Windows Gets AI Boost and Bing Is ChatGPT’s Search Engine

The focus was on artificial intelligence at Microsoft Build 2023, where the software giant showcased AI enhancements across Windows 11, Microsoft 365, Edge and more. The company also said Bing is now the default search engine for OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot. A Copilot AI button is being integrated into the Windows 11 taskbar, making it the first personal computer operating system to integrate AI assistance to help users seamlessly connect across apps and improve productivity. “For example, you cannot only copy and paste, but also ask Windows Copilot to rewrite, summarize or explain your content,” Microsoft points out. Continue reading Windows Gets AI Boost and Bing Is ChatGPT’s Search Engine

Microsoft Invests $10 Billion in OpenAI, Valued at About $29B

Microsoft is expanding its relationship with OpenAI, entering what it calls “the third phase of our long-term partnership” with a multiyear, multibillion dollar investment to accelerate AI breakthroughs to ensure these benefits are broadly shared with the world.” Although the companies did not disclose financial terms, Microsoft’s investment was previously reported as $10 billion. The New York Times reports OpenAI is also in talks to complete a tender offer for as much as $300 million (contingent on the number of employees selling stock), “which would value the company at around $29 billion.” Continue reading Microsoft Invests $10 Billion in OpenAI, Valued at About $29B

New Microsoft Security Suite Focuses on Cloud, Ransomware

Microsoft put the emphasis on security at Ignite 2022, launching Defender for DevOps and Defender Cloud Security Posture Management in public preview. The two offerings protect software development with runtime security across multicloud and multiple-pipeline environments. The company also touted improved protection tools for Windows and Office, beefing-up anti-ransomware capabilities for Microsoft 365 Defender, which now automatically repels attacks immediately on detection. To combat increasingly pervasive conditions like “tool sprawl” and “alert fatigue,” Microsoft combined six product lines into a single security portfolio. Continue reading New Microsoft Security Suite Focuses on Cloud, Ransomware

AR/VR Meta Quest Pro Targets Productivity Sector for $1,500

Meta Platforms unveiled its anticipated mixed reality headset yesterday at Meta Connect. The $1,500 Quest Pro, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced as “the first in our new line of advanced headsets,” becomes the first full-color AR/VR device to hit the U.S. market on October 25. Although Meta is positioning the Quest Pro as a productivity device, the thrust was that app makers will be encouraged to develop for it. Meta also announced that NBCUniversal content and Microsoft Office, Windows, Teams and Xbox Cloud Gaming are coming to Meta Quest headsets. Continue reading AR/VR Meta Quest Pro Targets Productivity Sector for $1,500

Microsoft Rolls Out Viva Engage for Enterprise Media Sharing

Microsoft is bringing Stories to enterprise through the company’s Viva intranet platform. Described as “a social app for digital communities,” the AI-powered Viva Engage combines popular Yammer features like polling and conversation highlights with new tools including Stories and Storyline, which Microsoft calls “personal expression tools.” The move to combine social video and productivity functions has taken some by surprise, but Microsoft says “building social capital is crucial for organizational success,” noting that its Work Trends Index reveals “43 percent of leaders believe that relationship-building is the greatest challenge of hybrid and remote work.” Continue reading Microsoft Rolls Out Viva Engage for Enterprise Media Sharing

European Union Digital Markets Act Creates Cloud Concerns

Antitrust scrutiny under the European Union’s new Digital Markets Act is causing concern among U.S.-based cloud services providers. Cost-savings for clients who bundle services are not unusual in the cloud sector, and while some clients prefer using multiple cloud vendors, others want to take advantage of discounts. As enterprise continues to shift operations to the cloud, packages from Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Cloud find themselves subject to criticism in what some say is nothing less than a regulatory assault on vertical integration. Continue reading European Union Digital Markets Act Creates Cloud Concerns

