Microsoft and Meta expand their AI partnership with Llama 2 on Azure and Windows

In recent months, the remarkable strides made in AI innovation have ignited a wave of transformative possibilities, captivating our collective imagination with the promise of reshaping industries and the way we work.

Today, at Microsoft Inspire, Meta and Microsoft announced support for the Llama 2 family of large language models (LLMs) on Azure and Windows. Llama 2 is designed to enable developers and organizations to build generative AI-powered tools and experiences. Meta and Microsoft share a commitment to democratizing AI and its benefits and we are excited that Meta is taking an open approach with Llama 2. We offer developers choice in the types of models they build on, supporting open and frontier models and are thrilled to be Meta’s preferred partner as they release their new version of Llama 2 to commercial customers for the first time.

Now Azure customers can fine-tune and deploy the 7B, 13B, and 70B-parameter Llama 2 models easily and more safely on Azure, the platform for the most widely adopted frontier and open models. In addition, Llama will be optimized to run locally on Windows. Windows developers will be able to use Llama by targeting the DirectML execution provider through the ONNX Runtime, allowing a seamless workflow as they bring generative AI experiences to their applications.

Our growing partnership with Meta

Meta and Microsoft have been longtime partners on AI, starting with a collaboration to integrate ONNX Runtime with PyTorch to create a great developer experience for PyTorch on Azure, and Meta’s choice of Azure as a strategic cloud provider. Today’s announcement builds on our partnership to accelerate innovation in the era of AI and further extends Microsoft’s open model ecosystem and position as the world’s supercomputing platform for AI.

Azure’s purpose-built AI supercomputing platform is uniquely designed from the facility, hardware and software to support the world’s leading AI organizations to build, train and deploy some of the most demanding AI workloads. The availability of the Llama 2 models with Azure AI enables developers to take advantage of Azure AI’s powerful tooling for model training, fine-tuning, inference, and particularly the capabilities that support AI safety.

The inclusion of the Llama 2 models in Windows helps propel Windows as the best place for developers to build AI experiences tailored for their customers’ needs and unlock their ability to build using world-class tools like Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), Windows terminal, Microsoft Visual Studio and VS Code.

Expanding Azure AI model catalog and Windows availability   

Llama 2 is the latest addition to our growing Azure AI model catalog. The model catalog, currently in public preview, serves as a hub of foundation models and empowers developers and machine learning (ML) professionals to easily discover, evaluate, customize and deploy pre-built large AI models at scale.

The catalog eliminates the need for users to manage all infrastructure dependencies when operationalizing Llama 2. It provides turnkey support for model fine-tuning and evaluation, including powerful optimization techniques such as DeepSpeed and ONNX Runtime, that can significantly enhance the speed of model fine-tuning.

Windows developers will be able to easily build new experiences using Llama 2 that can be accessed via GitHub Repo. With Windows Subsystem for Linux and highly capable GPUs, developers can fine tune LLMs to meet their specific needs right on their Windows PCs.

Building responsibly with Azure

Responsible AI is at the heart of Microsoft’s approach to AI and how we partner. For years we’ve invested heavily in making Azure the place for responsible, cutting-edge AI innovation, whether customers are building their own models or using pre-built and customizable models from Microsoft, Meta, OpenAI and the open-source ecosystem.

At Microsoft, we mitigate potential risks presented by the use of large language models through an iterative, layered approach that includes experimentation and measurement. Azure AI customers can test Llama 2 with their own sample data to see how it performs for their particular use case. Then, customers can use prompt engineering and retrieval augmented generation (RAG) techniques to develop, evaluate and optimize meta-prompts for their app and deliver safer and more reliable experiences for end users.

Services like Azure AI Content Safety add another layer of protection, helping ensure a safer online experience with AI apps. Part of our collaboration with Meta led  to combining Meta’s safety techniques with Azure AI Content Safety so that by default, the deployments of the Llama 2 models in Azure AI come with a layered safety approach.

Today’s expansion of our model catalog with Llama 2 and our partnership with Meta is a big step forward in achieving a responsible, open approach to AI.

Visit the Azure AI model catalog and start using Llama 2 today.

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Source: The Official Microsoft Blog

Microsoft Inspire: Accelerating AI transformation through partnership

Collaboration is a key component of Microsoft’s success. Our partner ecosystem consists of more than 400,000 partners worldwide, and they play a key role in making new technology available to customers, especially in today’s AI-focused world. Microsoft Inspire is a chance to acknowledge the role our partners play in customer success and to share new opportunities and ways to engage with Microsoft products.

To recognize the impressive achievements of our collaborators, we kicked off Microsoft Inspire by celebrating the finalists and winners in the 2023 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards, which were announced in late June. The awards highlight partner success and innovation in an array of categories, across solution areas, industries, business transformation and social impact.

This year’s Microsoft Inspire continues our push to make AI a transformative tool for our customers and partners. We’re excited to share even more AI-powered solutions and show how Microsoft partners can apply these AI innovations across their organizations in a variety of ways, from expansion of AI skilling to new products and services that drive customer success. Read on for some of the top announcements at this year’s event.

Introducing Bing Chat Enterprise
Since launching the new Bing in February, we’ve heard from many corporate customers who are excited to empower their organizations with powerful new AI tools but are concerned that their companies’ data will not be protected. That’s why today we’re announcing Bing Chat Enterprise, which gives organizations AI-powered chat for work with commercial data protection. What goes in – and comes out – remains protected, giving commercial customers managed access to better answers, greater efficiency and new ways to be creative.

