Microsoft's Azure platform is a key component in the company's future strategy by providing not just storage, but also the ability to drive software solutions for large organizations. Today, the company announced that it is taking a big step forward with machine learning techniques and will be bringing this service to Azure.
Prior to the release of this tool, machine learning was typically managed locally and required significant overhead to deploy in terms of data scientists and engineers. Because of this, the process to get up and running with machine learning algorithms was expensive - but Microsoft thinks it has found a way to reduce these costs significantly.
Starting next month, Microsoft will roll out in 'preview' Azure Machine Learning, a fully managed cloud service for deploying predictive analytics solutions. The tools were built for products like Xbox and Bing and took years to develop. Thanks to the long development cycle and the extensive user internally, Microsoft touts that its machine learning tools are easy to use.
If you are wondering how these tools are going to be used by corporations, these systems are good at predicting the future using historical data. For example, these types of systems can be used to help make airplanes stay on schedule by using historical data to see how thousands of combinations of variables impact flight times, and then can make appropriate changes to avoid forecasted delays.
Microsoft will make the service available in July for any company to take advantage of, and we will be curious to see how this platform matures as it grows.