When it comes to hardware support, Microsoft says that Windows ML is "tuned for efficiency across the diverse silicon" that is already supported on Windows platforms. Microsoft will support current and future hardware (including CPUs, and GPUs that support DirectX 12) and a wide range of device types including desktops, workstations, servers, IoT edge devices and even HoloLens.
As for machine learning models, Microsoft says that it will support the industry standard ONNX. Developers will be able to train and deploy ONNX models with both the Azure Machine Learning Workbench and the Azure Custom Vision Service for Windows 10 devices.
So, what does this mean for developers? Microsoft is promising low latency for real-time analysis copious amounts of local data (i.e. images and video). The Redmond, Washington-based giant also claims greater economies of scale when using its Cloud AI platform when building end-to-end AI solutions.
"Significant savings can be realized by reducing or eliminating costs associated with bandwidth due to ingestion of large data sets, such as camera footage or sensor telemetry, sites Cam VedBrat, Group Program Manager for the Windows AI division. "Complex workloads can be processed in real-time on the edge, with minimal sample data sent to the cloud for improved training on observations."
Microsoft is also pushing that Windows ML allows more flexibility, with AI processing that can be performed in the cloud or on-device depending on your usage scenarios.
AI technology is already heavily used in Windows 10 through Windows Hello, Cortana, Bing search, the Photos app and even within Office 365. Windows ML will help developers push the AI envelope to help further empower Windows 10 users with innovative new apps. And as you might expect, Microsoft has a helping hand from some familiar industry partners including Intel, AMD, NVIDIA and Qualcomm in advancing its efforts.
“AI acceleration on Window 10 PCs is the latest evidence of how artificial intelligence is becoming ubiquitous in our everyday lives,” said Ian Buck VP and GP for Accelerated Computing at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA is delighted to be partnering with Microsoft to enhance the PC experience for users worldwide.”
Microsoft will be talking more about the future of Windows 10 and Windows ML at the upcoming BUILD 2018 conference.