Bing Chat Enterprise will start rolling out today in preview to organizations licensed for Microsoft 365 E5, E3, Business Premium and Business Standard at no additional cost. We will also make Bing Chat Enterprise available as a stand-alone subscription in the future for $5 per user, per month. Learn more and find out how to get started with Bing Chat Enterprise.

Announcing Microsoft 365 Copilot Pricing
Today, we’re also pleased to announce pricing for Microsoft 365 Copilot. It will be available for $30 per user per month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers when generally available.

While some generative AI apps focus on a single capability, like real-time transcription or copywriting, Microsoft 365 Copilot puts thousands of skills at your command. By grounding answers in business data like your documents, emails, calendar, chats, meetings and contacts, and combining them with your working context – the meeting you’re in now, the emails you’ve exchanged on a topic, the chats you had last week – Copilot delivers richer, more relevant and more actionable responses to your questions.

And, Microsoft 365 Copilot is integrated into the apps millions of people use every day. Copilot jump-starts your creativity in Word, analyzes data in Excel, designs presentations in PowerPoint, triages your Outlook inbox, summarizes meetings in Teams – whether you attended or not – and so much more.

Empowering sellers and customer service agents with AI
Sellers need to have as many options in their toolboxes as possible. So, we’re adding more functionality to Microsoft Sales Copilot directly within Dynamics 365 Sales, such as AI-generated opportunity summary, contextualized email drafts and meeting preparations. This empowers sellers to improve productivity and close more deals with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) task automation (including Salesforce), actionable real-time insights and AI-assisted content and recommendations to personalize customer interactions at scale. These add to AI capabilities already available in Microsoft Sales Copilot such as Teams calls summaries and email thread summaries. Viva Sales, announced in June 2022, kickstarted our work of transforming seller experiences, and these capabilities are now part of Sales Copilot. Read more about Microsoft Sales Copilot.

At Microsoft Inspire, we’re also highlighting how customers like Virgin Money are empowering their customer service departments with tailored chatbots built with Copilot in Power Virtual Agents. Within minutes, businesses can train a chatbot using natural language to reference internal and external knowledge sources, customer service applications and web data via Bing Search. Virgin Money’s chatbot addresses more than 195,000 customer interactions a month, helping their service agents focus on more complex customer inquiries.

Process Mining in Power Automate
Organizations often have a difficult time identifying blockages in their workflows and how to clear them. To help, Microsoft is announcing the general availability of next-generation AI features within Power Automate Process Mining, providing customers with AI-powered insights to optimize existing processes and drive efficiencies through low-code automation. With Process Mining, users can understand what is happening across their business, use AI that generates insights, app and automation suggestions, and use Power Platform to quickly build the solutions they need. Learn more about Process Mining in Power Automate.

Azure OpenAI expanded availability
We’ve been thrilled to see the enthusiasm and business adoption of Azure OpenAI Service, with more than 4,500 customers using the product. Witnessing customers do amazing things, like building chatbots using organizational data, summarizing text and generating content, is exciting to watch develop.

Now, we’re bringing the service to more organizations around the world. Last week, we expanded access to Azure OpenAI Service, increasing its availability in North America and Western Europe, while making it available for Asia for the first time.

New Azure capabilities and investments
We are also going to announce a substantial investment to increase the scale and availability of Azure Migrate & Modernize, and to launch Azure Innovate, an all-new dedicated investment we are making in response to the heightened demands for analytics and AI. These new offerings have expanded scenario coverage and offer richer incentives and support for everything from fast, frictionless migrations to building new AI-powered apps.

Meta and Microsoft partnership
Meta and Microsoft have announced support for the Llama family of large language models on Azure and Windows. As part of this announcement, Microsoft will be Meta’s preferred partner as they release their new version of Llama 2 to commercial customers for the first time. This announcement means that Azure customers will be able to easily fine-tune and deploy the 7B-parameter, 13B-parameter, and 70B-parameter Llama 2 models easily and safely on Azure, In addition, Llama 2 will be optimized to run locally on Windows – enabling Windows developers to take advantage of Llama 2 by targeting the Direct ML execution provider through the ONNX runtime. More on this announcement can be found here.

Expanded strategic collaboration with Epic
We are excited to highlight an expansion of our strategic collaboration with Epic, a leading healthcare software company, where we are using the power of AI to help clinicians spend less time on administrative functions and more time on providing quality care. Epic has integrated Azure OpenAI Service into its electronic health record (EHR) software to provide multiple solutions, from helping clinicians explore clinical data in a conversational and intuitive way to helping them more efficiently reply to patient messages. And with Nuance DAX Express, we are embedding our AI-powered clinical documentation capabilities directly into Epic workflows to help providers further lessen the administrative workloads that lead to burnout, expand access to care for patients and enhance healthcare outcomes.

Additionally, Epic customers are now utilizing Azure Large Instances to achieve the scale needed to run large Epic EHR databases – up to 50 million database accesses per second. This allows Epic customers to scale beyond the previous limits of shared public cloud infrastructure solutions.

