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Microsoft Azure Chief Jason Zander Talks Intelligent Cloud And Edge, Drones, HoloLens And Quantum Computing

‘What we’re working on at Microsoft is more analogous to like the transistor that became our modern computer environment,’ Microsoft Azure chief Jason Zander says, referring to his team’s quantum computing efforts. ‘I’m pretty sure I have a couple of future Nobel Prize winners on the team.’

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Zander On Working With The Energy Industry 

Microsoft wants to be a partner with the energy industry, not just a vendor, according to Zander.

“You’ve seen us make very deep partnerships with companies like Chevron, Equinor and others, as well as (independent software vendors),” he said. “I’ve hired petrochemical experts on to our team. What that’s doing is helping us understand better what’s required. Because the one thing I will tell you, is I’m not your competition. I am a software company. And I do some silicon to go with it. That is our business model. I’m not going to go into the energy business. I’m not going to open up gas stations and figure out logistics and everything on top of that. What I do want to do is get into the space and figure out how my technology can help you to be successful with your business. That is really our business model.”

The energy industry has pushed the boundaries of Microsoft’s computing hardware and software that’s associated with it, according to Zander.

“One of the first places that we start to see value when we start to engage with cloud is doing things around optimization and efficiencies that can be gained,” he said. “This is where examples of reservoir simulation and going in and doing seismic data analysis, etc. -- these are places where this industry has really pushed the boundaries. Our next generation of (high performance computing) was designed specifically with feedback on what’s required, because our original version was designed for the financial sector. Really great at hedge funds, but when…you’re doing seismic work, it turns out that is a different thing, and so we’ve actually influenced the fleet accordingly. On this edge side, the fact that this industry has been doing decades’ worth of innovation on instrumenting, equipment, ships and rigs and the whole nine yards, is just really far out there. And that is actually lots of learning as well. Now our ability is to bring AI and other technology on top of that.” 

 
 
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