At the Ethereum Developer Conference on November 9, Microsoft announced that it would offer blockchain building blocks as part of its Azure cloud hosting platform; the Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) offering allows developers to quickly launch an Ethereum environment which includes code building blocks for SmartContracts and a semi-private testing environment with a blockchain which then can be migrated to the public Ethereum environment; the offering is in partnership with development house ConsenSys. Source
The company's speech recognition technology has reported a 5.5% error rate in speech recognition, breaking the previous speech recognition error rate of 5.9% set by Microsoft in October 2016; the current error rate for speech recognition falls just above the newly reported human error rate of 5.1%; the speech recognition error rate continues to be a focus area as speech recognition technology becomes more broadly utilized in consumer electronics and the internet of things. Source
Ahead of his presentation at LendIt Europe 2017, Richard Peers, Director of the Financial Services Industry at Microsoft discusses fintech with Verdict; provides his perspective on artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, challenger banks, why London is a great place for startups, and what firms can learn from the Chinese market. Source
Denmark based Saxo Bank announced a partnership with Microsoft to host the bank’s entire technology stack on the Microsoft Azure cloud; the bank said the partnership will allow them to ensure scalability, flexibility and security in the digital infrastructure; Kim Fournais, the bank’s founder and CEO, tells Banking Technology “Saxo Bank was a fintech long before the term was created, and it is a natural step for us to also pioneer cloud-based solutions in financial services.” Source.
Microsoft has partnered with AMIS and the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan to form Asia's first blockchain consortium; the partnership will build on the success of Microsoft's Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) on Microsoft Azure which it announced in April; the consortium will focus on blockchain solutions that provide increased efficiency and cost savings for companies in Taiwan. Source
The Confidential Consortium framework called Coco is an ethereum-based protocol that organizations can use to process information on the ethereum blockchain; Microsoft Azure's CTO says it can help enterprises scale their operations securely; explaining the benefits of the technology, Coco user, Tom Racette, vice president at Mojix, said: "Being able to run our existing supply chain Dapp code much faster within Coco framework is a great performance improvement that will reduce friction when we talk about enterprise blockchain readiness with our retail customers. Adding data confidentiality support without sacrificing this improvement is what will enable us to lead the digital transformation we are envisioning with smart supply chains." Source
Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft, or GAFAM as they are beginning to be know are continuing their move towards financial services; payments have become one area in particular where they have seen the tech giants making inroads; mobile wallets for in-store payments, money transfers between friends and even loans to small businesses; tech giants have only started to disrupt fintech as they look to become bigger players in consumers financial lives. Source.