I do not recall any Microsoft Build keynote that focused so much on a single topic as I saw this year.

The Day 1 keynote focused almost exclusively on Artificial Intelligence (AI) products, services, and innovations from Microsoft.

Here are the things that stood out to me during this 2+ hour presentation.

Satya began by revealing that Microsoft has 50 new announcements this week, and he would discuss five of them now. The five were:

  • Bring Bing to ChatGPT
  • Windows Copilot
  • Copilot stack
  • Azure AI Studio
  • Microsoft Fabric

He did not say so but suggested that these were the most significant announcements. He and others dove deeper into each of them throughout the keynote.

Microsoft has released and announced several products under the name "Copilot." Each product uses artificial intelligence to enhance a technology stack, such as GitHub, Teams, or Dynamics. These products provide a conversational interface to assist with common tasks within the application. The team devoted much of the keynote to improvements in these.

Each Copilot technology will have a consistent orchestration model, making it easier to do things like build plug-ins for multiple Copilot services

Satya announced Copilot for Windows. This technology adds a prompt to the Windows taskbar, allowing you to use AI to enhance many of your running applications.

GitHub Copilot has been around for a few years, but Scott Guthrie and Thomas Dohmke announced the private preview of Copilot X that adds a chat prompt to Visual Studio Code, allowing you to interact with AI using text. You can use natural language (such as English) to ask Copilot to explain, write, or improve code or to write unit tests.

Seth Juarez gave a demonstration of Prompt Flow - a tool that allows you to develop end-to-end AI systems using large language models. It will enable you to input your own model data and control each step's input, output, and validation.

Sara Bird showed off the Azure AI Content Safety Service that reviews input data and provides ratings based on categories of violence, self-harm, sexual, and hate speech. You can use this to filter out content you deem inappropriate. This tool can even be plugged into Prompt Flow.

For those concerned about privacy, Satya announced that each Azure OpenAI instance is isolated from other customers to improve privacy and increase trust.

Microsoft Fabric is now in public preview. Fabric is a service that integrates tools and data from multiple sources.

Here are a few other announcements of note

  • Azure data centers feature "Infiniband" cables, which no other cloud provider has. These allow for the highest network bandwidth available.
  • Microsoft plans to add 120 new data centers in 2023
  • Azure has added supercomputers to some data centers. These are designed for AI processing and model building.
  • Microsoft Azure will soon offer Nvidia Omniverse Cloud, which allows developers to design, build, and test industrial metaverse apps.

Guthrie concluded the keynote by reiterating Microsoft's commitment to being carbon negative by 2030. He added that Microsoft is committed to removing all carbon they have emitted since its 1975 founding by the year 2050 - something I had not yet heard.

The most exciting feature for me is Copilot X. I signed up for the preview and am waiting to hear if I got in.

A message repeated over and over: these tools are exciting, but the real excitement will be when developers use them to build something amazing!

Please note that this post is not an official announcement from Microsoft. These are the things I heard while listening to the keynote. It is entirely possible that I misheard or misinterpreted some information.