The new Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program
In another milestone, Microsoft Inspire marks the launch of the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program, the next generation of our partner program, which empowers every partner to deliver customer value while leveraging Microsoft AI and the Microsoft Cloud. Through the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program, we’re providing partners with a comprehensive portfolio of investments for all partner business models, at every stage of maturity.

The Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program utilizes the entire partner lifecycle, including onboarding, skilling, go-to-market, incentives and co-selling. Partners get the value and benefits of the previous program plus access to new offerings and benefits specific to AI. And there is no action for a partner to take to move to the new program – we’ve moved all existing partners into the new program effective immediately and partners maintain their existing benefits and designations. Read more about the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program.

Additional partner updates
We have several updates with new opportunities for partners to go-to-market and scale their businesses, including:

  • ISV Success updates: Announced in preview at last Microsoft Inspire, ISV Success is the pathway for ISV partners within the AI Cloud Partner Program and is now generally available. ISV Success offers product and cloud benefits, demo and sandbox environments, technical consults to build and publish applications, and once published, sales and marketing benefits to help accelerate deals through Microsoft commercial marketplace. In addition, partners participating in ISV Success will also get access to GitHub Copilot as part of ISV Success benefits at the end of 2023.
  • Multiparty private offers: As part of our continued investments in the Microsoft commercial marketplace, we also announced multiparty private offers, which empower partners to work together to sell customized deals through the Microsoft commercial marketplace.
  • New Solutions Partner designations for more partners: We are introducing new designations as part of the AI Cloud Partner Program to provide opportunities for additional partners to differentiate their technical capabilities and demonstrate customer success. This includes a new training services designation for learning partners, ISV designations for partners building solutions aligned with the Microsoft Cloud and our industry clouds, and a support services designation.

We are excited about today’s announcements and our commitment to accelerating AI transformation, driving customer success, and fueling partner business growth and profitability. This is just a snapshot of the updates being announced at Microsoft Inspire – for a more comprehensive review, please see the additional resources at the end of this post.

And for more information on today’s announcements, be sure to register for Microsoft Inspire and tune into the Day 1 keynotes from Satya Nadella, Judson Althoff and Nicole Dezen, or watch them on demand.

Related links:

Join us at Microsoft Inspire

Microsoft 2023 Partner of the Year Awards winners and finalists

Furthering our AI Ambitions – Announcing Bing Chat Enterprise and Updates to Microsoft 365 Copilot

Find out how to get started with Bing Chat Enterprise

How Microsoft Sales Copilot will empower sellers and customer service agents

Learn more about Power Mining in Power Automate

New Azure capabilities and investments

Find more out about the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program


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Source: The Official Microsoft Blog

Furthering our AI ambitions – Announcing Bing Chat Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Copilot pricing

Furthering our AI ambitions – Announcing Bing Chat Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Copilot pricing

At Microsoft, we are working to provide a copilot for every person in their lives and at work. Earlier this year, we introduced the new AI-powered Bing, your copilot for the web, fundamentally reinventing search as a category with complete answers, a full chat experience, and features to unlock creativity. We also introduced Microsoft 365 Copilot, which combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 apps to usher in a whole new way of working, using just your own words. Since then, we’ve seen millions of people incorporate Bing into their lives for the first time in new ways to unlock their creativity and gain a better understanding of the world.

And feedback from customers in our Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program, is that Copilot promises to be a game changer for productivity.

Today at Microsoft Inspire, we’re excited to unveil the next steps in our journey: First, we’re significantly expanding Bing to reach new audiences with Bing Chat Enterprise, delivering AI-powered chat for work, and rolling out today in Preview – which means that more than 160 million people already have access. Second, to help commercial customers plan, we’re sharing that Microsoft 365 Copilot will be priced at $30 per user, per month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers, when broadly available; we’ll share more on timing in the coming months. Third, in addition to expanding to more audiences, we continue to build new value in Bing Chat and are announcing Visual Search in Chat, a powerful new way to search, now rolling out broadly in Bing Chat.

Bing Chat Enterprise — AI-powered chat for work

Employees are looking to use AI tools to help them unlock creativity and productivity at work — 70% say they would delegate as much work as possible to AI according to our Work Trend Index. But using AI tools that aren’t built for the enterprise inadvertently puts sensitive business data at risk. As organizations adopt AI, they want to be confident their data is protected.

Bing Chat Enterprise gives your organization AI-powered chat for work with commercial data protection. With Bing Chat Enterprise, user and business data are protected and will not leak outside the organization. What goes in — and comes out — remains protected. Chat data is not saved, and Microsoft has no eyes-on access – which means no one can view your data. And, your data is not used to train the models. Whether researching industry insights, analyzing data, or looking for inspiration, Bing Chat Enterprise gives people access to better answers, greater efficiency and new ways to be creative.

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Just like Bing Chat, Bing Chat Enterprise is grounded in web data and provides complete, verifiable answers with citations, along with visual answers that include graphs, charts and images, and is designed in line with our AI principles.

Bing Chat Enterprise is rolling out in preview today and is included at no additional cost in Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium. And in the future, it will be available as a stand-alone offering for $5 per user, per month. You can access Bing Chat Enterprise using your work account wherever Bing Chat is supported — and the Microsoft Edge sidebar. And, in the future, Bing Chat Enterprise will also be accessible from Windows Copilot.

