Microsoft is planning to include more artificial intelligence capabilities inside Windows 10 soon. The software giant is unveiling a new AI platform, Windows ML, for developers today, that will be available in the next major Windows 10 update available this spring. Microsoft’s new platform will enable all developers that create apps on Windows 10 to leverage existing pre-trained machine learning models in apps.
Windows ML will enable developers to create more powerful apps for consumers running Windows 10. Developers will be able to import existing learning models from different AI platforms and run them locally on PCs and devices running Windows 10, speeding up real-time analysis of local data like images or video, or even improving background tasks like indexing files for quick search inside apps. Microsoft has already been using AI throughout Office 365, inside the Windows 10 Photos app, and even with its Windows Hello facial recognition to allow Windows 10 users to sign into PCs and laptops with their faces.
Microsoft’s Windows machine learning model is designed to run across a number of different devices, including laptops, PCs, Internet of Things devices, servers, datacenters, and the HoloLens headset. AI processors, like Intel’s Movidius VPU, will also be supported, and Microsoft’s platform will optimize tasks for the hardware available. Essentially, Microsoft is promising that Windows will take care of the hassle of worrying about older hardware processing machine learning models, instead of developers having to consider performance impacts in their apps.
Developers will be able to get an early look at the AI platform on Windows with Visual Studio Preview 15.7, and they’ll be able to use the Windows ML API in standard desktops apps and Universal Windows Apps across all editions of Windows 10 this year. Microsoft is planning to reveal more about the platform at its Windows Developer day today and at the company’s Build conference in May. We’d expect to see Microsoft demonstrate some of the direct AI improvements for future versions of Windows at Build, to show consumers exactly how this new platform will improve apps.