Microsoft Inspire 2018: Satya Nadella’s shares vision for partners

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Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella sets out the vision and Microsoft prioritise before the gathered partners during his Inspire keynote address on Wednesday.

While addressing 16,000 partners gathered at the conference in Las Vegas, he informed, “Today is a momentous milestone for us, bringing together these two communities, Inspire and Ready, because that’s how our customers see us, as one. And to be able to kick off our fiscal year is something that I think is going to really mark a real difference in how we as this tech community are going to serve our customers going forward.”

Nadella said, “We’ve had an amazing year. The success that this ecosystem has had is just enormous.”

As per Microsoft chief, “As a percentage of world GDP tech spend today is at around 5 percent. It’s expected to double by 2030. Now the real question is what about the other 95 percent, that other 90 percent, because all of the COGS of the world, all of the operating expense of the world is going to be powered by digital technology. That also means that we have a tremendous responsibility with all this opportunity, we have to do our very best work when it comes to privacy because as technology and digital technology becomes pervasive in our lives, we have to approach everything with the fundamental assumption that privacy is a human right.”

The scale of Azure with its 54 data center regions, as you know for each region we have multiple data centers. The amount of interconnect cable we have across Azure Data Centers is enough to go to the moon and back three times over. We process millions of network transactions. So the scale is just enormous.

Talking about the underwater data center, he informs, “Since 80 percent of the world’s population lives around the sea coast, you can now start envisioning a world where you can start bringing compute power close to all the population centers as needed. So we’re very excited about pushing even what is the conventional wisdom of what is a data center. Now, of course, computing needs will go far beyond the data center. So Project Natick is essentially a data center, by the way, the most interesting part of this that I love is from start to finish you can get a data center built in 90 days.”

The next focus for Microsoft is taking Azure to Azure Stack, to Azure IoT Edge, to Azure Sphere. This is that one ubiquitous distributed computing fabric. One programming model that is event-driven, serverless, so you can write an application that truly works across all of this.

Microsoft has been working on fundamental AI breakthroughs for 20-plus years, 20-plus years ago is when Bill started Microsoft Research. And, in fact, just in the last couple of years, some of the advances, especially as measured by our ability to have human parity in a lot of these perception and language capabilities is pretty stunning. And it’s happening because of the ability to provision lots of compute capability, to have lots of data, and these new techniques of algorithm promise around deep neural net in particular.

Nadella also cited examples of digital transformation at Walmart, Vulcan Steel and Case Western Reserve and many more.

“it’s not about celebrating these breakthroughs from Microsoft Research. Our collective objective is to take these breakthroughs and democratize them with the tooling we create, with the expertise and the skill set and the skill set and the services that you provide. For us to be able to turn every industry into an AI-first industry, whether it’s retail or healthcare or agriculture, we want to be able to make sure that they can take their data, in a security-privacy preserving way, convert that into AI capability that they get the return on. That’s really the objective,” he said.

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