Keynote Highlights and Top News


Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella presents at the Inspire conference keynote on July 18, 2023.
Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella presents on the Inspire convention keynote on July 18, 2023. Image: TechRepublic

Microsoft offered new associate alternatives and generative AI improvements on the keynote for its Inspire convention, which is being held nearly July 18-19. Artificial intelligence was the discuss of the present, with Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella saying, “We are in the midst of a massive platform shift with the new generation of AI.”

At Inspire, the corporate introduced pricing for Microsoft 365 Copilot; Bing Chat Enterprise, a model of the chatbot constructed into Microsoft 365 with issues round privateness for companies; and enhancements to the Azure AI mannequin catalog, amongst different new choices.

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Nadella goes all-in on generative AI

Nadella identified two main purposes for generative AI: the power of AI to make pc consumer interfaces extra intuitive utilizing pure language and knowledge administration. Generative AI is a reasoning engine that works on high of all of your information, he mentioned.

“To be able to have natural language as the interface we have with computers is the pursuit,” mentioned Nadella.

“Microsoft’s big bet on generative AI across their product portfolio will rely heavily on their partner ecosystem to be successful,” mentioned Jason Wong, Gartner analyst. “Partners will be critical to ensuring customer readiness of data and talent, effective implementation across multi-vendor technology stacks, and change management to ensure value attainment.”

SEE: Keep updated with our ChatGPT cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

Microsoft 365 Copilot’s value is steep

Microsoft 365 Copilot, which embeds a ChatGPT-based conversational AI into 365 purposes, will price $30 monthly per consumer, introduced Yusuf Mehdi, company vice chairman and shopper chief advertising officer at Microsoft. He demonstrated Copilot by making a PowerLevel presentation after which a abstract of that presentation, all inside Teams. Microsoft didn’t announce when Copilot can be typically accessible.

ChatGPT Plus – which provides precedence entry, sooner pace, and early entry options to the chat AI – prices $20 monthly.

“The Microsoft 365 Copilot price indicated how much value Microsoft believes there is to unlock in the digital workplace with generative AI,” mentioned Wong. “The comparatively high price will force potential customers to think more carefully about which employee segments will benefit most from Copilot and to identify concrete use cases with ROI to justify the extra costs.”

Microsoft inventory rose 4% after the announcement of the pricing for Copilot.

Bing Chat Enterprise rolled out

Organizations will have the ability to entry Bing Chat securely from inside their very own Microsoft 365 ecosystem with Bing Chat Enterprise, a new providing accessible July 18. It was created partially to handle enterprise issues about privateness, akin to company-wide generative AI. With Bing Chat Enterprise, business information safety will be certain that enterprise consumer information shouldn’t be commingled with net information, not shared with Microsoft and never used to coach any AI fashions. It contains up-to-date info sourced from Bing search.

ChatGPT can be utilized by logging in to Bing with Microsoft 365 work credentials, which ensures firm information is roofed by business information safety. Bing Chat Enterprise is included for no price with Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium plans. Microsoft additionally expects to supply it from inside Windows Copilot sooner or later, and at $5 per consumer monthly as a stand-alone utility.

Mehdi demonstrated multimodal visible search in Bing chat as properly. Visual search makes use of GPT-4 to let Bing Chat analyze photographs the consumer uploads; then, it will probably reply questions concerning the picture. Visual search is out there free of charge beginning Jult 18.

Copilot utility introduced for gross sales groups

Nadella introduced a brand new utility known as Sales Copilot, which embeds Copilot performance and CRM information from Salesforce, Dynamics 365 or different platforms inside Microsoft 365. Sales Copilot additionally contains automated details about gross sales alternatives, integration with Microsoft 365 Copilot and PowerLevel and ideas generated in actual time in a Team assembly, akin to offering context when the client mentions a competitor.

Sales Copilot is mostly accessible beginning July 18.

AI options added to Power Automate Process Mining

AI options will now be accessible inside Power Automate Process Mining to map out gross sales, finance, HR or different processes and “identify opportunities for how we drive that AI advantage to every customer,” Nadella mentioned.

Essentially, Nadella desires companies to have the ability to present how they derive worth from generative AI and make it simpler for them to search out methods to make use of it.

Copilot AI help is out there all through Microsoft Power Platform, together with Power Automate Process Mining. Charles Lamanna, company vice chairman of enterprise purposes and platform at Microsoft, mentioned Process Mining Copilot will be requested, “What are the top insights it has for me?” to search out work bottlenecks and what’s inflicting the bottlenecks and make options for different instruments to make use of to automate duties or monitor information factors extra carefully.

Power Automate Process Mining can be typically accessible on August 1.

Meta’s Llama 2, different instruments to be added to Azure AI mannequin catalog

Microsoft introduced that Meta’s household of Llama 2 open-source basis fashions can be accessible on Azure and Windows beginning July 18.

In addition, Nadella revealed the regional growth of the Azure OpenAI service to Asia, in addition to elevated availability in North America and Western Europe.

Azure AI mannequin catalog presents AI choices for builders

The Azure AI mannequin catalog, which is presently in public preview, empowers builders to use AI, together with GPT-4 and a library of different AI from Hugging Face, to their purposes. Developers can browse for fashions and fine-tune and deploy them in sandboxes operating in Azure.

“This means organizations can quickly and easily benefit from the power of these foundational models, yet they have their own private instance of the model,” mentioned Jessica Hawk, company vice chairman in information, AI and digital purposes at Microsoft. Having personal situations permits builders extra time to enhance mannequin effectiveness and guarantee their mannequin follows AI security finest practices with built-in pointers, she mentioned.

“Application developers now can take advantage of both the frontier models of OpenAI as well as the models available in open source to transform every software category there is,” Nadella mentioned.

Azure Migrate and Modernize software positive aspects new options

In the world of cloud migration, Microsoft has enhanced the Azure Migrate and Modernize software. This software is meant for companions who take prospects via cloud assessments to Azure migration. They can go to Azure Migrate within the Azure portal and uncover the client’s information middle stock, which has evaluation instruments to assist create a migration path. It may also assist organizations construct a enterprise case for migration.

Changes embrace expanded capabilities for the free Azure Migrate software, prolonged providers in Azure Confidential Computing and a preview for Azure Boost, a virtualization software for processes historically dealt with by a hypervisor.

Microsoft pushes AI Cloud Partner Program

Much of the Microsoft Inspire keynote presentation was dedicated to associate alternatives.

“It’s really exciting to see us completely revamp the enticement, the incentives” of the AI Cloud Partner Program, Nadella mentioned.

“This AI advantage is not just a Microsoft advantage — it is an advantage for the entire Microsoft partner ecosystem,” mentioned Judson Althoff, govt vice chairman and chief business officer at Microsoft. He described sharing AI assets as the subsequent step after shifting prospects to the cloud and inspiring digital transformation throughout organizations.

Althoff warned in opposition to firms attempting to “AI-wash,” or use the time period AI of their firm or product names, with out actually displaying market differentiation and worth.

Empowering companions to make their very own AI assistants

Throughout the presentation, companions demonstrated how they made their very own AI assistants to arrange for conferences and make strategic enterprise choices.

“Microsoft’s Copilot strategy is not just about their own offerings, but enabling a new cloud and development platform centered on generative AI with network effects that drive more value with more partner participation,” mentioned Wong. “Microsoft wants everyone to be building their own copilots on their platform.”


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