Bing Chat Enterprise Sidebar

Announcing Microsoft 365 Copilot pricing for commercial customers

Bing Chat Enterprise unlocks generative AI for work. And Microsoft 365 Copilot brings a whole new way of working – reasoning over all your business data in the context of your enterprise, including the ability to ask questions and get answers from the web. Microsoft 365 Copilot will be available for commercial customers for $30 per user per month for Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium customers when broadly available.

Microsoft 365 Copilot is built on Microsoft’s trusted and comprehensive approach to enterprise-grade security, privacy, identity, compliance and responsible AI — so you know it’s enterprise ready. This means:

  • Copilot inherits your existing Microsoft 365 security, privacy, identity and compliance policies.
  • Your data is logically isolated and protected within your Microsoft 365 tenant, and always within your control.
  • At the tenant level, Copilot respects individual and group permission policies.

While some generative AI apps focus on a single capability, like real-time transcription or copywriting, Microsoft 365 Copilot is in a class all its own. It has all the capabilities of Bing Chat Enterprise, plus so much more. Copilot puts thousands of skills at your command and can reason over all your content and context to take on any task. It’s grounded in your business data in the Microsoft Graph — that’s all your emails, calendar, chats, documents and more. So, Copilot can generate an update from the morning’s meetings, emails and chats to send to the team; get you up to speed on project developments from the last week; or create a SWOT analysis from internal files and data from the web.

Microsoft 365 Copilot is incredible on its own, and it’s also integrated into the apps millions of people use every day. Copilot jump-starts your creativity in Word, analyzes data in Excel, designs presentations in PowerPoint, triages your Outlook inbox, summarizes meetings in Teams – whether you attended or not – and so much more.

In May, we announced the expansion of our Microsoft 365 Copilot paid Early Access Program to 600 enterprise customers worldwide, including companies like KPMG, Lumen, and Emirates NBD. We’re learning that the more customers use Copilot, the more their enthusiasm for Copilot grows. Soon, no one will want to work without it.

Microsoft 365 Copilot: Thousands of skills. All your data. Infinite possibilities. Learn more here.

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Search with images — not just words — using Visual Search in Chat

In addition to unlocking the power of generative AI to people at work, we continue to deliver new features and experiences in Bing Chat to help people make the most of this technology. Part of this work is a focus on building visual features in Bing Chat. And today we’re pleased to announce we’re rolling out multimodal capabilities via Visual Search in Chat.

Leveraging OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, Visual Search in Chat lets anyone upload images and search the web for related content. Take a picture, or use one you find elsewhere, and prompt Bing to tell you about it — Bing can understand the context of an image, interpret it, and answer questions about it. Whether you’re traveling to a new city on vacation and asking about the architecture of a particular building or at home trying to come up with lunch ideas based on the contents of your fridge, upload the image into Bing Chat and use it to harness the web’s knowledge to get you answers. Visual Search in Chat is beginning to roll out now via desktop and the Bing mobile app and we are working to bring this to Bing Chat Enterprise over time.

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There is incredible opportunity for our customers and partners to realize the promise of AI in life and at work – and do so in a way that meets the highest standards for enterprise, security, privacy, compliance and responsible AI. We’re excited about what the future holds – and we’re just getting started.




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Source: The Official Microsoft Blog

Accelerating scientific discovery with Azure Quantum

Accelerating scientific discovery with Azure Quantum

Today, Microsoft is announcing new advances to Azure Quantum aimed at accelerating scientific discovery.

From the Iron Age revolutionizing agriculture to the Silicon Age revolutionizing how we communicate, new materials have always created inflection points for societal progress. Advances in this space will be transformative. For example, the transportation industry can develop more efficient and powerful batteries.  Pharmaceutical researchers can develop new drugs. The chemistry industry will be able to discover safer and more sustainable compounds for the products we use daily, like electronics, paints and textiles. And most importantly, scientists will be able to solve society’s most pressing challenges like reversing climate change and addressing food insecurity.

However, understanding nature is not an easy task. For accurate calculations of the most complex quantum states of molecules, the number of energy states of just 100 electrons can exceed the number of atoms in the visible universe.

Now, with a new generation of AI, the world’s most advanced AI models are coming together with our universal user interface – natural language – and nature’s foundational language – chemistry – ushering in a new era of scientific discovery. And that’s just the first step as we prepare for an even bigger transformation ahead of us: quantum supercomputing.

Innovators can start experimenting with the world’s best quantum hardware in Azure Quantum and get ready to solve more complex problems when quantum supercomputing becomes a reality. We are fast approaching the time when scientists and businesses will be able to solve previously intractable problems to unlock growth and human progress.

Today, we are introducing three advances in Azure Quantum towards this vision. 

1. Azure Quantum Elements

Azure Quantum Elements accelerates scientific discovery by integrating the latest breakthroughs in high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

With Azure Quantum Elements, scientists and product developers can:

  • Reduce time to impact and costs by accelerating the R&D pipeline and bringing innovative products to market more quickly, with some customers seeing a six-month to one-week speed up from project kick-off to solution.
  • Dramatically increase the search space for new materials, with the potential to scale from thousands of candidates to tens of millions.
  • Speed up certain chemistry simulations by 500,000 times, which is like compressing a year into one minute.
  • Get ready for scaled quantum computing by addressing quantum chemistry problems today with AI and HPC, while experimenting with existing quantum hardware and getting priority access to Microsoft’s quantum supercomputer in the future.

