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Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Microsoft announces Azure apps for iOS and Android devices

Microsoft announces Azure apps for iOS and Android devices

The software king of the world has lifted the kimono on a range of new features at Build, its annual developer conference mostly with a data theme.

"We're in the business of bringing people to agreement digitally, then helping them honor and deliver on those agreements", Dan Springer, CEO of DocuSign said in a statement.

As part of its Build 2017 announcement tsunami, Microsoft revealed this week that it is improving Windows 10 IoT Core.

First out of the gate is the Azure IoT Edge, a cloud service created to bring and run analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities directly on an Internet of Things (IoT) device. "IoT Edge allows us to be more streamlined in the creation of solutions that suffer from connection disruptions, real-time responses, and complex device management scenarios". Also, Microsoft is offering MySQL and PostgreSQL as managed services to developers in order to give them more choice.

In a keynote featuring Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, Microsoft will focus on Azure cloud services meant for the Internet of Things, in which multiple sensors and smaller computing devices track data that can be analyzed by Microsoft's cloud and AI tools. Because the camera can differentiate among industrial tools and workers, it could be used in a scenario to prevent an unauthorized worker from gaining access to a jackhammer or potentially risky tools, for example.

"Microsoft is trying to use AI for businesses to solve business problems and app developers to make applications better", said Moor Insights and Strategy principal analyst Patrick Moorhead.

The company teased at a new app experience for developers wanting to add functionality to Microsoft Teams, the company's new chat-based Office 365 workspace.

Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Microsoft Data Group, described Azure Cosmos DB as "the industry's first globally-distributed, multi-model database service", in a May 10 blog post.

Putting RDS on notice With the addition of Postgres and MySQL to the platform, Microsoft will have a credible competitor to Amazon's Relational Database Services (RDS), which now supports Postgres, MySQL, MariaDB (a fork of MySQL), Oracle and SQL Server.

Windows Server Containers support in Azure Server Fabric, and a preview of using Docker Compose to deploy containers to Service Fabric.

At the same time, Microsoft is pushing out a bevy of new tools for developers.

The global public cloud services market will be worth $383.3 billion in 2020 as compared to $209 billion, according to Gartner, so the battle between Amazon and Microsoft isn't ending soon.

Microsoft is a client, paid T&E to Build. Google is also a client.

It's another new Azure offering, though, that may see even AWS playing catch-up: Azure Cosmos DB.

Microsoft is typically ranked second behind AWS in terms of the size of its facilities and business, but there is research showing that Microsoft is gaining share against AWS, King noted.

Cloud-computing providers like Microsoft and Amazon often use examples like Black Friday to pitch their services.

One artificial intelligence service uses the company's ability to automatically translate languages to add subtitles to PowerPoint presentations, while another lets customers index video to identify a particular speaker by sight or tag when a word or phrase is uttered, company executives said.

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