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Bengaluru: Microsoft Corp. chief executive officer Satya Nadella has highlighted the need to “foundationally transform" how cloud technologies can drive the next level of economic growth, as the world witnesses a second wave of digital transformation.

“The true test of technology has always been whether organizations can improve their time to value, increase agility, and reduce costs…but as the world recovers, it will require much more from technology and the cloud, in particular, to help address our most pressing challenges," Nadella said at Microsoft Ignite 2021, the annual flagship event with over 100,000 participants including IT decision makers, developers, data professionals and security professionals.

According to Nadella, five key attributes will drive the next-generation of innovation in the cloud. “These are ubiquitous and decentralized computing, sovereign data and ambient intelligence, empowered creators and communities, expanded economic opportunity for global workforce, and trust by design."

As businesses accelerated their digital journeys over the past one year, the demand for technology has significantly picked up to enable various use-cases such as tele-health, remote manufacturing and new ways of remote working. Microsoft said cloud services have been key to enable all of these. The company also announced ‘Microsoft Mesh’, a new mixed-reality platform built on Azure, which enables geographically distributed teams to interact holographically with each other. “With mixed reality technology, the digital and physical worlds have come together," Nadella said.

“This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning," said Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman. “You can actually feel like you are in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you’re not physically together."

Microsoft also announced a new semantic search capability in Azure Cognitive Search, an artificial intelligence -powered cloud search service for mobile and web app development, which enables developers to deliver results based on user intent instead of keyword-based search. Semantic search leverages some of the most advanced natural language models to improve relevance and ranking of search results.

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