News Roundup from Microsoft Ignite

By David Smith

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

It’s been a big day for the team here at Microsoft, with a flurry of announcements from the Ignite conference in Orlando. We’ll provide more in-depth details in the coming days and weeks, but for now here’s a brief roundup of the news related to data science:

Microsoft ML Server 9.2 is now available. This is the new name for what used to be called Microsoft R Server, and now also includes support for operationalizing the Python language as well as R. This 2-minute video explains how to deploy models with ML Server (and with this release, real-time scoring is now also supported Linux as well). Microsoft R Client 3.4.1, featuring R 3.4.1, was also released today and provides desktop capabilities for R developers with the ability to deploy computations to a production ML Server.

The next generation of Azure Machine Learning is now available. This new service includes the AML Workbench, a cross-platform client for AI-powered data wrangling and experiment management; the AML Experimentation service to help data scientists increase their rate of experimentation with big data and GPUs, and the AML Model Management service to host, version, manage and monitor machine learning models. This TechCrunch article provides an overview.

SQL Server 2017 is now generally available, bringing support for in-database R and Python to both Windows and Linux.

Azure SQL Database now supports real-time scoring for R and Python, and a preview of general in-database R services is now available as well.

Microsoft Cognitive Services offers new intelligent APIs for developing AI applications, including general availability of the text analytics API for topic extraction, language detection and sentiment analysis.

Visual Studio Code for AI, an extension for the popular open-source code editor, provides new interfaces for developing with Tensorflow, Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK), Azure ML and more.

Finally, Microsoft announced a new high-level language for quantum computing to be integrated with Visual Studio, and a simulator for quantum computers up to 32 qubits. This 2-minute video provides an overview of Microsoft’s vision for Quantum Computing.

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