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Microsoft to Enhance Cloud Experience with AI-based Azure Data Box

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Sep. 25 2018, Published 3:04 p.m. ET

Can advanced technology take on the competition?

On September 24, Microsoft (MSFT) introduced Azure Data Box Edge, which allows customers to actively deploy AI technology in their work premise. It’s available with pre-installed processors, which are field-programmable gate arrays (or FPGAs), saving time for customers to add special processors to suit their needs. The price of the hardware is to be announced before the end of 2018.

The Azure Data Box Edge is also compatible with third-party software, as it comes with an open-source platform. Cree (CREE), a semiconductor manufacturer, is already using the new Azure Data Box Edge on its premises.

To take on Amazon’s (AMZN) Snowball, which provides customers with hardware to store data, Microsoft launched its Azure Data Box, which supports around 100 terabytes of data, in 2017. However, integrating the hardware with AI tools should provide a customized solution and flexibility to clients.

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Business impact

The launch of these kinds of value-added products may help the company not only to strengthen its position in the cloud space but also to drive revenue growth. From the graph above, you can see the revenue growth for the Commercial Cloud business over the last five quarters. It has grown at a compound growth rate of 3.6%.

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