Microsoft Build 2023: AI Redefines Software Development and Future of Work

Microsoft Build 2023: AI Redefines Software Development and Future of Work

May 24, 2023, Hong Kong Microsoft Build 2023, Microsoft’s annual flagship event for developers, showcased how AI is evolving and revolutionizing the way people work, communicate, and collaborate. Microsoft announced over 50 new products and features at the event, empowering developers to seize the opportunities brought by the latest shift in the technology space and innovate further.

Exploring the new era of AI with Copilots and Plugin

2023 has been a landmark year for the industry to accelerate AI development with Microsoft’s extended partnership with Open AI, the launch of enterprise capabilities of Azure OpenAI, and Copilots across Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform. A copilot uses large language models (LLMs) to assist people with complex tasks. It represents both a new paradigm in AI-powered software and a profound shift in the way that software is built – from imagining new product scenario, to the user experience, the architecture, the services that it uses and how to think about safety and security.

Plugins are tools that augment the capabilities of AI systems, enabling them to interact with application programming interfaces (APIs) from other software and services to retrieve real-time information, incorporate company and other business data, perform new types of computations, and thereby provide users with various, efficient, and accurate generative AI service.

Microsoft announced that it will adopt the same open Plugin standard that OpenAI introduced for ChatGPT, guaranteeing interoperability across ChatGPT and the breadth of Microsoft’s copilot offerings. Developers can now use one platform to build plugins that work across both consumer and business surfaces, including ChatGPT, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Dynamics 365 Copilot. If users develop their own AI application using Azure OpenAI Service, it will, by default, be interoperable with the same plugin standard. This means developers can build experiences that enable people to interact with their apps using the most natural user interface: the human language.

It also announced that developers can now integrate their apps and services into Microsoft 365 Copilot with plugins, including ChatGPT, Teams message extension, and Power Platform connectors. Developers are enabled to leverage their existing investment or build new plugins for Microsoft 365 Copilot with the Microsoft Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio. They can also extend Microsoft Copilot by bringing their data into the Microsoft Graph, contextualizing relevant and actionable information with the new Semantic Index for Copilot. More than 50 plugins from partners will be available for customers as part of the early access program, including Atlassian, Adobe, ServiceNow, Thomson Reuters, Moveworks, and Mural, with thousands more available by the general availability of Microsoft 365 Copilot.

 Microsoft 365 Copilot Plugin[Photo 1]: Microsoft Copilot Plugin

The public preview of Copilot in Power Pages and Copilot in Power BI was announced to bring powerful natural language authoring to website development and data insights. Private preview of generative actions in Power Virtual Agent will also be commenced for enhanced bot building experiences, and even more customization in Power Automate.

New Azure AI tooling to help developers build, operationalize and responsibly deploy next-generation AI apps

More than 4,500 Microsoft’s customers are now using Azure OpenAI Service, which brings together advanced models including ChatGPT and GPT-4, with the enterprise capabilities of Azure. As Microsoft continues to integrate generative AI into first-party products and services, more developers are enabled to build their own generation of AI applications.

At Build, a series of new AI tools for developers was announced to accelerate digital transformation, which include: Azure AI studio which integrates external data sources into Azure OpenAI Service to train interaction models; Azure Machine Learning prompt flow that allows developers to construct prompts easier while taking advantage of popular open-source prompt orchestration solutions like Semantic Kernel.   Azure AI Content Safety (preview) helps businesses create safer online environments and communities with models that are designed to detect inappropriate content across images and text. The models assign a severity score to flagged content, indicating to human moderators what content requires urgent action.

Introducing Microsoft Fabric, a new unified platform for analytics

Today’s world is awash with data, constantly streaming from the devices we use, the applications we build and the interactions we have. And now, as we enter a new era defined by AI, this data is becoming even more important. It is imperative to have a constant supply of clean data from a well-managed and highly integrated analytics system in order to power organization-specific AI experiences.

Microsoft Fabric is a new unified platform for analytics that includes data engineering, data integration, data warehousing, data science, real-time analytics, applied observability and business intelligence, all connected to a single data repository called OneLake. It enables customers of all technical levels to experience capabilities in a single, unified experience. It is infused with Azure OpenAI Service at every layer to help customers unlock the full potential of their data, enabling developers to leverage the power of generative AI to find insights in their data. With Copilot in Microsoft Fabric in every data experience, customers can use conversational language to create dataflows and data pipelines, generate code and entire functions, build machine learning models or visualize results. Customers can even create their own conversational language experiences that combine Azure OpenAI Service models and their data and publish them as plugins.

Microsoft Fabric[Photo 2]: Introducing Microsoft Fabric, a new unified platform for analytics

New capabilities for Microsoft Dev Box

Microsoft Dev Box, an Azure service that gives developer access to ready-to-code, project-specific dev boxes that are preconfigured and centrally managed, will begin general availability in July 2023. During preview, Microsoft has migrated more than 9,000 developers internally to the service for day-to-day software development and received much feedback from customers experimenting with Dev Box. Additional features and capabilities were added to enhance dev experience and productivity, including customization using configuration-as-code and new starter developer images in Azure Marketplace that provide dev teams with ready-to-use images that can be customized further for specific dev team needs. Additionally, developers can now manage custom environment from a specialized developer portal, Azure Deployment Environments.

GitHub Advanced Security for Azure DevOps is now available for public preview, bringing the same industry leading developer security capabilities as GitHub Advanced Security to Azure DevOps, integrated directly into Azure Repos and Azure Pipelines. This includes the same secret scanning, dependency scanning, and CodeQL code scanning capabilities available within GitHub Enterprise.

Unlock new interaction models on PC with Windows

Windows Copilot is the first centralized AI assistance on PC platform. Together with first- and third-party plugins, users can focus on bringing their ideas to life, completing complex projects and collaborating instead of spending energy finding, launching and working across multiple applications. Invoking Windows Copilot is familiar and easy – the button is front and center on your taskbar – simple to find and use. The thing you love about Windows – copy/ paste, Snap Assist, Snipping Tool, personalization – they only get better with Windows Copilot. A preview of Windows Copilot will start to become available for Windows 11 in June 2023.

Windows Copilot[Photo 3]: Windows Copilot

Dev Home is launched in preview as a new Windows experience developers can get from the Microsoft Store, which makes it easy to connect to GitHub and configure cloud development environments like Microsoft Dev Box and GitHub Codespaces. It is open source and fully extensible, enabling developers to enhance their experience with a customizable dashboard and the tools they need to be successful.

Microsoft is also adding support for plugins in Microsoft 365 Copilot to Microsoft Edge, with new look and feel drew from the modern elegance of Window 11. Microsoft Edge for Business was announced with the rich set of enterprise controls, security, and productivity features to help meet the evolving security landscape while empowering users to work effectively. Microsoft Edge for Business is in preview today on managed devices, and also coming to unmanaged devices in the coming months.

To learn the latest news announced at Build 2023, please visit the official event website to watch highlight and keynote videos.


About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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