

Bringing AI to the edge

The proliferation of IoT devices and resulting massive amount of data requiring real-time intelligence are fueling the need to move compute and analytics closer to where the data resides. This year, we open sourced the Azure IoT Edge runtime, providing developers have even greater flexibility and control of their edge solutions, enabling them to modify the runtime and debug issues for applications at the edge. Over the past year, we added five new Azure Cognitive Services that can run locally on an edge device, and we’ve made it easier to deploy your own Azure Machine Learning models on Azure IoT Edge. We’ve also enabled high-speed inferencing at the edge with Azure Data Box Edge.

 Growing the Microsoft IoT partner ecosystem

We’re proud to have one of the largest and fastest-growing partner ecosystems with more than ten thousand IoT partners from intelligent edge to intelligent cloud. Partners are critical to our customers’ success in IoT, bringing rich domain expertise across industries so customers can see clear value to their business, as well as integration for critical apps and infrastructure to increase time to value.

This year, we announced more than 70 new partnerships in IoT, which help our customers build IoT solutions faster. At CES we announced our collaboration with Universal Electronics to launch a new digital assistant platform for the home built on Microsoft Azure using AI and IoT services. PTC announced ThingWorx Industrial Innovation Platform on Microsoft Azure to deliver a robust solution for Industrial IoT and digital product lifecycle management. At MWC, we announced new partnerships with SAP, and Cradlepoint. SAP Leonardo IoT will integrate with Azure IoT services providing our customers with the ability to contextualize and enrich their IoT data with SAP business data within SAP Leonardo IoT to drive new business outcomes. With Cradelpoint, we are helping customers bridge the IT/OT divide by providing secure private LTE networks connected directly to Azure IoT Central for OT customers to consume.

We’re also working with several device partners to accelerate development at the intelligent edge. With Qualcomm, we created an Azure IoT Starter Kit to enable developers vision AI solution and run their AI models on the device. With NXP, we announced the public preview for Windows 10 IoT Core with built-in Azure connectivity, to enable secure, power-optimized devices for the intelligent edge. We’re also partnering with NVIDIA and DJI to integrate third-party SDKs to simplify development and increase time to value of AI applications at the edge.

Looking ahead: Industry opportunity in IoT

We are one year into our four-year investment. Our priority over the next three years is clear: make it easy for any company to create scalable, secured IoT solutions. We partnered with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to better understand the trends and opportunity for the industry at large. Our findings, captured in the whitepaper here, indicate IoT is moving into broad adoption and yet, some of the greatest barriers to success are not just about technology – it’s also about business strategy and executive leadership. More than 60 percent of executives we surveyed indicated these to be bigger elements of success than technology. One in four executives we surveyed indicated that their companies’ IoT initiatives underperformed expectations. The findings highlight key ingredients for a successful IoT innovation project. You’ll continue to see more announcements from us and our partners and customers to help our customers and partners in their IoT journeys. You can read more about adoption of IoT across industries in the BCG whitepaper.

Visualizing the news: Introducing the winners of our data journalism grant program

Written by admin_wp_f1. Posted in Parceiros

The dissemination of news and information has always been the machinery that powers our democracy. Our society relies on stalwart reporters and news organizations to pursue the truth and hold the powerful accountable, even as the industry faces daunting challenges from political retaliation to economic viability.

In support of these efforts, we are proud to announce the two recipients of the first phase of our grant program, in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ): Josh Landis of Nexus Media News (Washington, D.C.) and Verah Okeyo of The Nation (Kenya).Headshot of grantee winner Josh Landis.

An award-winning journalist, Landis is the founder and director of Nexus Media News, a nonprofit science, tech and environmental news service that has partnered with outlets such as Popular Science, Fast Company, Quartz, Huffington Post, PBS and National Geographic Voices to report on stories about our environment. The news service is part of Climate Nexus, which has been changing the conversation on climate change and clean energy “from an argument to a constructive search for solutions” since 2011. With the grant, Landis plans to use data visualization to show how climate is transforming residential and commercial real estate markets, and the possible impact that “climate gentrification” might have on communities in the coming years.

More than 7,000 miles away, Verah Okeyo works as a global health reporter at The Nation, the largest daily independent newspaper in Kenya and part of the Nation Media Group, which also operates in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. A 2012 graduate of Maseno University, Okeyo proposes to use demographic health surveys, studies and research to track Kenya’s child mortality since 1965. Rather than selecting a county or a set of circumstances from the outset, the investigation will follow a meaningful analysis of the available data and plans to showcase the findings across multiple mediums, including print, online and television.

