Microsoft Build Conference 2022 kicked off on Tuesday May 24 with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talking about ten new technologies that are “coming together as a powerful platform” to help developers.
New previews for Azure OpenAI Service, AI dashboards in Azure Machine Learning and a web application routing add-in for Azure Kubernetes Service were among the biggest Azure announcements from Microsoft during this year’s Build conference aimed at developers.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also touted the company’s Azure OpenAI service during the company’s latest quarterly earnings call in April, describing how the service helps “companies like CarMax turn customer reviews into customized content for shoppers.”
He said that Azure Machine Learning’s “number of monthly inference requests increased 86 percent year over year with companies like PepsiCo using the service to predict which products are most likely to sell.”
For starters, Microsoft introduced ‘Dev Box’, its new cloud service for developers with ready-to-code workstations that allow coders to focus on work instead of workstation configurations and maintenance.
Since Dev Boxes are hosted in the Microsoft Cloud, they work on all Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS devices, and also on all major web browsers, giving developers an option to not be bound to a physical PC, and rather, “spin up a virtual machine (VM) and provision it automatically in the cloud, reducing limitations and delays,” Nadela said.
Developers using Dev Box can create a developer portal to access specific Dex Boxes for different projects.
The CEO said that Microsoft is offerings Dev Box in a private preview starting Tuesday, with the cloud service going public in the “next few months.”
Moving on, the Washington-based company unveiled its ‘Project Volterra’, a developer kit powered by an unnamed Snapdragon compute platform that will let developers explore several AI scenarios using Qualcomm’s Neutral Processing SDK for Windows toolkit.
The dev kit comes alongside a mini-desktop PC, though it won’t be available as a retail product.
From what we know so far, the mini-PC will sport three USB ports, a DisplayPort and an Ethernet port. Microsoft didn’t reveal much else about Project Volterra, though it did say that it will share more information about it at a later date.
Nadela added that Microsoft is also revamping Teams by introducing a new Live ‘Share Feature’ that will allow users to work on a shared document together in real-time, making group meetings more collaborative.
He said that developers, on the other hand, will be able to develop new collaborative software and applications inside Microsoft Teams.
Live Share is built on Fluid Framework, Microsoft’s web-based platform for interactive experiences that it debuted at 2019’s Build conference.
Some of Microsoft’s partners, including Accenture, Hexagon and Frame.io have already started building with Live Share, he said.
Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform
Azure Data chief Rohan Kumar also spoke about the Intelligent Data Platform. Kumar explained the feature promises to “fully integrate databases, analytics and governance.”
The platform is meant to speed up the process of turning data from disparate sources into actionable intelligence.
Microsoft also launched the MySQL Flexible Server ‘Business Critical’ which presupposes that the old “Memory Optimized” tier for the Azure Database for MySQL Flexible Server product is no more.
“As of Build, it’s now called the “Business Critical” tier. New capabilities include “1.5x faster performance than Azure Database for MySQL Single Server deployment,” the company said.