Using this comprehensive system, researchers can make advances in chemistry and materials science with unprecedented scale, speed and accuracy.

Scale. Scientists can understand the complex reactions needed to produce a product, find new candidates, and optimize the entire process. For example, scientists can now use Azure Quantum Elements to explore 1.5 million potential configurations in complex reactions comprised of 50,000 elementary steps. Early adopters are already using this massive scale to find more sustainable replacements for use in many everyday products, or entirely new products for innovative scenarios.

Speed. Azure Quantum Elements accelerates simulation by incorporating Microsoft’s specialized AI models for chemistry, which we trained on millions of chemistry and materials data points.  We based these models on the same breakthrough technologies you see elsewhere with generative AI. While Copilot understands the language of humans, Azure Quantum Elements also understands the language of nature – chemistry.

Accuracy. Today, scientists are using unique AI models and HPC scale to run simulations with higher levels of accuracy not available before. Azure Quantum Elements also integrates classical and quantum computing to provide an on-ramp to even greater simulation accuracy. In the future, scientists believe a quantum supercomputer will enable predictive chemical design at 100X accuracy.

Industry innovators, including BASF, AkzoNobel, AspenTech, Johnson Matthey, SCGC, and 1910 Genetics have already adopted Azure Quantum Elements to transform their research and development, and today, others can join them. Azure Quantum Elements will be available in private preview in a few weeks, and you can sign up today to learn more.

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2. Copilot in Azure Quantum

Copilot in Azure Quantum helps scientists use natural language to reason through complex chemistry and materials science problems.

With Copilot in Azure Quantum, a scientist can accomplish complex tasks on top of a fabric of cloud supercomputing, advanced AI and quantum all integrated with the tools they use today. It can generate the underlying calculations and simulations, query and visualize data and help get guided answers to complicated concepts. Just as Copilot in other Microsoft products is transforming software development, productivity and search, our ambition is for Copilot in Azure Quantum to transform and accelerate scientific discovery — whether it’s creating safer and more sustainable products, accelerating drug discovery or solving the most pressing challenges on the planet.

Copilot also helps people learn about quantum computing and write code for today’s quantum computers. It provides a fully integrated, browser-based experience available to try for free with a built-in code editor, quantum simulator and seamless code compilation. We designed it to make the complex more manageable and help anyone explore quantum, chemistry and materials science while bringing these transformational fields closer together. Check it out today.

3. Microsoft’s roadmap to a quantum supercomputer

The ultimate unlock will come when organizations are able to accurately design new chemicals and materials with a quantum supercomputer. Our industry will follow a similar path as classical supercomputers did in the 20th century. From vacuum tubes, to transistors, to integrated circuits, advances in underlying technology will enable scale and impact.

As we make progress as an industry, quantum hardware will fall into one of the three categories of Quantum Computing Implementation Levels:

  • Level 1 – Foundational: Quantum systems that run on noisy physical qubits, which includes all of today’s Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) computers.
  • Level 2 – Resilient: Quantum systems that operate on reliable logical qubits.
  • Level 3 – Scale: Quantum supercomputers that can solve impactful problems that even the most powerful supercomputers cannot.

Level 1,2,3 of computing


To reach Scale, a fundamental physics breakthrough is required. Microsoft has achieved this breakthrough and today presented the peer reviewed data in a journal by the American Physical Society.

This means that Microsoft has achieved the first milestone towards a quantum supercomputer. We can now create and control Majorana quasiparticles. With this achievement, we’re well on our way to engineering a new hardware-protected qubit. With it, we can then engineer reliable logical qubits to reach the Resilient Level and then progress to reach Scale.

roadmap to quantum supercomputer


A quantum supercomputer will be able to solve problems that are intractable on a classical computer and scale to solve the most complex problems facing our world. To do this, it must be both performant and reliable. Customers need to understand how capable a quantum system is of solving real problems, from the machine to the network overhead. That’s why measuring a supercomputer can’t be about counting physical or logical qubits.

To understand a supercomputer’s performance, our industry needs a new measurement. For that, we’re offering the metric of reliable Quantum Operations Per Second (rQOPS), which measures how many reliable operations can be executed in one second. It considers the full system performance, as opposed to just qubit performance, so there is an assurance that an algorithm will run correctly.

Our industry is yet to transition from the NISQ era and therefore, today’s quantum computers are all at Level 1 with a rQOPS of zero. The first quantum supercomputer will need at least 1 million rQOPS and will scale to more than 1 billion to solve impactful chemistry and materials science problems.

Accelerating scientific discovery together

With the advent of any innovative technology, there are risks that need to be planned for and mitigated. Microsoft’s AI principles guide us and these fundamental tenets apply to quantum as well. As we develop new services like Azure Quantum Elements and engineer our first quantum supercomputer, we will apply additional measures of rigor incorporating feedback throughout the process.

We are also preparing now for a quantum-safe future. Microsoft has a comprehensive plan to ensure all our services remain secure and is partnering with our customers and the industry to support this important transition.

The opportunity in front of us is immense. Scientists and businesses will revolutionize the building blocks of everyday products to usher in a new era of innovation and economic growth. Together, we can compress the next 250 years of chemistry and materials science into the next 25.

