Microsoft’s Internet Explorer returns as a ‘mode’ inside Edge browser

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer returns as a ‘mode’ inside Edge browser

11:00am, 6th May, 2019
(Bigstock Photo) Internet Explorer is making a comeback, more than three years after Microsoft Microsoft is adding a new “IE Mode” that will bring Internet Explorer into its Edge browser via a tab. This will let businesses run “legacy Internet Explorer-based” apps in Microsoft’s current preferred browser. Microsoft said the move is meant to address the 60 percent of businesses that use multiple browsers. IE Mode is part of a series of changes coming to Edge, headlined by the , the open-source project that also powers Google Chrome, as the platform that will underpin the browser. Microsoft for the Chromium-powered Edge for Windows 10 last month. Edge debuted approximately four years ago as a replacement for Windows Explorer as Microsoft’s primary browser. The company positioned Edge as a fast, lightweight and secure browser option, however, it has been unable to chip away at in browser market share. Despite Microsoft ending support for Internet Explorer years ago, the browser has retained a following, especially for organizations running legacy enterprise applications. Enough so that in March, Chris Jackson, a principal program manager in Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices Group specializing in cybersecurity, authored a blog post as their primary browser. Because developers are no longer building apps for Internet Explorer, users are missing out on broad swaths of the web, according to the blog post. In addition to IE Mode, the next version of Edge will offer users three different levels of privacy controls: unrestricted, balanced and strict. The options adjust how third parties can track users across the web.
Microsoft launches first preview builds of Chromium-powered Edge browser for Windows 10

Microsoft launches first preview builds of Chromium-powered Edge browser for Windows 10

1:15pm, 8th April, 2019
(Microsoft Photo) Microsoft gave a at the next evolution of its Edge web browser built on Chromium, the open-source browser that also powers Google Chrome. Microsoft launched the first preview builds of the Chromium-powered Edge browser today for Windows 10. The company plans to release previews for other operating systems, including macOS, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, later. Microsoft introduced Edge in 2015, and positioned it as a fast, lightweight and secure browser option. However, it has been unable to chip away at in browser market share. This competitive balance adds some extra intrigue to Microsoft’s shift, as Chromium rose to prominence partly due to its ties to Chrome. Microsoft wants users to for the new Edge, and it is offering versions that are updated daily or weekly. , Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Windows Joe Belfiore laid out what the company is trying to accomplish with these early builds. “In these first builds we are very much focused on the fundamentals and have not yet included a wide range of feature and language support that will come later,” Belfiore wrote. “You’ll start to see differences from the current Microsoft Edge including subtle design finishes, support for a broader selection of extensions and the ability to manage your sign-in profile.” as the under-pinning of Edge in December “to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers.” The company has not given a release date for the finished product. As part of its adoption of Chromium, Microsoft pledged to make contrubtions to the open-source project. Belfiore wrote that Microsoft is working directly with Google and the Chromium community in areas like accessibility, touch, ARM64 and others.
Microsoft launches 1st preview builds of Chromium-powered Edge browser for Windows 10

Microsoft launches 1st preview builds of Chromium-powered Edge browser for Windows 10

12:44pm, 8th April, 2019
(Microsoft Photo) Microsoft gave a at the next evolution of its Edge web browser built on Chromium, the open-source browser that also powers Google Chrome. Microsoft launched the first preview builds of the Chromium-powered Edge browser today for Windows 10. The company plans to release previews for other operating systems, including macOS, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, later. Microsoft introduced Edge in 2015, and positioned it as a fast, lightweight and secure browser option. However, it has been unable to chip away at in browser market share. This competitive balance adds some extra intrigue to Microsoft’s shift, as Chromium rose to prominence partly due to its ties to Chrome. Microsoft wants users to for the new Edge, and it is offering versions that are updated daily or weekly. , Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Windows Joe Belfiore laid out what the company is trying to accomplish with these early builds. “In these first builds we are very much focused on the fundamentals and have not yet included a wide range of feature and language support that will come later,” Belfiore wrote. “You’ll start to see differences from the current Microsoft Edge including subtle design finishes, support for a broader selection of extensions and the ability to manage your sign-in profile.” as the under-pinning of Edge in December “to create better web compatibility for our customers and less fragmentation of the web for all web developers.” The company has not given a release date for the finished product. As part of its adoption of Chromium, Microsoft pledged to make contrubtions to the open-source project. Belfiore wrote that Microsoft is working directly with Google and the Chromium community in areas like accessibility, touch, ARM64 and others.
Microsoft expands partnership deal with Telefonica with edge computing in mind

