The tools have been released ahead of Microsoft’s software developer conference next week in Seattle..
Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s cloud and artificial intelligence chief said one new service from Microsoft helps online retailers recommend products based on shopping history and can be combined with a retailer’s existing recommendation engine.
“They’re using ours in addition to the existing system they had and seeing some tremendous wins in terms of productivity as part of it. I don’t think it’s going to be necessarily always a winner takes all.”
Microsoft is also releasing tools to let users make artificial intelligence models without having to write the underlying code. Those models can then be “trained” using the business owner’s data in Microsoft’s cloud.
The company is introducing a cloud based blockchain service. The block chain, a ledger for keeping track of transactions among many participants, is used in the financial technology space, and Microsoft said it is working with JP Morgan Chase & Co on the bank’s Quorum offering.
Guthrie said blockchain has other uses, such as the system Microsoft helped Starbucks build to track the coffee as it moves from farms to stores to a customer’s cup.
“That enables them, from a quality control perspective, to dramatically improve the end-to-end supply chain and deliver a better product”, Guthrie said.
Microsoft also said it is releasing a developer edition of its HoloLens 2 headset that was announced earlier this year. The device, which overlays digital information on the real world, will cost $3,500 and is aimed businesses uses like safety training and complex repair work.