Microsoft, Nvidia Partner on Azure-Hosted AI Supercomputer

Microsoft has entered into a multi-year deal with Nvidia to build what they’re calling “one of the world’s most advanced supercomputers,” powered by Microsoft Azure’s advanced supercomputing infrastructure combined with Nvidia GPUs, networking and full stack of AI software to help enterprises train, deploy and scale AI, including large, state-of-the-art models. “AI is fueling the next wave of automation across enterprises and industrial computing, enabling organizations to do more with less as they navigate economic uncertainties,” Microsoft cloud and AI group executive VP Scott Guthrie said of the alliance. Continue reading Microsoft, Nvidia Partner on Azure-Hosted AI Supercomputer

Microsoft Integrates DALL-E 2 into Designer and Creator Apps

Microsoft announced it is integrating OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 into its new Microsoft Designer app, as well as its Microsoft Edge browser and the Image Creator tool in its Bing search engine. Microsoft provides cloud computing services to OpenAI and has partnered with OpenAI in AI commercialization efforts including the Azure OpenAI Service, now in preview, and GitHub Copilot. The Designer web app can be used to create designs for posters, presentations, invitations and other graphics that can be printed and used for display or shared on social or business media. Continue reading Microsoft Integrates DALL-E 2 into Designer and Creator Apps

D-ID Creative Reality Studio Helps Users Make DIY AI Videos

Artificial intelligence company D-ID has launched a new presentation platform that can generate video from a single image and text. Creative Reality Studio offers from among 270 voices and 119 languages that users can pair with one of the company’s original avatar creations or an uploaded photo. The product is aimed at markets including education, the metaverse, advertising and sales. The company is offering a limited free 14-day trial, after which users would be required to switch to a $49 per month Pro subscription or higher-end Enterprise plan (pricing available on request). Continue reading D-ID Creative Reality Studio Helps Users Make DIY AI Videos

Netflix Cutting Costs in Areas Such as Cloud, Staffing, Perks

Netflix, which said it lost almost one million subscribers in Q2, has been aggressively cutting costs, implementing a variety of measures that range from scaling back its real estate footprint to trimming cloud computing. While the streaming giant says the cuts have not significantly impacted content spending, it has laid off more than 400 employees in 2022 and has begun hiring more junior staff, according to reports. Macroeconomic trends have made belt-tightening common across the industry, but at Netflix it stands in stark contrast to years of explosive growth and free spending. Continue reading Netflix Cutting Costs in Areas Such as Cloud, Staffing, Perks

Microsoft Rolls Out Ampere-Powered ARM-Based Azure VMs

Microsoft’s new Azure Virtual Machines, featuring Ampere Altra ARM–based processors, will be generally available on September 1, debuting in 10 Azure regions and multiple availability zones worldwide. Microsoft says the VMs can also be included in Kubernetes clusters managed using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Engineered to efficiently run scale-out, cloud-native workloads, Microsoft says that since the technology began previewing earlier this year hundreds of customers have tested the ARM-powered VMs “for web and application servers, open-source databases, microservices, Java and .NET applications, gaming, media servers and more.” Continue reading Microsoft Rolls Out Ampere-Powered ARM-Based Azure VMs

Tech Firms Seek Energy Alternatives to Power Data Centers

Hotter temperatures are not only wreaking havoc on residential electric bills and power grids, but also on data centers, which are looking for reliable green backup power to prepare for “the new normal” and keep our planet’s collective knowledge accessible online through record heat. Cooling system failures resulting from the UK’s July heatwave resulted in Google Cloud’s London data centers going offline for a day, creating a ripple effect for customers as far off as the U.S. and in the Pacific region. Oracle’s London cloud-based data center was also impacted by what the company called “unseasonal temperatures.” Continue reading Tech Firms Seek Energy Alternatives to Power Data Centers

Oracle, Microsoft Partner on Multi-Cloud Database Services

Thousands of customers have built data platforms using a combination of Microsoft and Oracle technology over the years. Now, the duo is deepening the relationship with the rollout of Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure. The new offering lets Microsoft Azure customers access and monitor enterprise-grade Oracle Database services in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with a friendly user interface. Those creating new Azure installations or working within existing configurations can migrate or connect to high-performance Oracle Database services such as Autonomous Database running on OCI. Continue reading Oracle, Microsoft Partner on Multi-Cloud Database Services

AWS, Microsoft, Google Likely to Continue Cloud Domination

The global cloud storage market is white hot, and the big keep getting bigger while indies lose ground, according to a study by Synergy Research Group that says the top three companies — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google — account for 65 percent of what was in the first quarter of 2022 assessed as a $53 billion worldwide market. That’s up from a combined 52 percent of worldwide sales four years ago, Synergy notes, explaining the trio’s slice of this rapidly growing market is expected to expand as their efficiencies of size make them better equipped to continue investing and wooing new clients.  Continue reading AWS, Microsoft, Google Likely to Continue Cloud Domination

Lifted by Cloud, Microsoft Sales Jump 20 Percent for Quarter

Microsoft ended Q2 for fiscal year 2022 on a high note, with sales up 20 percent to $51.7 billion, and net income rising 21 percent to $18.8 billion, beating analysts’ predictions. Cloud revenue grew 32 percent year-over-year, hitting $22.1 billion. Revenue in Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud business was $18.3 billion, a 26 percent jump propelled largely by a basically flat 46 percent increase from Azure and cloud services. “Digital technology is the most malleable resource at the world’s disposal to overcome constraints and reimagine everyday work and life,” Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said in the earnings release. Continue reading Lifted by Cloud, Microsoft Sales Jump 20 Percent for Quarter

Google Ad Growth Propels Alphabet to $65.12 Billion Quarter

Alphabet’s third quarter earnings saw revenue hit $65.12 billion, a 41 percent increase characterized as the company’s largest quarterly gain in 14 years. Profit of $21.03 billion is a nearly 300 percent increase over profits reported prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights include 43 percent growth in Google’s advertising sales business — across Search, Maps and YouTube — for a total of $53.13 billion. YouTube “recently surpassed 50 million Music and Premium subscribers, including those in trial,” Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said on the Q3 conference call. Continue reading Google Ad Growth Propels Alphabet to $65.12 Billion Quarter

Microsoft’s 22 Percent Q1 Growth Outperforms Expectations

Propelled by Azure cloud services, Microsoft reported $45.3 billion in revenue for its first quarter 2022, ending up 22 percent year-over-year for the period ending September 30. “We delivered a strong start to the fiscal year with our Microsoft Cloud generating $20.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 36 percent [YOY]”, Microsoft executive vice president and chief financial officer Amy Hood said regarding the announcement. Describing digital technology as “a deflationary force in an inflationary economy,” Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella opined that businesses, small and large, can improve productivity and affordability “by building tech intensity.” Continue reading Microsoft’s 22 Percent Q1 Growth Outperforms Expectations

USC Students Compete in Second ETC Metaverse Challenge

University of Southern California students were invited to participate in the second of two scheduled Metaverse Experience Challenges, hosted by ETC@USC. Making use of current and emerging tools, students were tasked with developing original ideas for compelling metaverse experiences. Ten teams started work at 1:00 pm on Friday, October 8 and presented their ideas to judges from Epic Games, Universal Pictures, Disney Studios, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 9. Each member of the winning teams — MetaversEdu and MetaMall — received a Nintendo Switch “Fortnite” Edition, courtesy of Epic Games. Continue reading USC Students Compete in Second ETC Metaverse Challenge

Google Debuts Enterprise IoT Essentials, New Analytics Apps

Google Intelligent Products Essentials is a new integrated solution designed to help enterprise clients quickly get hardware products online with a distributed Internet of Things. Intelligent Products Essentials aggregates critical components to launch distributed IoT and edge computing solutions. Essentially turn-key, Essentials does require a third-party system integrator to implement the system. As with other new offerings unveiled this week at the Google Cloud Next virtual event, Essentials is underpinned by analytics tools and designed to help organizations mine value from data for new and existing products. Continue reading Google Debuts Enterprise IoT Essentials, New Analytics Apps

Microsoft’s Windows 11 to Launch Oct. 5 as a Free Upgrade

Microsoft will begin its Windows 11 rollout October 5, marking the Seattle-based software giant’s first major operating system release in six years. In addition to AI-powered widgets, Windows 11 upgrades include cloud-based synchronization across multiple devices that allows easy access to recently viewed files, an improved desktop that uses Snap Layouts and Snap Groups to maximize multitasking and taskbar integration of chat in Microsoft Teams, Windows’ in-app videoconferencing, and enhanced sound and design. Continue reading Microsoft’s Windows 11 to Launch Oct. 5 as a Free Upgrade

Azure Drives Impressive Quarterly Sales, Profits for Microsoft

Microsoft experienced a successful quarter, due in large part to significant growth in Azure cloud services. The company reported overall Q4 sales of $46.2 billion, up about 21 percent year-over-year, for a $16.5 billion profit, an increase of 47 percent year-over-year. Similar to other Big Tech companies, Microsoft’s numbers exceeded Wall Street expectations. According to chief financial officer Amy Hood, Microsoft expects overall sales of $44.2 billion for the current quarter. Microsoft’s stock is currently up 40 percent over the last year, and its valuation is now $2+ trillion, second only to its rival Apple. Continue reading Azure Drives Impressive Quarterly Sales, Profits for Microsoft