Microsoft expands partnership deal with Telefonica with edge computing in mind

9:24am, 25th February, 2019
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) Microsoft’s annual Spanish holiday in Barcelona will include a revamped partnership agreement with Madrid-based telecom provider Telefonica, the companies plan to announce Monday at Mobile World Congress. It’s , but the partnership is an evolving part of , which aims to position the company’s cloud division for a future in which an increasing amount of application processing is done closer to the end user on networks such as Telefonica’s. Under the new agreement, Telefonica will expand its use of to customer service and supplier channels and work with Microsoft to develop connected home services based around Microsoft’s cloud. Specifically, the companies plan to “evaluate” (which gives them plenty of wiggle room to back out later) using Azure Cognitive Services as the foundation for future Telefonica smart home applications. Azure Cognitive Services allows users to take advantage of Microsoft’s machine-learning research to add features like speech recognition to their applications, and Telefonica already uses it for a customer-service chatbot service called Aura. An example of a dashboard used to track edge computing. (Microsoft Photo) Like a lot of other aspects of this world, edge computing is still a bit hazy, but is based around the growing realization that to provide the data processing they need. Processing and networking capabilities have never been better, but data still has to travel some distance between a data center and the end device, and that takes time. That means that companies building apps and services for this real-time world are looking at the just-underway 5G buildout as an opportunity to design edge computing principles into their networks over the next few years. 5G networks could result in more and more edge devices using mobile cellular networks for connectivity compared to in-ground fiber or Wi-Fi, and that means cloud companies like Microsoft will have to work more closely with the companies that control those networks to deliver their services. Microsoft and Telefonica have used Mobile World Congress to highlight their ongoing partnership for the last several years. As one of the largest mobile network operators in the world, Telefonica has reams of data on how applications perform over mobile networks that could give Microsoft an edge (sorry) when it comes to building cloud services for those networks.
Xnor shrinks AI to fit on a solar-powered chip, opening up big frontiers on the edge

Xnor shrinks AI to fit on a solar-powered chip, opening up big frontiers on the edge