Please join Satya Nadella and me today at a virtual briefing Accelerating Scientific Discovery at 8 a.m. PT or catch it later on demand. We’ll share more about the Azure Quantum Elements private preview, Copilot in Azure Quantum, and our roadmap to a quantum supercomputer.

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Source: The Official Microsoft Blog

Space Education Day 2023: Inspiring the next generation of innovators

Space engages people of all ages by sparking curiosity of the unknown. With NASA’s progress toward its first lunar missions in more than 50 years, a new generation of Americans can witness the awe-inspiring power and joy of a moon landing. It can also inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to pursue space-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, from astronauts to engineers and physicists to technicians.

In recent years, we have witnessed significant diversity milestones in space exploration. Among these are the first all-female spacewalk and NASA’s diverse international crew of astronauts for the Artemis II lunar mission, where the first woman and first person of color will step foot on the moon. Although these achievements signal an important shift in the industry, women still represent only 20% of the space workforce. Black and Hispanic professionals remain underrepresented in STEM professions. Of the entire STEM workforce, a total of 24% are members of an underrepresented minority group. These statistics highlight the urgent need to continue expanding access to STEM education and the study of space — a core tenet of the Microsoft-NASA partnership that aims to address these inequities head on.

Microsoft and NASA’s innovative partnership

Critical to Microsoft and NASA’s more than two-decades of partnership is investing in the next generation by promoting STEM education across all communities. As part of this effort Microsoft is honored to collaborate with NASA to host our first Space Education Day — a showcase of students and educators across Washington, D.C. — on Tuesday, June 20 at Microsoft’s office in Arlington, Virginia.

Space Education Day provides local students an opportunity to connect with Microsoft and NASA members during a day of innovative learning and technology demonstrations. We are thrilled to welcome students from the greater Washington, D.C region, home to a diverse pre-kindergarten through 12th grade population. There will be live demonstrations with the help of students who learned to program in the Minecraft Education portal, an immersive learning platform inspired by NASA’s Artemis Missions. Microsoft’s Minecraft Education recently partnered with NASA and the Challenge Center to equip students with future-ready skills for the next era of space exploration, and now students will have the opportunity to exercise these skills in real-time.

“Our next generation of innovators need opportunities and resources that engage the Artemis Generation to reach for the moon and beyond,” said Mike Kincaid, associate administrator for NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. “Investing in our students from all backgrounds today will build a diverse workforce that will ultimately achieve future breakthroughs in space.”

Featured sessions at Space Education Day include:

  • Microsoft Space Camps – Minecraft Artemis: Students will explore the lunar surface and learn about NASA’s Artemis program in a fun and immersive Minecraft environment.
  • Azure Space Hackathon – College students will showcase their experience and technology using NASA satellite imagery and Microsoft’s AI capabilities and the Planetary Computer to find offshore windfarms around the world.
  • NASA MSI Space Accelerators – Partners will discuss the goals and objectives of the NASA Space Accelerator program to connect minority-serving institutions to mentorship and funding opportunities from NASA and Microsoft.

Space Education Day continues Microsoft and NASA’s efforts to develop high-impact initiatives and educational resources that promote STEM education for all. A student hackathon hosted last May by Azure Space and NASA called Coding for the Cosmos convened students from two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Washington, D.C. to establish new technologies, including deploying code to the International Space Station.

Technology and the power of space can be used as a powerful tool to inspire, prepare and engage people of all ages and backgrounds, and Microsoft will continue to seek new opportunities to keep everyone reaching for the stars.

“Our collaboration with NASA allows us to provide new and exciting opportunities for students of all backgrounds to explore the space industry and related technologies,” said Steve Kitay, Senior Director of Azure Space. “One of the key purposes of Azure Space is to bring space, cloud computing, and other new technologies to the next generation – particularly those that might not otherwise have the opportunity.”

By continuing to integrate Microsoft technologies with NASA’s missions, data and expertise, it is our goal to broaden the ecosystem of STEM and empower our future workforce to explore the endless boundaries of space.

Photo credit: Justin Lewis/Getty Images

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Source: The Official Microsoft Blog

Announcing Microsoft’s AI Customer Commitments

Announcing Microsoft’s AI Customer Commitments

AI is creating unparalleled opportunities for businesses of every size and across every industry. We are seeing our customers embrace AI services to drive innovation, increase productivity and solve critical problems for humanity, such as the development of breakthrough medical cures and new ways to meet the challenges of climate change.

At the same time, there are legitimate concerns about the power of the technology and the potential for it to be used to cause harm rather than benefits. It’s not surprising, in this context, that governments around the world are looking at how existing laws and regulations can be applied to AI and are considering what new legal frameworks may be needed. Ensuring the right guardrails for the responsible use of AI will not be limited to technology companies and governments: every organization that creates or uses AI systems will need to develop and implement its own governance systems. That’s why today we are announcing three AI Customer Commitments to assist our customers on their responsible AI journey.

