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Azure Updates: AI; Cognitive Services; Quantum; Windows Server; Virtual Network Manager

by MSCN Reporter
Staff Writer,
March 13 2023

As Microsoft preps for Azure Open Source Day, product marketing manager Takuto Higuchi highlighted open source capabilities in Azure AI. The company announced the public preview of foundation models for Azure Machine Learning. The new offering promises to reduce manual management to optimize dependencies, new curated environments, and ways to deploy multiple open source repositories like Hugging Face.

Mirroring its emphasis on AI in preparation for Open Source Day, Microsoft announced the public preview of the Florence foundation model for Cognitive Service for Computer Vision which builds on billions of text image pairs to rapidly digitize data for natural language scenarios. Reddit, is among the early adopters of the capability to automatically caption images on its site.

Microsoft has garnered attention over recent years for its quantum computing initiatives. Krysta Svore, distinguished engineer and VP of Advanced Quantum Development at Microsoft informed the community that a new Integrated Hybrid feature is available in Azure Quantum. “[R]esearchers can begin developing hybrid quantum applications with a mix of classical and quantum code together that run on one of today’s quantum machines, Quantinuum, in Azure Quantum…[N]ow developers can build algorithms with adaptive phase estimation that can take advantage of performing classical computation, and iterate and adapt while physical qubits are coherent. Students can start learning algorithms without drawing circuits, and by leveraging high-level programming constructs such as branching based on qubits measurements (if statements), loops (for…), calculations, and function calls,” Svore wrote.

Product marketing manager Patrick Widjaja shared recommendations for securing Windows Server. According to Widjaja, customers should keep an eye out for updates, typically released on Patch Tuesday (the second Tuesday of each month). Windows Admin Center has largely superseded Windows Server Microsoft Management Consoles. Although Microsoft offers 10 years of support for each Windows Server version, customers should be mindful of end of support and planning upgrades. Additionally, Widjaja recommends using cloud-based security tools like Defender for Cloud, Sentinel, Arc, and Defender for Servers.  

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