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6 Top Azure Announcements From Microsoft Build 2020

Major Azure announcements at Microsoft Build include the general availability of Microsoft’s Azure IoT Developer Specialty Certification and training resources.

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Microsoft has built a new artificial intelligence supercomputer on its Azure cloud in collaboration with Open AI, and is rolling out a new Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, the first of its planned industry-specific cloud solutions.

The two announcements are among multiple Azure-related developments that the No. 2 cloud computing provider is unveiling today as part of its Microsoft Build developers conference, which was shifted to a free 48-hour digital forum due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Microsoft reported more than 100,000 registrants for the event, which would make it the largest Build conference to date.

Microsoft believes its new supercomputer is one of the world’s most powerful, according to chief technology officer Kevin Scott.

“We believe that it's probably right around the fifth most powerful machine in the world,” Scott said. “And because we were leveraging all of our Azure infrastructure, we were able to deploy this system in a relatively short period of time, so six months from start to finish. We’re using (this machine) to train these big, self-supervised, deep neural networks that we're using as platforms for language technologies and vision and speech technologies.”

Other Build announcements include the debut of Azure Synapse Link, a cloud-native implementation of hybrid transactional analytical processing that Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and AI group, called a “game-changer.”

Microsoft also is releasing updates to Azure Arc, which enables deployment of Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure, and Azure Stack Hub, an extension of Azure that allows users to run apps in an on-premises environment and deliver Azure services in data centers.

Click through to read about the announcements, which also include the general availability of Microsoft’s Azure IoT Developer Specialty Certification and training resources.

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