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At Build 2016, Microsoft Moves Cloud-Based Intelligence to the Fore

by Jason Gumpert

Cortana Intelligence Suite

Microsoft has rebranded the Cortana Analytics Suite as Cortana Intelligence Suite and has announced new additions to it in preview - Microsoft Bot Framework and Microsoft Cognitive Services. The announcements were made at Build 2016 developer conference in San Francisco.

The Microsoft Bot Framework give developers new tools to build intelligent bots that are designed to chat with people using natural language on a wide variety of platforms including text/SMS, Office 365, Skype, Slack, the Web and more. Microsoft Cognitive Services is, as Microsoft describes it "a collection of intelligence APIs that allows systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret our needs using natural methods of communication."

Cortana Intelligence Suite retains the existing services that cover all elements of Microsoft's Azure-based analytics, visualization, data management, machine learning, information management, and, yes, intelligence offerings. The name also aligns slightly better in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM space, where the term "systems of intelligence" had referred to systems built using tools from the Suite to provide intelligent suggestions, guidance, forecasts, and natural language interaction.

Microsoft is also extending its bot vision to Skype with the release of the Skype Bot Platform. The move introduces bots that work in the context of a person's interactions, whether personal (conversations with friends) or commercial (finding and booking a hotel in the area where you plan to visit).

In demos at the Build 2016 keynote, Microsoft focused on the opportunities for new business-to-consumer bots. One demo showed off a Skype bot built by a hotel chain that could ...

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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