Each candidate will receive $7,500 and hands-on data visualization training using Microsoft Power BI. To supplement their analytics and help ground their stories in fact, Landis and Okeyo will also conduct field investigations, going where the stories – and the numbers – take them.

Today we’re also kickstarting the second phase of the grant program, which focuses on immersive storytelling projects. Whether it is in-the-trenches livestreams with multi-language captions, augmented reality that allows real-life exploration or interactive visuals powered by numbers, immersive storytelling can communicate human experiences with great intimacy.

We’re honored to work side by side with newsrooms and journalists to help deliver impactful stories. We’re keenly aware that not every journalist has the same resources, which is why we work both on the individual and industry level. Our collaborations have run the gamut from our local KING5 broadcast station’s investigation into state vaccination rates to POLITICO Europe’s ambitious undertaking to educate the European electorate on how country-level politics shapes continental governance.

Supporting the goals of people like Landis and Okeyo to convey complicated stories in a way that speaks to audiences, reinforces our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We look forward to introducing you to more journalists who are doing the hard work of telling the story of their communities to the world.

Please visit ICFJ to learn more about the program and all their great work.

The post Visualizing the news: Introducing the winners of our data journalism grant program appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Manufacturing a better future: Microsoft announces intelligent industry innovations

Written by admin_wp_f1. Posted in Parceiros

It’s a time of great disruption but great opportunity in the manufacturing industry, as businesses seek to find novel ways to create new business value, empower and upskill their workforce, optimize their operations and innovate for a sustainable future. Advanced technologies like AI, mixed reality and automation are helping drive Industry 4.0, creating a future where “intelligent manufacturing” is a reality. Today, we are introducing updates that help bring this reality even closer for our customers and partners, to deliver increased security, productivity and efficiency, which will help them achieve new business outcomes.

As we head to Hanover, Germany, next week to join global leaders at the world’s biggest trade show for industrial technology, we are announcing several improvements to our trusted, innovative manufacturing solutions, including:

  • Azure is now the first major public cloud with end-to-end security for IoT for your devices, hubs and cloud resources. We are adding advanced threat protection for IoT to three key services: Azure Security Center for IoT can now be used to implement security best practices and mitigate threats across entire IoT projects including hubs, compute and data. Azure Sentinel, the first cloud-native security information and event management (SIEM) offering, can now protect the entire enterprise from threats including those affecting IoT devices. Azure IOT Hub now integrates with Azure Security Center for IoT to provide IoT security information directly inside the hub portal experience.
  • The introduction of OPC Twin and OPC Vault in our Azure Industrial IoT Cloud Platform solution, which respectively provide manufacturers a digital twin of their OPC UA-enabled machines and significantly enhance security and certification management. We’re also announcing important enhancements to the Connected Factory solution accelerator, which now integrates with OPC Twin to greatly simplify the process of installing IoT Edge.
  • An expansion of Azure IP Advantage to IoT, which extends Azure IP Advantage benefits to Azure customers with IoT devices connected to Azure, and devices that are powered by Azure Sphere and Windows IoT. Additionally, qualified startups who join the LOT Network have the ability to acquire Microsoft patents through LOT for free.

You’ll find more details on the Azure IoT Platform updates in this blog from Sam George, and more information on Azure IP Advantage below. We will also share additional business updates including:

  • Intelligent innovations for industry: Onsite at Hannover Messe we will showcase our wide range of offerings for manufacturers including breakthroughs in AI experiences, mixed reality with HoloLens 2, business-ready solutions with Dynamics 365 and tools to close the skills gap with Microsoft 365.
  • Customers achieving business outcomes: We’re supporting leading manufacturers including Bühler, Electrolux, Siemens Gamesa and ZEISS as they accelerate their own innovations, as outlined below.
  • New partner solutions: We continue to grow the ecosystem of partners collaborating with Microsoft to help manufacturers succeed, with several announcing news this week.
  • The latest in our Future Computed book series: The Future Computed: AI and Manufacturing explores the way manufacturers from across the world are embracing AI. It shares insights from our customers on the importance of creating the right company culture and talent pipeline to realize AI’s potential, and explores the role of public policy in addressing labor market disruption and fostering the ethical use of AI. We’ll preview the book’s key themes at Hannover Messe ahead of its release in May.
  • More than 25 innovative companies will join us in our Hannover Messe booth to showcase how we are working together to harness IoT, mixed reality, AI and other key technologies that revolutionize manufacturing.

