QUOTE OF THE DAY:
The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential. – STEVE BALLMER
MICROSOFT BRINGS OUT NEW EDGE COMPUTING TOOLS
Microsoft new focus would be Intelligent edge, not Windows.
For long, Microsoft has been known as the company that develops the famous Windows OS, but now the company has decided to try something new. In developer’s conference, the company showed off the shift in its focus apart from Windows, such as edge-computing tools and technologies, & Internet of Things (IoT). If we talk about last year summit, Microsoft team mentioned edge computing as the company developing “intelligent cloud/intelligent edge” strategy.
According to Microsoft, the edge is a medium which is used by users to connect to the cloud. There is no set range for the varieties of products it could come up with, it could be mixed-reality/virtual reality headsets, on-premises PCs, drones.
Microsoft made a lot of edge announcements at Annual Developers Conference. One of them is open sourcing the Azure IoT Edge Runtime which will enable users to change and debug seamlessly.
Microsoft’s cloud service, Azure IoT Edge is developed to aware users about the increasing amount of data accumulated by simple sensors and computers at the edge of networks, without sending data for computer processing. The component, IoT Edge runtime is compatible with all IoT Edge devices and also organizes the modules utilized by each device.
Microsoft is now allowing its Custom Vision cognitive service to operate Azure IoT Edge. It’s the main purpose is to make industrial equipment such as drones execute vision-related activities without being connected to the cloud. For now, the Cognitive Services will work on edge devices but there is a lot more to come.
Microsoft is now a partner with Qualcomm Technologies which will help in making a vision AI developer kit which controls Azure IoT Edge. The kit will comprise software and hardware which are useful in developing camera-based IoT products. According to Microsoft representative, this kit will lead the way for developers who want to use Azure Machine Learning services, Qualcomm AI Engine and Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform. Microsoft is also working on providing Speech Devices software development kit to the developers of smart speakers and other voice-enabled devices. The aim is to provide audio processing, accurate speech recognition, noise cancellation, and more
All these changes are supposedly going to take place in 2019.
MICROSOFT AND AMAZON TOGETHER?
Microsoft demonstrated much-awaited integration between Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa in annual developer’s conference.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
It’s been a year since Microsoft announced Cortana and Alexa integration. Finally, we got a glimpse of it in this year’s Build developer conference. Microsoft exhibited a demo which showed the collaboration with Amazon.
The collaboration was mentioned to work both ways, which means Alexa could pass requests back to Cortana and vice versa. For example, Cortana could request Alexa to manage Smart home devices, Alexa would access Cortana’s features to book meetings, read work emails and more.
Both the company’s representatives, Cortana GM Megan Saunders and Alexa SVP Tom Taylor exhibited a demo of how well both the virtual assistants will collaborate.
Saunders commanded Echo speaker to open Cortana and she got a response in a different voice, “Cortana here, how can I help?” She was also asked about the plans for that day and send an email to a friend, without taking an assistant name (wake sound).
Similarly, Tom Taylor commanded Cortana to wake Alexa. Then Alexa responded, “hi there, this is Alexa. How can I help?”
So far, the integration seems to be working fine. But this is just a demo. With this teaser, people with Echo and Windows computer would want to try their hands on it. However, there is no news when the integration is set to launch. So, all we can do is wait for now!
WHAT IS THE NEWS FOR DEVELOPERS?
The IT giant also announced a launch of a new website for developers who are interested in staying updated with the Cortana and Alexa integration news.
Developers who are working on developing skills for Alexa and Cortana can access this website to get all the information and updates when the integration is going to live.
Saunders said, “For all of you developers out there building skills, Cortana and Alexa is going to enable access to more people across more devices. And we can’t wait to see what you build.”
IS THE INTEGRATION CALLED FOR?
At Annual Developers Conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella emphasized on a more open system, “We want to make it possible for our customers to get the most out of their personal digital assistants – not be bound to some walled garden.”
The only question that arises in our mind is that is the integration really important? What could be the benefit out of it? You can ask Alexa to wake up with a command or Cortana to respond when called, why would you want Cortana to wake Alexa or ask Alexa to send an email via Cortana.
This seems to be an awkward thing!
Well, we can only know how useful it is when the integration goes live!