Gossip (for nerds)
- NVIDIA chips have become a hotter item than black market kidneys as companies “go to extreme lengths” to remedy the GPU shortage. In response, AWS is promoting its own AI chips and the adoption of Amazon Bedrock, which bakes chip needs into the offering. Meanwhile Microsoft is offering refunds to customers who curb their GPU usage.
- If you don’t want to return to the Amazon office then get ready to like government cheese. Andy Jassey said that employees should forget about the Amazon mantra of “disagree and commit” for leadership’s push to return to soul-sucking cubicle life. This message was delivered in the bravest of fashions using the good old pre-recorded session.
- SAP’s new global head of AI was previously the Microsoft VP of AI for the business and application platform group. She has a PhD from MIT…how mid.
- A shake-up may be coming to the AWS Partner program. The cloud giant teased changes to partner-to-partner engagement and AWS Marketplace in relation to generative AI. I actually know about one of these changes and while I don’t have a PhD from MIT, I did major in KEEPING SECRETS at life university with a weighted GPA of 4.18.
- Microsoft has changed its policy to allow customers to use Microsoft 365 on Amazon WorkSpaces. Why such a big licensing change now? The report speculates that the move may be a result of pressure from large customers and the EU’s ongoing examination of anti-competitive practices. Amazon WorkSpaces is on a shortlist of software that can now run on Microsoft 365, leaving other big firms, like VMware, to ask when it will be their turn.
- AWS has hired two new executives to its senior leadership team, one for AI and one for EC2 (the third is for Amazon, check out her amazing profile here).
- The whole “I’ll patch it in two years, MAYBE” security approach that Microsoft has had over the years is not flying with customers anymore, including the federal government. A mounting number of infosec professionals and vendors are getting loud about Microsoft’s lack of transparency, lack of urgency, and increasing occurrence of security issues. It’s gotten to the point where the US Department of Homeland Security has opened an investigation into Microsoft’s handling of a major attack on its Azure cloud infrastructure. This will definitely hurt the cloud company’s attempt to position itself as a cybersecurity leader.
- It’s rumored that Google plans to release its contender to OpenAI’s GPT-4, Gemini, this fall.
- More people with a 1.7 GPA in keeping secrets: Microsoft is planning to start selling a new version of Databricks software that helps customers make AI apps for businesses.
- Africa: AWS opened its first international AWS Skills Center in Cape Town, South Africa. It offers free training to help people move into cloud careers. And startups from six African countries have been chosen to participate in a boot camp run by AWS and Harvard Innovation Labs’ NextGen Accelerator. 25 Black-led startups were selected in total, with founders from U.S. HBCUs also in the cohort.
- Asia: AWS APJ is tapping Korean startups to be part of its six-week-long Generative AI Accelerator program. And AWS debuted a new Dedicated Local Zone in Singapore, which will help organizations in the public sector and regulated industries meet regulatory standards.
- Europe: Finland’s Savings Bank Group is moving all of its data and systems to Azure. Boring news from a boring country. I love you Finland, but you are not the Friday nights of countries!
- AWS introduced HealthImaging, a HIPAA-eligible service that lets healthcare providers store, analyze, and share medical imaging data at scale. Wait, so I can just…get images? You’re saying, AWS, that I don’t have to call up my old neurologist at NYU and request my brain MRI only to be told I have to make the request in person, so I fly to New York City, sign a release waiver, wait two days, go to pick it up only to find out my other doctor needs it in a different format, then fly back to NYC again, except this time the front desk tells me oh sorry that lady you spoke to was new, we no longer provide imaging in that format anymore and then I just, I dunno, die?
- AWS wants to teach its healthcare customers and partners in Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean how to build solutions. It will do this through its pilot of AWS Industry Quest: Healthcare, which sounds a lot like you’ll be playing Tomb Raider instead of developing apps.
- Microsoft feels like the one thing missing from this world is another male voice, so it added one to its Azure AI Text to Speech tool.
- AWS launched an EC2 service powered by custom Intel Xeon Scalable processors, otherwise known as Sapphire Rapids.
- Microsoft has announced the general availability of its Azure Operating Nexus for telcos. The explanation of what it does is a real snooze fest and my workday ends in 15 minutes so you’ll have to go without.
- In its ongoing love letter to startups, AWS has unveiled AWS Build, a global program meant to help early-stage startups get their ideas off the ground.
- Can’t leave frontline and shift workers out of the Copilot revolution. It must be high on their list of must-haves, well above cost of living pay raises and sick days, for sure. Fret not field service workers because now there’s a preview of Copilot in Dynamics 365 just for you.
