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Azure Updates: Cognitive Search; IoT Central; Defender for Containers

by MSCN Reporter
Staff Writer,
January 07 2022

As the new year got underway, Microsoft began to ramp up its announcements in conjunction with CES 2022, as well as other product updates. Cognitive Search is now in ungated public preview and customers can turn on Semantic Search in Azure portal. Semantic search capabilities have expanded to new Azure regions, together with billing for semantic search, and Semantic Configurations that allow new index definitions to optimize searches.

Ali Dalloul Vice President Strategy and Commercialization at Microsoft touted the company’s efforts to expand Cognitive Services for the automotive industry. Microsoft is working with XPeng to support AI voice experiences using Azure neural text-to-speech technology. Currently, Microsoft supports 119 languages and 278 voices out of the box, with ways to create custom synthetic voices going forward.

"We are excited to reimagine how speech and voice can improve the lives of drivers. While from a technical point of view, we really want to make this a model that can serve all auto brands and their developers. How can we best optimize the use of synthetic speech to enable a high-fidelity voice experience without compromising sound quality? XPeng is building upon this challenge to provide a voice assistant that customers have been looking for,” stated Azure AI Speech Product Lead Binggong Ding.

Microsoft added support for copying dashboards in IoT Central and boosted the display limit for tiles on the IoT Central Dashboard from 10 to 100 as a way to improve visualizations and analysis.

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