Microsoft Inspire 2023 – A New Era of AI-Powered Innovation Unveiled

Last week, the tech world witnessed an array of exciting new updates as Microsoft hosted its Inspire conference, where top executives, industry leaders, and partners gathered to explore the latest innovations and announcements. The primary focus of Microsoft Inspire is to empower Microsoft’s partner ecosystem, and it provides a platform for partners to engage directly with Microsoft executives and technical experts, fostering collaboration and facilitating the exchange of ideas. Among the highlights of the event was Satya Nadella’s opening keynote, which laid out the company’s vision for the future of AI and its transformative impact on various sectors. This blog post dives deep into the keynote, announcements, and updates from Microsoft Inspire 2023.

What came out of Inspire 2023?

Satya Nadella set the stage for the conference with a profound statement – that the world is amidst a massive platform shift driven by the new generation of AI. He emphasised two critical dimensions: the user interface and information management. Natural language as the UI and a powerful reasoning engine for information management represent two platform shifts that will transform every software category.

With AI comes tremendous opportunities for growth, and Nadella predicted that this next generation of AI technology will contribute an additional 10% of GDP growth. This signifies a massive partner opportunity, aligning with the historical impact of previous platform shifts such as PC/Server, Web/Internet, and Cloud/Mobile.

Let’s take a look at the main announcements from Inspire 2023…

(1) Bing Chat

Bing Chat Enterprise

Image: Microsoft

One of the biggest announcements at Microsoft Inspire was the introduction of Bing Chat Enterprise. This is the feature, the product, the moment that every CIO/CISO, business user has been waiting for! This AI-powered chat for work allows users to log in securely with their AAD credentials, ensuring enterprise data privacy and security guarantees. Additionally, Bing Chat Enterprise offers commercial data protection, ensuring that confidential business data remains secure and isolated from web data. Chat conversations are not used to train the underlying AI model, providing peace of mind to enterprises. With this new tool, knowledge work and workflow are set to be revolutionised. Satya invited Yousef Mehdi on stage to demonstrate how Bing Chat Enterprise works, and here’s what we took from it:

Image: Microsoft

This is your AI-powered chat for work and it addresses companies’ data protection concerns, ensuring your confidential business data stays within the organisation. With commercial data protection, no leakage occurs, and your employees’ data remains separate from web data. Notably, your chat conversations are not used to train the AI model, and Microsoft cannot access your data. By logging in with your work credentials, you can confidently harness the power of AI in Bing Chat Enterprise to research and create. Every search and chat experience is now safeguarded, enabling you to prompt Bing with information and get results without any data loss or leakage worries.

Bing Chat Enterprise combines GPT-4 with Bing search data, offering real-time and up-to-date information along with helpful links for further exploration. With data protection at its core, Bing Chat Enterprise opens up a world of possibilities. We think you are going to love this! And if you love what you can do with Bing Chat Enterprise, wait until you see what you can do with Microsoft 365 Copilot! A whole new way to work is pending…

Multimodal Search

Leveraging GPT-4, Bing Chat now supports Multimodal Visual Search, enabling users to upload images and receive insightful information related to the image.

Image: Microsoft

This feature opens up a multitude of possibilities, from identifying objects to extracting specific details from images. This rolled out last Wednesday and we are very excited to see how everyone uses this new feature!

(2) Microsoft 365 Copilot Stack

Taking AI capabilities to the next level, Microsoft introduced the Microsoft 365 Copilot Stack, integrating all the capabilities of Bing Chat Enterprise and more. Copilot empowers users to reason over business data in the Microsoft Graph, transforming productivity across popular productivity apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and Teams. Automated Teams summaries and other features enable a whole new way of working, driving creativity and efficiency.

Yousef demonstrated how Copilot works in Teams and we think it’s pretty amazing! How nice is it that you can now use these new AI capabilities within the flow of your work?! Microsoft365 Copilot is integrated into the world’s most popular productivity app tools and there are an incredible array of new capabilities that offer you a whole new way to work.

To summarise the two announcements above –

First, Bing Chat is your free AI-powered Copilot for the web and as of last Wednesday, you can try out the new Multimodal Visual Search feature.

Next, Bing Chat Enterprise is your AI-powered chat for work with commercial data protection at no additional cost for select M365 plans. This is the first of its kind and is now available for you to try!

Finally, Microsoft 365 unlocks a whole new way of working with M365 Copilot. Microsoft365 Copilot pricing was announced in the opening keynote at Inspire. A new era of creativity and productivity was unlocked at Inspire as Microsoft brings the power of AI to work!

The multi-modal chat, work identity, and the Microsoft 365 Copilot is fundamentally going to transform knowledge as we know of it. This is really exciting to see and we cannot wait to see where Microsoft takes Next Generation AI!

(3) Microsoft Sales Copilot

Image: Microsoft

In a significant advancement, Microsoft revealed the Microsoft Sales Copilot, taking AI to the organisational level and revolutionising business processes that span the organisation. This is a super exciting next step in the evolution of the scope of Copilots. We have already seen the horizontal knowledge work and individuals and individuals collaborating. Now Microsoft are levelling up on this! It allows sales teams to stay in the flow of their activities with customers, seamlessly integrating CRM data from Salesforce or Dynamics 365. This capability is set to reshape the SaaS application landscape. That’s the dream everyone in sales has been waiting for a long time. We are very excited that Microsoft have announced and launched the Microsoft Sales Copilot!

(4) Power Automate Process Mining

Image: Microsoft

Another critical announcement was the general availability of the Power Automate Process Mining tool. This tool enables businesses to map out processes and optimise them using AI. It empowers organisations to drive additional value to customer interactions, deployments, and projects, making AI-driven advancements accessible to every customer. Satya stated that process mining is the “tip of the spear” for you to be able to then drive additional value to every customer interaction, every customer deployment, and every customer project that you are engaged in. How exciting does that sound?

(5) Azure AI updates

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft also unveiled exciting updates to Azure AI. We were excited to hear that Microsoft will be taking what they have already been doing with OpenAI and expand it to the next phase, which is the regional expansion of OpenAI APIs (screenshot). The expansion of OpenAI APIs to North America, Europe, and Asia marked a significant step forward. Furthermore, Microsoft showcased its passion for open-source by rolling out Meta’s Llama 2 on Azure and Windows. As we all know, Microsoft is one of the largest contributors to open source and when it comes to AI, it’s no different. This optimisation of models for Windows enables developers to harness the power of frontier AI models while ensuring responsible AI practices through Azure AI Studio. We are very excited to see the rollout of Meta’s Llama 2 on Azure and Windows. Llama 2 takes open source to the next level and Microsoft bringing all of that to both Azure and Windows is really exciting!

Microsoft Inspire 2023 was an event that marked a new era of AI-powered innovation, leaving us excited by the latest announcements and updates. The conference showcased a new era of AI-powered innovation, with a focus on natural language UI and a powerful reasoning engine for information management. The introduction of Bing Chat Enterprise, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and Microsoft Sales Copilot sets the stage for a revolution in knowledge work, productivity, and business processes. With Azure AI updates and Power Automate Process Mining, Microsoft continues to lead the way in AI advancements, providing developers and organisations the tools they need to harness the power of AI responsibly and effectively. The future of AI is here, and Microsoft is at the forefront of shaping it for a better tomorrow.


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