Protecting and connecting the factory of the future

Today we are sharing details about a series of new product and program advancements for the manufacturing industry prior to Hannover Messe:

Azure IoT Security: The complexity and scale of the IoT and Industrial IoT (IIot) challenge is reinforced by leading market research firms estimating there will be over 20 billion installed end-point devices worldwide by 2020 — each of which pose a potential security risk. While some cloud providers address pieces of this puzzle, Azure is the world’s first cloud offering to deliver an end to end, unified approach to IoT security.

Garth Beaumount, CISO for Volpara Solutions and an early adopter of Azure Security Center for IoT said, “The Microsoft Azure IoT Security solution provides us with management and threat protection for the full stack, including IoT devices, IoT hubs as well as the computing and data resources utilized by our solutions. Effectively saving us from ‘rolling our own’ and aligning our IoT security neatly with our other Azure based solutions and line of business application usage.”

With Azure Security Center for IoT, customers can find missing security configurations across IOT devices, the edge and cloud. For example, they can check which ports are open on their IOT devices, confirm their SQL database is encrypted and act to remediate any issues. Azure Security Center for IoT protects from ever-evolving threats, drawing upon the vast threat intelligence information in the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, which analyzes six trillion signals per day. This means manufacturers can take advantage of a single view of security across all their Azure solutions — including Azure IoT solutions, from edge devices to applications — using hundreds of built-in security assessments in a central dashboard.

With Azure Sentinel, users can hunt for or respond to active threats spanning the entire enterprise from IOT devices to Azure to Office 365 and on-premise systems.

SecOps teams now have the right tools to reduce the surface attack of IoT solutions, remediate issues before they become serious, prevent attacks with machine learning and gain significant value from simplifying threat detection and security posture management for entire IoT deployments. Combining these new offerings with previously announced device security offerings such as Azure Sphere, customers will have access to IoT innovation with the confidence of end-to-end security that only Microsoft provides – spanning devices, the edge and cloud. You’ll find more information here.

 Connected Factory and Industrial IoT: In a connected factory, all machines communicate with each other, leveraging data, IoT and automation to monitor and control all aspects of production. We’ve enhanced our offering for these Industrial IoT scenarios by developing components that simplify and secure our customers’ digital operations. At our booth at Hannover Messe, we’ll be showcasing OPC Twin, which creates a digital twin for your OPC UA-enabled machines and makes the information model of that specific machine available in the cloud. Customers can control and manage their OPC Twins directly from the cloud by using microservices running on Azure. In addition, we’ll showcase our progress in security with OPC Vault. OPC Vault automates security management by creating, managing and revoking certificates for your OPC UA servers on a global scale. ​Both components provide simplicity and security for your industrial IoT solutions and are fully open source and available on GitHub.

We also understand the importance of simplicity and speed in getting started with a proof-of-concept for Industrial IoT scenarios. For that purpose, we continue to enhance the Connected Factory solution accelerator, which is designed to accelerate proof-of-concepts in Industrial IoT and additionally offers OEE data across customers’ factories via a centralized dashboard. Today, Connected Factory integrates with an OPC Twin dashboard and empowers manufacturers to streamline the process of getting started with Industrial IoT and generating insights from their digital operations.

Supporting business innovation

As businesses become more connected, security remains paramount to success. Microsoft is taking end-to-end security one step further for our customers to protect their data and intellectual property:

 Azure IP Advantage: The Microsoft Azure IP Advantage program now includes new benefits for Azure IoT innovators and startups. We first announced Azure IP Advantage in February, 2017, to provide comprehensive protection against intellectual property (IP) risks for our cloud customers. We are now expanding the program to customers who are innovating in IoT and at the edge to do predictive maintenance, manage digital and physical assets, and improve overall efficiency, safety and quality of products—all of which create massive volumes of data and unique business innovations. We’re responding to input from our manufacturing customers and delivering greater value to the Azure IP Advantage program, with new benefits focused on the Azure-powered IoT ecosystem and startups, including:

  • Uncapped indemnification coverage for Microsoft’s Azure Sphere and Windows IoT.
  • Access to 10,000 patents for customers using Azure to power IoT devices to defend themselves against IP lawsuits.
  • The ability for startups on Azure to acquire Microsoft patents for free.

