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Microsoft launches Azure for AI and blockchain

(Image credit: Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock)

Software makers should have an easier time bringing blockchain and artificial intelligence to the masses, thanks to new offerings from Microsoft.

This Thursday, ahead of its software developer conference next week in Seattle, the company announced Azure cloud services to help online retailers recommend products based on shopping history.

This can also be combined with a retailer’s current recommendation engine, it was said.

“They’re using ours in addition to the existing system they had and seeing some tremendous wins in terms of productivity as part of it,” said. Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Microsoft Cloud and AI Group.

“I don’t think it’s going to be necessarily always a winner takes all.”

The next offering allows software makers to build AI models without the need to code. The models can be trained using customer data stored in the Microsoft cloud.

On top of that, there’s the cloud-based blockchain service, something Microsoft built with JP Morgan Chase & Co. Microsoft says there are many uses for blockchain that need to be explored.

“It’s an incredible time to be a developer. From building AI and mixed reality into apps to leveraging blockchain for solving commercial business problems, developers’ skillsets and impact are growing rapidly,” said Guthrie. 

“Today we’re delivering innovative Azure services for developers to build the next generation of apps. With 95 per cent of Fortune 500 customers running on Azure, these innovations can have far-reaching impact.”

Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock