back to article Microsoft is on the edge: Windows, Office? Naah. Let's talk about cloud, AI

At the Build 2017 developer conference today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella marked a Windows milestone – 500 million monthly active users – and proceeded to say very little about Windows or Office. Instead he, along with Scott Guthrie, EVP of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, and Harry Shum, EVP of Microsoft's Artificial …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft has a bipolar worldview (from the article)?

    Where's Stephen Fry to explain this when we need him?

  2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    "Data available on all your devices, yet dispersed"

    Taking this assertion literally, this means that data posted on one device is instantly available on all your devices, regardless of location.

    Replication is a well-known difficulty with such topologies, historically (and in those days, security of data was less of an issue than it is today). Will the user have any say in how data is replicated? If they are, then straight away that simple assertion becomes horrendously complicated for users to define. If they don't, then how do you know that your data is not stored in, or passes through a land that breaks your commitment to data protection laws in your region? And what happens if part of the "behind-the-scenes" connectivity breaks (which has happened)? How can data be guaranteed to be the latest version and not some old version that has somehow got to your device before the correct version?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Data available on all your devices, yet dispersed"

      No worries, they'll just copy how Apple does it, and you'll be right as rain, me old son. Everything you described is exactly how we already have it on iOS. It's easy to configure, I can control what data (by app) replicates to which device, and they all get updates within an acceptable amount of time, considering the connection types. I can take a picture, and even if quite large, it appears on the pad in just a few minutes, or a bit quicker on the wifi. For docs, those tell you when they are saved, and there is a date stamp. If you can't manage the versions with just that, then add your own to the file name or within the doc. I am pressed to think of where this setup has failed, even in the terms you mention. It works pretty well, and can be completely shut off if you like. You'd only need to backup to a local desk/laptop, then update the lib to other devices using the same system to get the new updated docs/pics/apps/what have you. You'd still have a 4G-LTE connection and charges for that, but you could config all the apps to never use it, and also delete them from the device. There's no secret Apple/U2 police that will silently re-enable them all in the night, and deliver you an unwanted U2 album to send you over the edge! [unintended pun included at no extra charge]

      It's funny to see idiots complain so loudly about some things you could easily abort, retry, or ignore. And in the case of the U2 gift, complain about it taking up space on the device. I had been a early user of their services, so not knowing it, I also got a free U2 album, only I did not get a device that would see it until 2016. When I saw it, I could not remember purchasing it, then I realized what it was and laughed, downloaded it, and enjoy it while real-life-morons still loath it. A bunch of pissed off assholes because they got something for free! Too funny, those muggles! :P

  3. bombastic bob Silver badge

    hyping Azure like its Amway

    beware the market-speak. It's starting to look like you went to a friend's house only to get a presentation on Amway. Or anything similar.

    (from the article)

    "Visual Studio for the Mac reached general availability, offering developers a well-regarded IDE for creating cross-platform apps in C#, among other languages, in conjunction with Xamarin's tooling, .NET Core, and Azure."

    *sigh*. whee. more like 'Embrace Extend Extinguish' for the Mac. And other platforms (like Linux).

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: hyping Azure like its Amway

      And that's an insult to Amway.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Visual Studio for MAC

      ain't a cheap option. AFAIK, it is $1499 per year for the bells and whistles version. An awful big difference to Xcode.

      EEE for MacOs? I don't think so well, not at this price it ain't.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AI what cloud?

    What is AI for the cloud? Reminding me to send an e-mail, or writing and sending the e-mail on my behalf? The 2nd options isn't AI, it's a lack of confidence in ones self or disrespect for the recipient.

    AI is great for making a robot completely independent of humans, to perform human tasks. However, making humans dependent on robots isn't the right direction to travel. Most people who are dependent on robots in any manner do not want to be, especially the more serious a situation becomes.

    Regardless, Microsoft going on about its cloud while dodging any technical difficulties they are currently having, is basically... sweeping it under the cloud.

  5. newman


    when it rains it pours

    No better way to celebrate the Build than with outage. Perfect timing

    1. tfewster

      Re: cloud

      Microsoft: On the edge, and about to take a big step forward.

  6. dan1980

    'He mused about a software-based personal assistant to illustrate his point. "Your personal digital assistant, by definition, will be available on all your devices," he said, to make the case that the centralized computing model, client and server, has become outmoded. Data and devices are dispersed.'

    With the disclaimer that I may be tripping up on semantics, how is that not also a 'client and server' model?

    I mean, the personal assistant on your smart phone sure as hell won't be talking directly - as a 'peer' - to your computer or to your home 'hub'. No, each device will be talking back to the 'cloud', to the point where two devices you own, sat right beside each other and on the same logical network segment, may not be able to communicate with each other if the back-end cloud service is down.

    Some services go even further, storing the configuration settings in on the (cloud) server, such that your client is just a pane of glass - an application that displays settings store elsewhere and allows you to update them - that's almost a terminal.

    Think about a 'smart home' system of the type advertised so frequently in big box brochures. Many of those REQUIRE Internet connectivity for anything but the simplest of tasks. All the devices you own must send requests and commands and inputs to the cloud servers which are then relayed back to the output devices - you ask the server to perform actions on your behalf.

    The fact that the back-end is huge and, potentially, geographically distributed really doesn't change the fact that, so far as the interaction and roles go, your devices are all 'clients' and the cloud system is the 'server'.

    Or have I misunderstood?

    1. P. Lee

      >With the disclaimer that I may be tripping up on semantics, how is that not also a 'client and server' model?

      It is the terminal model. Client server puts logic on the client and data on the server. Endpoints these days just display the data and take user input. You wouldn't have a phone executing SQL queries across the wire(less).

  7. Mage


    Microsoft’s CEO has warned the technology industry against creating a dystopian future, the likes of which have been predicted by authors including George Orwell and Aldous Huxley.

    Satya Nadella kicked off the the company’s 2017 Build conference with a keynote that was as unexpected as it was powerful.

    He told the developers in attendance that they have a huge responsibility, and that the choices they make could have enormous implications.

    Hmm... Telemetry?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Machine Learning Is Not AI, someone please come up with a better acronym. AIIBS?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MLINAI


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