In addition to the expanded program, we also joined the Open Invention Network and the LOT (license on transfer) Network last year to help address patent assertion risk for our customers and partners. Taken together, we believe Microsoft offers the most comprehensive, end-to-end framework for addressing IP risks in the cloud. More detail can be found in this Microsoft on the Issues blog.

Manufacturers building on Microsoft technologies

Customers are leveraging Microsoft technology in their manufacturing operations and seeing real business results. Recent examples include:

  • Bühler, one of the world’s largest providers of food processing solutions, is leveraging Microsoft blockchain technology to improve global food safety standards and reduce food poisoning rates, while increasing production efficiencies.
  • Electrolux, the Swedish home appliance manufacturer, launched a new Azure IoT smart connected air purifier and app in a matter of weeks with minimal R&D time. The Pure A9 removes ultra-fine dust particles, pollutants, bacteria, allergens and bad odors from indoor rooms.
  • Siemens Gamesa, the leader in renewable energy, is streamlining and automating how technicians inspect and maintain industrial wind turbines by migrating its autonomous drone-digital process to Microsoft Azure and infusing it with Azure AI. Integrating Azure AI services will greatly expedite the process, with image recognition reduced to 34 seconds, as opposed to 4 to 6 hours using the manual method, which also was prone to errors.
  • ZEISS teamed up with Microsoft to present a spectroscopy measurement and data sharing solution that connects the compact all-round spectrometer ZEISS Corona process with Microsoft Azure. By uploading production data from spectroscopic analysis to the cloud, clients get invaluable insights about their products and production – whenever and wherever they need it. The solution can be implemented in food production processes to monitor important quality indicators (e.g. fat, moisture, salt content) directly in the production line. This enables production managers to react immediately to process variations and helps to increase quality and productivity, while using raw materials and energy in a more efficient way at the same time.

Partners highlight new offerings

Several of our partners showcasing their solutions at the Microsoft Hannover Messe booth will make news about their latest innovations, including:

  • Intel is working with Microsoft on a new modern industrial PC reference design for factories and industrial applications. Using the reference design, which will be available later this year, device partners can build fully provisioned and customized industrial PCs that can be connected to a range of devices to discover, manage and analyze data in real time, using AI on the machine or in the Azure cloud.
  • JDA, a leading global supply chain company, will be showcasing its new Azure-based Luminate solution, which serves as an end-to-end crisis control center allowing companies to see, interpret, and act on real-time information from the entire supply chain and extended third-party digital ecosystem.

Empowering an intelligent manufacturing firstline

From the front office to supply chain to the factory floor, Microsoft solutions can help improve manufacturing operations by streamlining daily work, driving greater efficiency, safety and productivity as well as helping enhance employee performance. For example:

  • Microsoft 365 is equipping organizations, including Firstline Workers on the factory floor with the skills and tools they need to keep up with digital manufacturing in a secure environment. Microsoft Teams is transforming how today’s manufacturing workforce collaborates and communicates securely. Learn more how Microsoft 365 is being used in manufacturing here.
  • Customers have a growing need to move cloud computing closer to the edge. Azure Data Box Edge helps meet this need as a powerful, AI-enabled edge appliance that sits within a customer’s own environment – in their data center or on a factory floor – right alongside their existing hardware. It brings Azure computing power to where data originates, eliminating any network latency.
  • With mixed reality applications Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Layout, companies are using Microsoft HoloLens and HoloLens 2 to dramatically boost productivity, compliance and safety. You’ll find more information about a broad range of Dynamics 365 innovations in manufacturing here.
  • Available later this year, the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides for HoloLens and HoloLens 2 will empower employees to learn by doing, with step-by-step instructions guiding them to the tools, parts and institutional knowledge they need in real work scenarios.
  • Delivering a unified approach to financial and business operations across manufacturing, supply chain, distribution and retail is made easier by Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
  • Intelligent, connected field service through Dynamics 365 Connected Field Service can help manufacturers quickly detect and resolve issues, leveraging connected devices and machine learning and in the process, driving efficiency and reducing costs.

The future of manufacturing is all about applying new levels of intelligence across all aspects of operations, with disruption triggered by AI, mixed reality and IoT, redefining the value chain from engineering design to customer engagements to supply chains. We look forward to meeting with you next week to discuss how we’re empowering intelligent manufacturing around the world. Until then, please visit Microsoft at Hannover Messe 2019 for additional details about what’s planned, how to engage our team and where to find our booth in Hall 7, Stand C40.

The post Manufacturing a better future: Microsoft announces intelligent industry innovations appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

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