AI customer commitments graphic

First, we will share what we are learning about developing and deploying AI responsibly and assist you in learning how to do the same. Microsoft has been on a responsible AI journey since 2017, harnessing the skills of nearly 350 engineers, lawyers and policy experts dedicated to implementing a robust governance process that guides the design, development and deployment of AI in safe, secure and transparent ways. More specifically we are:

  • Sharing expertise: We are committed to sharing this knowledge and expertise with you by publishing the key documents we developed during this process so that you can learn from our experiences. These include our Responsible AI Standard, AI Impact Assessment Template, AI Impact Assessment Guide, Transparency Notes, and detailed primers on the implementation of our responsible AI by design approach.
  • Providing training curriculum: We will also share the work we are doing to build a practice and culture of responsible AI at Microsoft, including key parts of the curriculum that we use to train Microsoft employees.
  • Creating dedicated resources: We will invest in dedicated resources and expertise in regions around the world to respond to your questions about deploying and using AI responsibly.

Second, we are creating an AI Assurance Program to help you ensure that the AI applications you deploy on our platforms meet the legal and regulatory requirements for responsible AI. This program will include the following elements:

  • Regulator engagement support: We have extensive experience helping customers in the public sector and highly regulated industries manage the spectrum of regulatory issues that arise when dealing with the use of information technology. For example, in the global financial services industry, we worked closely for a number of years with both customers and regulators to ensure that this industry could pursue digital transformation on the cloud while complying with its regulatory obligations. One learning from this experience has been the industry’s requirement that financial institutions verify customer identities, establish risk profiles and monitor transactions to help detect suspicious activity, the “know your customer” requirements. We believe that this approach can apply to AI in what we are calling “KY3C,” an approach that creates certain obligations to know one’s cloud, one’s customers and one’s content. We want to work with you to apply KY3C as part of our AI Assurance Program.

Know Your Customer graphic

  • Risk framework implementation: We will attest to how we are implementing the AI Risk Management Framework recently published by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and will share our experience engaging with NIST’s important ongoing work in this area.
  • Customer councils: We will bring customers together in customer councils to hear their views on how we can deliver the most relevant and compliant AI technology and tools.
  • Regulatory advocacy: Finally, we’ll play an active role in engaging with governments to promote effective and interoperable AI regulation. The recently launched Microsoft blueprint for AI governance presents our proposals to governments and other stakeholders for appropriate regulatory frameworks for AI. We have made available a presentation of this blueprint by Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith and a white paper discussing it in detail.

Third, we will support you as you implement your own AI systems responsibly, and we will develop responsible AI programs for our partner ecosystem.

  • Dedicated resources: We will create a dedicated team of AI legal and regulatory experts in regions around the world as a resource for you to support your implementation of responsible AI governance systems in your businesses.
  • Partner support: Many of our partners have already created comprehensive practices to help customers evaluate, test, adopt and commercialize AI solutions, including creating their own responsible AI systems. We are launching a program with selected partners to leverage this expertise to assist our mutual customers in deploying their own responsible AI systems. Today we can announce that PwC and EY are our launch partners for this exciting program.

Ultimately, we know that these commitments are only the start, and we will have to build on them as both the technology and regulatory conditions evolve. But we are also excited by this opportunity to partner more closely with our customers as we continue on the responsible AI journey together.

The post Announcing Microsoft’s AI Customer Commitments appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Source: The Official Microsoft Blog

Microsoft celebrates Pride by donating to LGBTQIA+ nonprofits and inviting everyone to make Pride with open-source campaign

Microsoft celebrates Pride by donating to LGBTQIA+ nonprofits and inviting everyone to make Pride with open-source campaign

This year we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Global LGBTQIA+ Employees and Allies at Microsoft (GLEAM) employee resource group that is a driving force for LGBTQIA+ inclusion and Pride at Microsoft around the world.

At a time when LGBTQIA+, transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive communities need support, Microsoft invites everyone to keep and make more Pride by sharing stories, open-sourcing the entire Pride campaign design, contributing to LGBTQIA+ organizations, and creating a wide product release.

Our efforts to support and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people do not start or end at Pride. By supporting our employees through global advocacy, charitable giving and better workplace practices, we hope to make a difference for LGBTQIA+ communities and beyond, as our drive for positive global impact continues.

Discover everything Pride at

Microsoft Pride collage
Microsoft is celebrating LGBTQIA+ communities through stories, products, events and inviting everyone to make Pride.

Making Pride open-source

At a time when Pride is getting harder to organize and celebrate, we’re empowering organizers around the world by open-sourcing the entire Pride campaign design and inviting everyone to remix, share and make more Pride. We’re releasing campaign assets today on GitHub and adding ready-made templates to Clipchamp.

Last year, we open-sourced our  Pride flag design representing 40 LGBTQIA+ identities. Our flag update released today reflects almost 50 identities, expands representation of Asexual, Aromantic and Trans identities, and is available in new designs and sizes.

Our Pride expression reflects on the open, inviting, grass-roots nature of Pride. Brush strokes, bright colors and a variety of flag combinations celebrate a community that’s wide, global, and ever-growing.

Open source Pride design illustration
Open-source design assets allow myriads of compositions.

This is Pride

Our Pride centers on simple truths about the LGBTQIA+ experience shared by employees around the world. Hugging your loved one is Pride. Openly serving your country is Pride. Mutual respect is Pride. And much more. By sharing their stories, LGBTQIA+ people at Microsoft hope to invite everyone to make more Pride.

Year-around, we recognize the many ways this diverse community continues to contribute and influence innovation at Microsoft and beyond. Join us in celebrating with powerful employee stories of strength, community, and leadership by visiting Inclusion Is Innovation.

Collage of Microsoft employees
Microsoft employees share what Pride means to them.