9:50am, 13th February, 2019
Xnor.ai machine learning engineer Hessam Bagherinezhad, hardware engineer Saman Naderiparizi and co-founder Ali Farhadi show off a chip that uses solar-powered AI. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle) It was a big deal two and a half years ago when researchers the size of a candy bar — and now it’s an even bigger deal for Xnor.ai to re-engineer its artificial intelligence software to fit onto a solar-powered computer chip. “To us, this is as big as when somebody invented a light bulb,” Xnor.ai’s co-founder, Ali Farhadi, said at the company’s Seattle headquarters. Like the candy-bar-sized, Raspberry Pi-powered contraption, the camera-equipped chip flashes a signal when it sees a person standing in front of it. But the chip itself isn’t the point. The point is that Xnor.ai has figured out how to blend stand-alone, solar-powered hardware and edge-based AI to turn its vision of “artificial intelligence at your fingertips” into a reality. “This is a key technology milestone, not a product,” Farhadi explained. Shrinking the hardware and power requirements for AI software should expand the range of potential applications greatly, Farhadi said. “Our homes can be way smarter than they are today. Why? Because now we can have many of these devices deployed in our houses,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be a camera. We picked a camera because we wanted to show that the most expensive algorithms can run on this device. It might be audio. … It might be a way smarter smoke detector.” Outside the home, Farhadi can imagine putting AI chips on stoplights, to detect how busy an intersection is at a given time and direct the traffic flow accordingly. AI chips could be tethered to balloons or scattered in forests, to monitor wildlife or serve as an early warning system for wildfires. Xnor’s solar-powered AI chip is light enough to be lofted into the air on a balloon for aerial monitoring. In this image, the chip is highlighted by the lamp in the background. (Xnor. ai Photo) Sophie Lebrecht, Xnor.ai’s senior vice president of strategy and operations, said the chips might even be cheap enough, and smart enough, to drop into a wildfire or disaster zone and sense where there are people who need to be rescued. “That way, you’re only deploying resources in unsafe areas if you really have to,” she said. The key to the technology is reducing the required power so that it can be supplied by a solar cell that’s no bigger than a cocktail cracker. That required innovations in software as well as hardware. “We had to basically redo a lot of things,” machine learning engineer Hessam Bagherinezhad said. Xnor.ai’s head of hardware engineering, Saman Naderiparizi, worked with his colleagues to figure out a way to fit the software onto an FPGA chip that costs a mere $2, and he says it’s possible to drive the cost down to less than a dollar by going to ASIC chips. It only takes on the order of milliwatts of power to run the chip and its mini-camera, he told GeekWire. “With technology this low power, a device running on only a coin-cell battery could be always on, detecting things every second, running for 32 years,” Naderiparizi said in a news release. That means there’d be no need to connect AI chips to a power source, replace their batteries or recharge them. And the chips would be capable of running AI algorithms on standalone devices, rather than having to communicate constantly with giant data servers via the cloud. If the devices need to pass along bits of data, they could . That edge-computing approach is likely to reduce the strain of what could turn out to be billions of AI-enabled devices. “The carbon footprint of data centers running all of those algorithms is a key issue,” Farhadi said. “And with the way AI is progressing, it will be a disastrous issue pretty soon, if we don’t think about how we’re going to power our AI algorithms. Data centers, cloud-based solutions for edge-use cases are not actually efficient ways, but other than efficiency, it’s harming our planet in a dangerous way.” Farhadi argues that cloud-based AI can’t scale as easily as edge-based AI. “Imagine when I put a camera or sensor at every intersection of this city. There is no cloud that is going to handle all that bandwidth,” he said. “Even if there were, back-of-the-envelope calculations would show that my business will go bankrupt before it sees the light of day.” The edge approach also addresses what many might see as the biggest bugaboo about having billions of AI bugs out in the world: data privacy. “I don’t want to put a camera in my daughter’s bedroom if I know that the picture’s going to end up in the cloud,” Farhadi said. Xnor.ai was , or AI2, only a couple of years ago, and the venture is with millions of dollars of financial backing from Madrona Venture Group, AI2 and other investors. Farhadi has faith that the technology Xnor.ai is currently calling “solar-powered AI” will unlock still more commercial frontiers, but he can’t predict whether the first applications will pop up in the home, on the street or off the beaten track. “It will open up so many different things, the exact same thing when the light bulb was invented: No one knew what to do with it,” he said. “The technology’s out there, and we’ll figure out the exact products.”
Xnor shrinks AI to fit on a solar-powered chip, opening big frontiers on the edge

Xnor shrinks AI to fit on a solar-powered chip, opening big frontiers on the edge

