As well as highlighting the growth of its cloud services in the UK - there are now around 1,000 customers of its recently launched facilities - Nadella's keynote focused on how cloud, and more specifically, artificial intelligence will support the next wave of innovation for businesses which have become accustomed to the basics of cloud computing as infrastructure. The vendor is clearly targeting the developers will create these applications with a range of tools across its product range. It is an intriguing vision.
However, the challenge for Microsoft is that it is not the only game in town. At the Cloud Next event in San Francisco, Google made very similar noises in a bid to appeal to new customers, but also Microsoft's core audience, more established businesses. AWS is also targeting developers with its Machine Learning predictive analytics, while IBM has invested heavily in its Watson platform.
Ultimately it will be customers that benefit, and it will be interesting to see the results as more and more businesses get to grips with the possibilities of machine learning within their operations.
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