While the Windows team remains mum on the next build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for PCs and a release date for the next build of Windows 10 for phones, the Azure team is trumpeting yet another round of updates to Microsoft’s growing cloud business.
Today, the Azure team is announcing updates for big data and media services within the cloud platform. The team goes into further detail of the upcoming features on their Azure Blog, but we’ll try and sum them up as best as we can.
- Today also marks the general availability of Azure Search, a search-as-a-service solution that helps developers build sophisticated search experiences into web and mobile applications. Azure Search enables developers to reduce the friction and complexity of implementing full-text search, and differentiate their applications by leveraging powerful features not available with other search packages such as enhanced multilanguage support.
This release will offer support to more than 50 languages while also utilizing the natural language processing technology that can be found in Office and Bing now.
While this will only be rolled out in preview, Azure Media Services Premium Encoder, will offer advanced encoding capabilities for premium on-demand media workflows. Premium Encoder provides superior quality and flexibility suited for the broadcast industry/professional media transcodes. This includes automated decision-making logic that can adapt to a variety of input file formats, support for additional input and output codecs and file formats such as 4K Ultra HD in AVC and closed captions, and a powerful workflow design tool.
The Azure team is also looking to increase the sizes for VM for compute-intensive applications. Today they are making generally available A10 and A11 instances that feature faster processors, more virtual cores for greater compute power and larger amounts of memory. “A10 instances have eight virtual cores and 56 GB of RAM while A11 instances have 16 virtual cores and 112 GB of RAM,” they write on their blog.
Lastly, the Azure team is looking to further enhance application security with this round of updates. Microsoft notes:
“Azure Active Directory now allows the assignment of shared application accounts to groups. This is particularly useful for managing access to company-owned social applications accounts such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn that many users want to access”.
All in all, another healthy update from the Azure team. Perhaps they should share their update strategy with the Windows team from now.