Microsoft Build 2023: Top News, Announcements, and Insights

Microsoft Build 2023 conference, keynote speaker on stage

Microsoft Build 2023 brought announcements that will transform the technology industry as we know it.

AIM’s National Technology Evangelist, Patrick Taylor, and Client Delivery Executive, Chad Keller, share their top five takeaways from attending the event.

Five highlights from Microsoft Build 2023:

  1. Copilot as a Platform
  2. Integration of Bing into ChatGPT
  3. Launch of a new Copilot Stack with improved extensibility
  4. Azure AI Studio
  5. Unveiling of Microsoft Fabric

Copilot as a Platform

Microsoft is bringing its AI-powered assistant, Copilot, to the Windows ecosystem as a fully-fledged platform. Copilot can be implemented into Windows applications, Office 365 solutions, and Azure services by building on the platform ecosystem launching this summer. This gives the opportunity for developers to easily build highly customizable insights into applications and services.

The introduction of Windows Copilot makes Windows 11 the first PC platform to announce centralized AI assistance to help users easily and quickly accomplish tasks. This empowers every Windows 11 developer to be an AI developer.

The launch of Windows Copilot as a fundamental platform that copilots can be built on makes it clear that Microsoft is expecting and enabling AI in everything. It’s a platform that touches everything, from the developer to end user implications, meaning it has the potential to impact everyone’s work.

I thought I was excited about the future of Microsoft technology, but after Microsoft Build 2023 I am simply thrilled. There were impressive new developments in Azure services and new ground continues to be broken in nuts-and-bolts technology. But the big moves taking place are in Copilot. Microsoft is looking at Copilot as a platform that will enable everyone to create rich AI experiences. This strategy is way ahead of any other player in technology today.

The opportunity for AI to be included in absolutely every experience and customized for specific uses will usher in a new era in how technology can improve our lives.

Patrick Taylor
National Technology Evangelist, AIM Consulting

Integration of Bing into ChatGPT

Another significant moment at Microsoft Build 2023 was the announcement of Bing as ChatGPT’s default for web browsing. Because OpenAI’s chatbot uses a large language model (LLM) built on pre-trained data from before September 2021, it’s not always reliable at providing answers about more current topics and events.

“ChatGPT will now have a world-class search engine built in to provide timelier and more up-to-date answers with access from the web,” said Microsoft’s Corporate VP and Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, Yusuf Mehdi, in the announcement.

AI chatbots, like Google’s Bard, that are powered by LLMs have come under fire in recent months for their sometimes inaccurate and unreliable answers. The integration of Bing into ChatGPT promises to alleviate those concerns by retrieving real-time information and including web data and citations.

This marks a significant move towards addressing one of the greatest hindrances in the adoption of Generative AI platforms – an increase in answer accuracy could very well increase the widespread use of and reliance on ChatGPT.

Bing-powered responses are live in ChatGPT today for ChatGPT plus subscribers and will be available as a plugin option for non-subscribers.

Launch of a new Copilot Stack with improved extensibility

Microsoft announced a new Copilot Stack with improved extensibility, which is essentially an AI development framework that supports developers in building their own copilots. During the conference, Microsoft’s cloud/AI chief, Scott Guthrie, described Copilot Stack as “the actuators of the digital world.”

Microsoft made it clear that they expect the new AI development platform to drastically expand the realm of possibilities in software and application developments. With this, we can expect powerful, innovative, disruptive applications to be built with the Copilot Stack.

Azure AI Studio

Expanding on the emphasis on Copilots, Microsoft is also empowering companies and developers to build their own AI-powered “copilots” using tools and Azure and machine learning models from its partner (and ChatGPT creator) OpenAI.

Azure AI Studio lets developers combine a model like ChatGPT with their own data to build a chat assistant that “reasons over” the private data while still keeping that data secure and private.

Many companies are concerned about employees inputting their private data into platforms like ChatGPT. The introduction of Azure AI Studio addresses those concerns, enabling users to remain in compliance with organizational policies and government regulations while leveraging the power of AI-powered copilots.

Unveiling of Microsoft Fabric

Microsoft also made the groundbreaking announcement of unveiling Microsoft “Fabric,” a new end-to-end data and analytics platform. This marks one of the biggest data product announcements from the software giant since SQL server.

Fabric is designed to pull data from Microsoft’s OneLake data lake, Amazon S3, and even Google Cloud in the near future. It includes an AI Copilot, allowing users to easily leverage natural language processing (NLP) to analyze and derive insights from their data.

This announcement marks Microsoft moving away from its historic proprietary data formats into open data formats in an effort to reduce enterprises’ concerns and risks of lock in.

The Impact of Microsoft Build

At AIM’s office, we held streaming parties to watch key sessions from the conference, including “Automated Compliance Testing Tools for Microsoft 365 Apps” and “Harness the power of AI: Extend Copilot and beyond.”

We had dozens of team members supporting and participating in these sessions, streaming both in-office and from home and gaining exciting insights into the direction Microsoft is heading in.

Our boots on the ground, Patrick and Chad, were thrilled by the announcements and sessions at Build this year. They feel that the announcement of Copilot is as significant of an event as the original Microsoft Windows launch.

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