More LGBTQIA+ storytelling and representation on Xbox

Last year, we made a statement of LGBTQIA+ visibility by releasing the Xbox Pride controller. This beloved and viral design is available year-round on Xbox Design Lab.

This year, we’re taking it a step further. Xbox Game Studios Publishing is announcing a long-term partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

(GLAAD) to increase LGBTQIA+ representation and storytelling in Xbox games. Through this partnership, we’re hoping to bring more LGBTQIA+ stories, characters and lived experiences to Xbox in ways that will resonate with gamers around the world.

During June and beyond, Xbox is featuring a variety of game collections that showcase LGBTQIA+ creators, lead characters and games with inclusive gender and relationship options. These collections will exist year-round as part of our ongoing work to create more inclusive gaming ecosystems and elevate content that resonates with communities.

These are just some of the many celebrations on Xbox. Discover more on Xbox Wire.

Xbox and Pride collage
Xbox is taking next steps for more LGBTQIA+ representation and storytelling.

Make Pride with us – tune in to our live event on June 16 at 10 a.m. PDT

This year, LGBTQIA+ communities at Microsoft invite everyone to join our live “Make Pride” event on YouTube to learn about the state of LGBTQIA+ rights from organizers, players, and advocates from LGBTQIA+ communities at Microsoft and beyond. Discover how we can bridge borders and bring about collective change for all.

We hope you can join us on June 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT to watch the livestream at

Make Pride illustration
Everyone’s invited to Microsoft’s Make Pride live event.

Our Pride collection

Since the introduction of our first Pride products in 2018, they’ve been a visible celebration of the intersectionality and strength of the LGBTQIA+ communities.

  • Microsoft Unlocked – Discover all things Pride at Microsoft.
  • Xbox – Explore nonprofit partnerships, community stories, in-game content, and more – all created by and with LGBTQIA+ communities.
  • Xbox Gear – Wear your Pride with limited-edition T-shirts, totes and more.
  • Xbox games – Celebrate Pride with LGBTQIA+ creators on Xbox.
  • Xbox Design Lab Pride controller– Customize the Xbox Wireless Controller with Xbox Design Lab and show your Pride with the new bold design. Available year-round in all Xbox Design Lab markets.
  • Microsoft Store – Explore collections of games and movies curated by the LGBTQIA+ communities at Microsoft.
  • Windows – Bring your Pride to your Windows with new wallpapers celebrating Pride and many LGBTQIA+ communities.
  • Microsoft 365 – Turn on your Pride in select Microsoft 365 apps* and celebrate with a special theme inspired by the flags of the LGBTQIA+ communities.
  • Microsoft Teams – Show where you stand with over 50 virtual backgrounds representing different LGBTQIA+ flags.
  • Outlook mobile – Embrace your Pride year-round in Outlook mobile on iOS and Android with permanent themes inspired by the Pride, Trans, Lesbian, Bisexual and Nonbinary flags.
  • Microsoft Rewards – Join Microsoft Rewards to support OutRight International by simply searching on Microsoft Bing.
  • Bing– Explore the stories of people who’ve contributed to the ongoing progress for LGBTQIA+ equality.
  • Microsoft Life – Explore the stories of our employees from around the world.
  • Inclusion is Innovation – Explore LGBTQIA+ stories year-round.
  • Clipchamp – Unleash your creativity on Clipchamp with Pride templates, filters, stickers and more.
  • Microsoft Create – Choose from dozens of easily customizable templates with Microsoft Create.
  • Microsoft Designer – Create unique Pride designs and get suggested text to match, powered by AI.
Pride computer collage
There are many ways to make Pride and honor the power and strength of the LGBTQIA+ communities.

Acting on the message – donating $200,000 to LGBTQIA+ nonprofits

We’re continuing our long-standing support of LGBTQIA+ organizations. To recognize the launch of our 2023 Pride campaign and products, we’re contributing a total of $200,000 to Outright International, Stonewall, SAATHII, Casa Rara and GLAAD to help in the fight for LGBTQIA+ equity and equality. That’s in addition to the $1.4 million we’ve donated together with our employees since last year, and over $30 million we’ve donated in the last 30 years.

Standing up for LGBTQIA+ equity since 1989

Microsoft introduced sexual orientation into our non-discrimination policies in 1989 – and we’ve been driving toward LGBTQIA+ inclusion ever since. In 1993, we began offering employee benefits for same-sex domestic partnerships, making us one of the first companies in the world to do so. We stood as a public supporter for marriage equality even before it became legal in the United States – and we continue to advocate for every type of family. Microsoft has attained a 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for 17 years.

Since its founding in 1993, GLEAM has honored Pride by lifting up LGBTQIA+ voices and used the reach of our products to share the messages of inclusion and support.

We invite everyone to join us in the call for making more Pride. Share your thoughts with us on social by using #MicrosoftPride and #Pride.


* “Show your Pride” theme is available in the following apps – iOS: Outlook, OneNote, Office, Word, Excel and PowerPoint; in Android: Outlook; in Mac OS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote In Outlook, you can find the Pride themes in Settings > Appearance In all other apps, you can find Pride theme in Settings.

The post Microsoft celebrates Pride by donating to LGBTQIA+ nonprofits and inviting everyone to make Pride with open-source campaign appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Source: The Official Microsoft Blog