Highlights from Microsoft Build 2020

Highlights from Microsoft Build 2020

Announcements include news of Microsoft's Softomotive acqusition

Credit: Dreamstime

Other new developments on the table this year include, unsurprisingly, platform enhancements to Microsoft Teams, including a streamlined experience to help developers to build and publish Teams apps from Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code.

Additional Teams updates are aimed at giving IT administrators the ability to evaluate and deploy line-of-business and independent software vendor (ISV) applications for their users in Teams, along with new ways for people to discover and engage with apps in Teams. 

Microsoft has also announced updates to Fluid Framework — first previewed at last year’s Build — which, in the words of the vendor comprises “technology and set of experiences designed to make collaboration seamless by breaking down barriers between apps”.

The new updates to Fluid Framework include making it open source to developers, and introduces the first way for end users to experience Fluid with the upcoming availability of Fluid components and Fluid workspaces in and Outlook for the Web.

Additionally, Microsoft has announced it is delivering new responsible machine learning (ML) tools in Azure Machine Learning and its open source software (OSS) toolkits in a bid to help users deploy artificial intelligence (AI) models more responsibly by “improving model interpretability, reducing unfairness while ensuring data privacy and confidentiality”.

At the same time, the vendor has touted its build of what it claims is one of the top five publicly disclosed supercomputers in the world, making new infrastructure available in Azure to train extremely large artificial intelligence (AI) models.            

“Developed in collaboration with and exclusively for OpenAI, this supercomputer is purpose-built to train massive distributed AI models, giving it all the benefits of a dedicated appliance paired with the benefits of Azure’s robust modern cloud infrastructure,” Shaw said in his blog post.    

The company also revealed a new play for the healthcare sector with the introduction of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, its first industry-specific cloud offering, which brings together capabilities for customers and partners to enrich patient engagement, connect caregiving teams, and improve collaboration, decision-making and operational efficiencies. 

“Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare will support capabilities such as the new Bookings app in Teams, now generally available to customers across industries to help schedule, manage and conduct business-to-consumer virtual appointments. Teams supports HIPAA compliance and is HITRUST-certified,” Shaw said.

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