Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operational Security

9/25/2017
06:00 PM
Curtis Franklin
Curtis Franklin
Curt Franklin
50%
50%

Microsoft's Nadella Shares the Future at Ignite

Satya Nadella's keynote address can be boiled down to four phrases or words. Here's what you need to know to get ready for the Microsoft future.

At Microsoft's Ignite conference, which brings developers, partners and customers together for a week of education and enthusiasm, CEO Satya Nadella took the opening-morning keynote stage to deliver an address that was short on details about new products but long on vision. The details on display boiled down to four carefully curated words or phrases: mixed reality; artificial intelligence; Graph; and quantum computing.

If you're a Microsoft customer, your future workplace and development environments will rest on at least one, and possibly all, of these. And if they're not part of your vocabulary already, it's time to start your education so you can begin thinking about how you will protect each -- and how you might use each to protect the rest of your infrastructure.

Mixed reality
I scratched my head about this one for a moment, but it's really pretty simple: What the rest of the world calls "augmented reality," Microsoft is labeling "mixed reality." In the keynote, there was a pretty nifty demo using a team at Ford, working on details of a new car while team members are in different locations, to show what could be possible.

Virtual reality is moving forward at a fairly rapid clip in a number of industrial applications and it seems that Microsoft is ready to move forward with their mixed reality applications, as well. Look for applications involving industrial design, big data analysis and remote medical consulting. And yes, you should probably also look for that one person who decides that joining the meeting through mixed reality avatar is much better than a simple video conference. Don't roll your eyes too loudly.

Artificial intelligence

We insist on adding more and more data to computers' workloads. And we insist on getting the results faster and faster. These two trends, brought together, require computing systems that are better at figuring out what we really want to know and the best way to put that information into our hands. Artificial intelligence is the tool that Microsoft is using to dramatically speed up today's process.

Artificial intelligence is being used to sort through massive piles of data to provide data that humans can then use as the basis for decisions. AI is also being used to make simple decisions so humans can be given more complex tasks that require more complex answers.

Until now, AI has been devilishly difficult and complex to program. Nadella talked about making AI easier to program and much, much less expensive to develop. This "democratization" of AI could make a huge difference in the type of application that AI can economically be applied toward -- it might be time for enterprise developers to start brushing up on AI concepts.

Graph
When Nadella started talking about Graph things got a bit complicated because the idea of Graph is so darned big. In one sense, Graph is the search facility that allow you to look for specific information anywhere inside your Microsoft-based infrastructure. In reality though, that view is much too limited.

Graph collects, collates, indexes and searches for data within a particular realm -- say, your internal network or LinkedIn. It also allows connections between these segments so that information can be gathered from a much greater range of sources. Finally, it delivers its results in a variety of ways, including through APIs, so that applications and services can become more data aware.

When joined with technology like artificial intelligence, Graph can begin to anticipate the information needs of users. Thinking about Graph is much more accurate in the new Microsoft universe than thinking simply about applications or data sets.

Quantum computing
My colleague Scott Ferguson has written an entire article on Microsoft's
quantum computing effort, giving the low-down on things like qubits and cryogenic control units. I was much more interested in the idea that here was a computer that might someday be able to blow through complex problems in a time that makes measurement irrelevant.

Of course, if it will do that, it could also make passwords pretty much irrelevant. But that's the down side. It's much more interesting to think that this could a computing model that pretty much requires the cloud: It is unlikely that quantum computers will be within the economic reach of most computers within the next couple of decades.

The processing units for quantum computers are expensive. The environmental control units for quantum computers are massively expensive. When Microsoft does bring quantum computing as a service to Azure, researchers on projects ranging from cancer to climate change will rejoise.

Until then there's plenty more for Microsoft customers to think about and adapt to as the technology changes and they live ever more completely in Satya Nadella's world.

Related posts:

— Curtis Franklin is the editor of SecurityNow.com. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Cloud Security Threats for 2021
Or Azarzar, CTO & Co-Founder of Lightspin,  12/3/2020
Why Vulnerable Code Is Shipped Knowingly
Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer, Veracode,  11/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27772
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in coders/bmp.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned int`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but could po...
CVE-2020-27773
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/gem-private.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned char` or division by zero. This would most likely lead to an impact to appli...
CVE-2020-28950
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
The installer of Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool (KART) prior to KART 4.0 Patch C was vulnerable to a DLL hijacking attack that allowed an attacker to elevate privileges during installation process.
CVE-2020-27774
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/statistic.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of a too large shift for 64-bit type `ssize_t`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but co...
CVE-2020-27775
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/quantum.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type unsigned char. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but c...