Missed Satya Nadella's opening keynote at Microsoft Ignite in Seattle? Here is a quick summary of the opening keynote.
"Generative AI is the single most significant platform transition in computing history, its bigger than PC, bigger than mobile, its going to be bigger than the internet"
Jensen Huang - Founder, CEO & President - NVIDIA
Quite a statement, who disagrees?
Satya's keynote focussed solely on AI and CoPilot not dissimilar to his update at Inspire earlier this year. The innovation is scary; dare I say there is almost too much happening here, there are over 100 announcements at this Ignite conference. The opening keynote focussed on 5 key themes, which represent different layers of the generative AI (Copilot) stack.
1) AI Infrastructure Layer
- Microsoft are aiming for Azure to be "The Worlds Computer", Azure is now in 60 regions, with 300+ DC's
- A large proportion of the energy powering Microsoft's Infrastructure comes from renewable energy. They are on track to achieve their carbon footprint commitment by 2025. Since 2013, Microsoft has generated 19GW of renewable energy 👏
- Hollow Core Fibre has improved connectivity speeds by 47%
- Azure Boost has been launched, which offloads processes to purpose built hardware to improve performance:- https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/preview-azure-boost/
- Microsoft have developed their own custom chips Azure Cobalt is the "fastest of any cloud provider.
- Microsoft and NVIDIA have built the fastest super AI super computer in the world (in just a few months) and the 3rd fastest super computer overall.
2) Foundation Models & AI Toolchain
- Microsoft are commited to Open Source - https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/products/ai-services/openai-service/ enabling access to open models, protected by Microsoft Security Guardrails.
- Models as a Service was announced (aka.ms/modelsasaservice) in conjunctuion with Meta
- Azure AI Studio is in preview. A cloud based platform that allows you to build your own AI capabilities (copilots) regardless of previous skill levels. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/products/ai-studio/
- The partnership with NVIDIA is clearly significant for both organisations.
3) Your Data
- There is no AI without Data
- Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Fabric https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/fabric/get-started/microsoft-fabric-overview an all-in-one analytics solution for enterprises that covers everything from data movement to data science, Real-Time Analytics, and business intelligence. 25000 clients have already adopted the service.
- There is a frictionless way to accomodate existing data warehouses once Mirroring in Fabric becomes available.
4) Microsoft Apps
- The traditional Microsoft Apps are being reimagined for the AI era.
- New Teams is now available. Teams was created to be a multiplayer canvass. 320 million people now rely on Teams, with over 145000 custom line of business apps published.
- Mesh will be available in January https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/mesh a service that is designed to provide a more emmersive experience for remote / flexible workforce.
- Bing Chat is now "CoPilot"
- It will impact every role and every function, with specific CoPilots being developed for Devopment, Security Operations, Sales and Customer Service
- M365 CoPilot is now in GA for enterprise clients; Visa, KPMG, Accenture are all CoPilot customers.
- CoPilot Studio allows you to customise, build and manage your own "GPT's" https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2023/11/15/announcing-microsoft-copilot-studio-customize-copilot-for-microsoft-365-and-build-your-own-standalone-copilots/
You can watch the keynote in full https://ignite.microsoft.com/en-US/sessions/bff678f5-f533-4ad0-9905-6ac35c9704ad?source=/favorites
An awful lot to digest in just 1 hour. Outside of CoPilot and CoPilot studio, Azure AI Studio, Fabric and Mesh really caught my eye and supports the theory that the rate of change is about to accelerate significantly.
About the Author: Mike Starnes
Mike has worked in the IT Industry for over 20 years. If he's not talking technology, he'll be reading, playing football or trying to embarrass his daughters.