But now Microsoft with Azure Blockchain Service, is offering an essentially fully-managed blockchain service that seeks to simplify the "formation, management, and governance of consortium blockchain networks". Microsoft is adding a new category of service that it's calling "Decision".
New MLOPs improvements with Azure DevOps integration to help developers better reproduce, audit, and automate the end-to-end machine learning lifecycle.
Like blockchain, Azure has had AI tools for a number of years now, but now it is hoping to make AI "real" for every developer and business with Azure AI. Microsoft has taken this further with a new Azure Blockchain Service that will allow businesses to focus on workflow logic and app development.
Azure Search will also obtain new AI capabilities, via a cognitive search capability that uses Cognitive Services algorithms to extract insights from structured and unstructured content. The recently announced Anomaly Detector is also in the Decision category of Azure Cognitive Services. The category groups together Azure's Content Moderator and Anomaly Detector services, as well as a new service called Personalizer, which is now in preview. These include automation, a visual, drag-and-drop machine learning interface for creating models without any code, and improved support for Nvidia's TensorRT and Intel nGraph for hardware-accelerated machine learning models. "IoT Plug and Play will offer customers a large ecosystem of partner-certified devices that can connect quickly".
Microsoft disclosed that more than 1.3 million developers use Azure Cognitive Services to integrate AI into their applications.
The biggest advantage of the new tools are the coding benefits; with synthetic inputs, users can make artificial intelligence models without writing underlying code and the models can be "trained" using the business owner's data on the cloud.
Azure's blockchain dev kit is available here, and a preview version of Azure Blockchain Service is expected to be released momentarily.
Microsoft's annual developer conference kicks off on Monday, and the company will no doubt have all manner of things to announce for Azure and, if we're lucky, Windows.