Google Workspace Updates Docs with Email, Map Integration

Google continues to add improvements to its Google Docs, adding AI-generated summaries, better email integration and inline Google Maps previews. The company also announced the suite-wide availability of pageless documents, in test mode since May. The update is a further attempt by Google to push against startups like Notion and Coda as well as making its Google Workspace suite more competitive with productivity market leader Microsoft Office and its dominant Microsoft Word. In November, Microsoft announced Loop, a real-time collaborative editing app. With the exception of the email feature, most of the updates will be immediately available. Continue reading Google Workspace Updates Docs with Email, Map Integration

Microsoft Reveals Its New Laptops and Dual-Screen Portable

Microsoft unveiled its fall product line including the Surface Duo 2 folding phone, Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro X that comes in a Wi-Fi only version. The Duo 2 hits the streets October 21 and the others on October 5. The new devices will no doubt get a bounce from Windows 11, announced earlier this month with rollout to begin later this year. The Duo 2’s rear mounted camera with thee lenses is a welcome upgrade. The previous model had one lens and required that the case be opened and folded backward for taking photos. Another big change is the petite Laptop Studio, which has three modes enabled by a hinged case. Continue reading Microsoft Reveals Its New Laptops and Dual-Screen Portable

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

Google and Microsoft End Truce as Ad Tech Battle Heats Up

The five-year truce between Google and Microsoft has broken down. Sources say that neither company is interested in renewing the former alliance. Microsoft wants marketers to have equal access to search engines when they build campaigns with Google technology, but Google believes that, in fact, Microsoft sees it as a threat to Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing and Office productivity businesses. Both companies are now “handing ammo” against each other to regulators, a strategy that might backfire on both of them. Continue reading Google and Microsoft End Truce as Ad Tech Battle Heats Up

Microsoft Introduces Its Viva Suite of Remote Working Tools

Microsoft debuted Viva, a package of tools to enable better employee management including a range of human resources-related software for payroll, tracking employee performance and resources for staff on benefits, career development and other life and work aspects. Chief executive Satya Nadella called the toolset “essential,” adding that “the very best tools and systems” for remote working are crucial in difficult times. During the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft has seen an earnings boom in cloud-computing, laptops and video games.

Continue reading Microsoft Introduces Its Viva Suite of Remote Working Tools

Microsoft Inks Deal with OpenAI for Exclusive GPT-3 License

Microsoft struck a deal with AI startup OpenAI to be the exclusive licensee of language comprehension model GPT-3. According to Microsoft EVP Kevin Scott, the deal is an “incredible opportunity to expand our Azure-powered AI platform in a way that democratizes AI technology.” Among potential uses are “aiding human creativity and ingenuity in areas like writing and composition, describing and summarizing large blocks of long-form data (including code), converting natural language to another language.” Continue reading Microsoft Inks Deal with OpenAI for Exclusive GPT-3 License

Apple Confirms Transition From Intel Chips to Its Own Design

At its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week, Apple revealed that after years of development, it’s ready to replace Intel’s chips with its own custom-made ARM processors. Apple will be able to customize its circuitry for AI, 3D image rendering and other specific uses, with a focus on powerful, energy-efficient processors. The company expects its migration to silicon to take about two years, with its first ARM-based Macs shipping later this year. It will continue to ship Intel-based Macs in the short term and says it plans years of support for Macs with Intel processors. Continue reading Apple Confirms Transition From Intel Chips to Its Own Design

Neeva: A New Search Engine with No Ads or Data Collection

Former Google executive in charge of advertising Sridhar Ramaswamy has launched Neeva, a search engine that will not show ads or collect information about users. At Google, Ramaswamy became disillusioned by how the need for constant growth disadvantaged consumers. He decided to leave shortly after questionable videos featured ads — automatically served by Google’s algorithms — for Deutsche Bank, Amazon, eBay and Adidas. His epiphany was that “an ad-supported model had limitations.”   Continue reading Neeva: A New Search Engine with No Ads or Data Collection