Wheelin’ and dealin’
- Are DDoS days the new snow days? Cyberattacks have increasingly led to lost learning in K-12 schools, so AWS has pledged $20M in grants for cybersecurity resiliency efforts in education. This is part of the White House’s increased federal support for school cybersecurity.
- Digital pathology provider Paige has teamed up with Microsoft to build the world’s largest image-based AI intelligence model for identifying cancer.
- AWS has announced that its Service Catalog now supports HashiCorp Terraform Cloud. This facilitates self-service provisioning with governance so that developers don’t have to wait on cranky IT folks to set their shiz up.
- BMW chose AWS as the platform on which it will develop its next-gen driver assistance system, set to launch in 2025. Qualcomm will also play a role in development.
- Separately, Qualcomm is touting its growing influence in the automotive sector, including a strategic partnership with AWS.
- Microsoft and AI startup Synthetaic are working together to analyze data from space and air sensors. This was the same company that independently tracked the Chinese spy balloon, something that was on my shortlist of Halloween costumes but is now too obscure.
- Aptos, a blockchain platform developed by a former Facebook employee (I bet it’s a GREAT place for women to work), is partnering with Microsoft to bring AI to blockchain. That includes building tools to help banks explore blockchain on Azure.
- EVERYBODY AND THEIR MOTHERS are helping businesses accelerate AI adoption:
- LeanIX, which sells a transformation platform that helps companies with visibility and governance, has partnered with Microsoft to launch LeanIX Assistant. The press release goes on to say it’s the first of its kind, but I’m gonna spoiler alert you and let you know that it’s not.
- IBM Consulting is helping clients implement and scale Azure OpenAI Service. It will guide businesses in defining an adoption strategy and identify use cases.
- AWS has “let me show you how to use this thing” collabs too! HCLTech will help AWS customers adopt AI using AWS services such as Amazon Bedrock and Amazon CodeWhisperer.
- And government modernization facilitator CACI struck a deal with AWS to help the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and law enforcement use AI to do things like share sensitive data to generate insights. SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA.
- IT infrastructure services provider Kyndryl is working with Microsoft to launch an AI-readiness program that will enable the ethical adoption of enterprise AI solutions.
- Have you ever offered to do something for somebody, and as soon as it came out of your mouth you were like, why did I just offer to do that? That’s Microsoft this week after saying it will accept liability for any customer’s copyright infringement over material generated by its AI software! The idea is to get more people comfortable with using the software. This applies exclusively to paying customers of GitHub Copilot, which creates computer code with generative AI, as well as Microsoft 365 Copilot, which applies AI to products including Word, Teams, and PowerPoint.
- Amazon has acquired Fig, a startup that produces tools to assist developers. It will be folded into AWS.
- Microsoft has ended unlimited storage for OneDrive business plans because you can never have too much money. It’s also ended Windows support for Cortana in favor of focusing on Copilot.
- AWS is ending its low-code Honeycode service. The end-of-life announcement drew only six replies from customers. Is this like when Phish announced they were retiring in 2004?
- Another reason why Europe offers a better quality of life: Microsoft will stop forcing Windows 11 users into the Edge browser.
Best Friends Forever
- New to Microsoft Azure Marketplace:
- Globalgig’s Orchestra platform, which helps businesses manage global network services.
- DeskConnect, an AI/ML solution that extracts and analyzes text from documents, including handwritten ones. I know a former president who hates to read but loves documents who would have liked that about a year ago.
- Red Hat OpenShift for the U.S. Intelligence Community is now available in AWS Marketplace. It will help the government innovate while also maintaining stringent security. Both of those things are new concepts to the government, so take ‘er nice and slow there guys. Also new to AWS Marketplace:
- PingSafe, a CNAPP provider, has joined the AWS ISV Accelerator and so has ComplyAdvantage, a financial crime intelligence company.
- Alfa, a finance software provider, joined the AWS Partner Network after passing the technical review.
- HashiCorp has joined Microsoft’s Intelligence Security Association.
- Consulting firm Protiviti earned its AI and ML specialization from Microsoft.
- Data science and AI solutions provider Tredence has achieved its AWS Service Delivery designation for Amazon EMR and Amazon RDS. Analytics company SAS achieved AWS Digital Customer Experience Competency. Onebeat, which provides AI-enabled supply chain solutions for retailers, was awarded the AWS Retail Competency. And Zero Trust company Netskope earned its Security Competency status in the Infrastructure Protection category.