Focus on cloud-services at this year’s Microsoft annual developer conference

Global Business

Tech giant Microsoft is holding its annual developer conference, where it’s showing off its latest technologies. This year, Microsoft’s big focus is cloud services-aiming to make it easier for companies and employees to get work done in innovative ways.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

At Microsoft Build in Seattle, CEO Satya Nadella hit on the message that is now front and center at seemingly every major tech conference – privacy.

“When we think about privacy – privacy as a human right – is as much an engineering design principal, and it is a process issue. Same thing with cybersecurity, same thing with AI ethics. How do you build systems without bias.” said Nadella.

Nadella added that responsibility comes as 95-percent of Fortune 500 companies are running programs on its Microsoft Azure Cloud service. It showed how coffee maker Starbucks is using artificial intelligence and blockchain technology – connected to Azure to learn customers’ preferences and track the history of a product.

“We can see where the coffee beans were grown. Starbucks supports efforts for farmers in those regions, when and where the beans were roasted. Tasting notes and more,” said Microsoft Principal Program Manager, Anita Rao.

Microsoft is making a big play to show its usefulness in the workplace, and that includes providing new tools that work quietly in the background and ones that completely transform meeting spaces. Microsoft showed how its Azure Speech service can transcribe conversations, using AI to learn dense, industry jargon. It also introduced a new framework called FLUID, which allows up to nine people to work on the same document and translate it into nine different languages, simultaneously.

Through its partner Spatial and its new HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality system, online meetings are getting a big dose of interactivity.

“So, can quickly just grab a document off the wall and toss it right on our shared workspace,” said Virtual Amanda.

At a simulated meeting at toy company Mattel, virtual avatar employees mingle with human-bodied employees to work on toy designs. Other people joining the conference remotely can also upload their own files, adding a new dimension to meetings likely never experienced before.