Microsoft Build: Top five key takeaways from annual developers' conference

The company is banking on AI to attract more customers and boost market share

The company has launched Microsoft Fabric to help businesses with data analytics. Getty
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Technology company Microsoft has announced a series of new artificial intelligence-focused products and services at its developers’ conference Microsoft Build.

The company made several announcements on how it is expanding the use of AI across its apps and businesses, and using it to solve challenges in various developing economies.

Here, The National looks at five major takeaways from the event.

Adding Bing experience to ChatGPT

Microsoft has integrated its web search engine Bing with Open AI’s generative AI tool ChatGPT.

Now, ChatGPT responses will be supported by search and web data, and also include citations from reliable sources. Initially, the new service will be available for ChatGPT Plus subscribers and will be available to free users soon, the company said.

Launched in 2009, Bing trailed Google in users’ uptake for years but gained popularity in February when Microsoft announced it was adding generative AI technology.

Bing users have since engaged in more than half a billion chats, created more than 200 million images with Bing image creator and daily downloads of the Bing mobile app have increased almost eight times.

Microsoft Fabric – an end-to-end analytics product

To help enterprises with data analytics, the company has launched Microsoft Fabric.

It is an end-to-end, unified analytics platform that brings together all the data and tools that businesses need. It will help professionals to “unlock the potential of their data and lay the foundation for the era of AI”, Microsoft said.

In the coming weeks, it will also provide real-time detection and monitoring of data and can trigger notifications and actions when it finds specified patterns in data.

Bringing the power of AI to Windows 11

Microsoft has announced Windows Copilot, making Windows 11 the first PC platform to have centralised AI assistance to help users act and get things done. For example, if a user is planning a trip to London, they can ask Windows Copilot to find flights and accommodation.

“You can focus on bringing your ideas to life, completing complex projects and collaborating instead of spending energy finding, launching and working across multiple applications,” said Panos Panay, chief product officer for windows and devices at Microsoft.

Users can ask Windows Copilot, which will be available from next month, a range of questions from the simple to the complex.

AI-generated review summary

The company’s new feature will summarise customer reviews and provide a summary highlighting the top-line details of apps and products in Microsoft Store.

“We know customers use the Microsoft Store to view and gather community feedback when considering and choosing new apps and games,” said Giorgio Sardo, general manager of Microsoft Store. "However, especially with popular apps that have thousands of reviews, sifting through each one can take time."

Helping users access government services in English

Microsoft’s new generative AI-driven chatbot Jugalbandi aims to help users to access various government services on mobile devices in the English language. This is particularly useful for users who don’t understand English.

It can understand questions in a number of languages, whether spoken or typed. It retrieves information on relevant programmes – usually written in English – and relays it back to users in their first language.

Accessed through the mobile messaging system WhatsApp, Jugalbandi AI assistant is powered by language models from AI4Bharat, an Indian government-backed project, and technology models from Microsoft.

Targeting India's market, the name Jugalbandi refers to a duet between two musicians in Indian classical music.

Updated: May 24, 2023, 3:04 PM