9:20am, 13th February, 2019
Xnor.ai machine learning engineer Hessam Bagherinezhad, hardware engineer Saman Naderiparizi and co-founder Ali Farhadi show off a chip that can use solar-powered AI to detect people. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle) It was a big deal two and a half years ago when researchers the size of a candy bar — and now it’s an even bigger deal for Xnor.ai to re-engineer its artificial intelligence software to fit onto a solar-powered computer chip. “To us, this is as big as when somebody invented a light bulb,” Xnor.ai’s co-founder, Ali Farhadi, said at the company’s Seattle headquarters. Like the candy-bar-sized, Raspberry Pi-powered contraption, the camera-equipped chip flashes a signal when it sees a person standing in front of it. But the chip itself isn’t the point. The point is that Xnor.ai has figured out how to blend stand-alone, solar-powered hardware and edge-based AI to turn its vision of “artificial intelligence at your fingertips” into a reality. “This is a key technology milestone, not a product,” Farhadi explained. Shrinking the hardware and power requirements for AI software should expand the range of potential applications greatly, Farhadi said. “Our homes can be way smarter than they are today. Why? Because now we can have many of these devices deployed in our houses,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be a camera. We picked a camera because we wanted to show that the most expensive algorithms can run on this device. It might be audio. … It might be a way smarter smoke detector.” Outside the home, Farhadi can imagine putting AI chips on stoplights, to detect how busy an intersection is at a given time and direct the traffic flow accordingly. AI chips could be tethered to balloons or scattered in forests, to monitor wildlife or serve as an early warning system for wildfires. Xnor’s solar-powered AI chip is light enough to be lofted into the air on a balloon for aerial monitoring. In this image, the chip is highlighted by the lamp in the background. (Xnor. ai Photo) Sophie Lebrecht, Xnor.ai’s senior vice president of strategy and operations, said the chips might even be cheap enough, and smart enough, to drop into a wildfire or disaster zone and sense where there are people who need to be rescued. “That way, you’re only deploying resources in unsafe areas if you really have to,” she said. The key to the technology is reducing the required power so that it can be supplied by a solar cell that’s no bigger than a cocktail cracker. That required innovations in software as well as hardware. “We had to basically redo a lot of things,” machine learning engineer Hessam Bagherinezhad said. Xnor.ai’s head of hardware engineering, Saman Naderiparizi, worked with his colleagues to figure out a way to fit the software onto an FPGA chip that costs a mere $2, and he says it’s possible to drive the cost down to less than a dollar by going to ASIC chips. It only takes on the order of milliwatts of power to run the chip and its mini-camera, he told GeekWire. “With technology this low power, a device running on only a coin-cell battery could be always on, detecting things every second, running for 32 years,” Naderiparizi said in a news release. That means there’d be no need to connect AI chips to a power source, replace their batteries or recharge them. And the chips would be capable of running AI algorithms on standalone devices, rather than having to communicate constantly with giant data servers via the cloud. If the devices need to pass along bits of data, they could . That edge-computing approach is likely to reduce the strain of what could turn out to be billions of AI-enabled devices. “The carbon footprint of data centers running all of those algorithms is a key issue,” Farhadi said. “And with the way AI is progressing, it will be a disastrous issue pretty soon, if we don’t think about how we’re going to power our AI algorithms. Data centers, cloud-based solutions for edge-use cases are not actually efficient ways, but other than efficiency, it’s harming our planet in a dangerous way.” Farhadi argues that cloud-based AI can’t scale as easily as edge-based AI. “Imagine when I put a camera or sensor at every intersection of this city. There is no cloud that is going to handle all that bandwidth,” he said. “Even if there were, back-of-the-envelope calculations would show that my business will go bankrupt before it sees the light of day.” The edge approach also addresses what many might see as the biggest bugaboo about having billions of AI bugs out in the world: data privacy. “I don’t want to put a camera in my daughter’s bedroom if I know that the picture’s going to end up in the cloud,” Farhadi said. Xnor.ai was , or AI2, only a couple of years ago, and the venture is with millions of dollars of financial backing from Madrona Venture Group, AI2 and other investors. Farhadi has faith that the technology Xnor.ai is currently calling “solar-powered AI” will unlock still more commercial frontiers, but he can’t predict whether the first applications will pop up in the home, on the street or off the beaten track. “It will open up so many different things, the exact same thing when the light bulb was invented: No one knew what to do with it,” he said. “The technology’s out there, and we’ll figure out the exact products.”