Sing it loud and sing it proud: It's all about the cloud for Microsoft

And AI, DevOps and, of course, the edge

Connect(); Because it wouldn't be a Microsoft event without the Azure drum being banged loudly and often, there were a slew of reveals related to Redmond's cloudy product line at today's Connect();.

AI is always listening

Though the debate on what AI actually is continues, Microsoft is happy to slap the moniker on all manner of complicated algorithms.

To that end, Microsoft showed off two updates for its Azure Cognitive Services, a bunch of APIs designed to allow systems to communicate with humans in a more natural (if slightly creepy) way.

Language Understanding – Microsoft's pitch to build natural language understanding into apps, bots and devices – has received container support in preview form. Redmond reckoned this will allow devs to stay consistent over the cloud to the edge.

Are you listening, Alexa?

Also generally available are custom translations in Microsoft's Translator Text service, aimed at allowing customers to handle the likes of industry-specific expressions better.

Azure on the Edge

Azure Stream Analytics (ASA) on IoT Edge has been pushed to general availability after a short time in preview. The tool allows users to decide where analytics should be processed between the edge or the cloud. Limited connectivity or compliance issues can make shunting data to the cloud not a great idea, said the Windows giant.

Back in April, Microsoft touted Azure Time Series Insights, a platform to store years' worth of time series data pivoted on devices.

Being able to perform analyses on time series (for example, temperature trends) is critical for many applications, and the new features will allow customers to add contextualisation to incoming telemetry data from devices.

To deal with paying for all the storage customers will need, Microsoft has introduced a "pay as you go" pricing model. And pay customers most certainly will if care is not exercised in deploying the technology.

Azure DevOps: Boards, Pipelines and, you guessed it, IoT

Microsoft is keen not to miss the boat on IoT and to that end intends to tweak Azure DevOps Projects to support IoT applications including, of course, Azure IoT Edge. The preview enables developers to create a CI/CD pipeline that can deploy IoT applications to an Azure IoT Edge device.

Devs could be forgiven for feeling a bit of déjà vu. Didn't the company already talk about something rather similar with the Arm Agent (via a Raspberry Pi 3) back in November?

After a bit of foot shuffling, Microsoft admitted at Connect();: "Although IoT Hub Support in Azure DevOps Projects is new, it builds on our existing offerings for IoT."

What is new, however, is the integration of Azure Boards with GitHub Issues. The preview, revealed today, enables work item integration with GitHub commits and pull requests for private projects.

This means links can be created by mentioning an Azure Boards work item in a GitHub commit message. Azure Boards work items are listed in the Pipelines build results when building GitHub commits that link to Boards work items.

And, of course, Azure Pipelines itself, which does the building in Microsoft's cloud, has seen some love today as well in the form of the Azure Pipelines extension for Visual Studio Code. The preview gives developers syntax highlighting and IntelliSense for YAML-based pipelines, as well as validating that the file is structured correctly. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021