Machine learning is not wholly dissimilar to artificial intelligence and uses algorithms to find patterns in behavior by analyzing large and streaming data sets. Essentially, proponents believe that ML can surpass transcend traditional business intelligence by providing a glimpse into the future by analyzing past events.

Satya Nadella Microsoft

Why?

“We want to bring machine learning to many more people,” Eron Kelly, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) corporate vice president and director SQL Server marketing, said of Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, due to be launched in beta form in July. “The line of business owners and the marketing teams really want to use data to get ahead, but data volumes are getting so large that it is difficult for businesses to sift through it all,” Kelly said.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will use its existing cloud platform Azure to offer the opportunity for businesses to better understand machine learning. Until recent years, machine learning as been refined primarily in academia but after 20 odd years of study, it’s now helping businesses better deal with issues such as credit card fraud. Microsoft itself uses machine learning on its Cortana personal assistant meant to compete with Apple’s Siri as well as on the Azure cloud offerings by allowing its computers to determine additional need for hardware purchases or building.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is hoping with the project to see more and more developers and data scientists using machine learning by “combining the power of machine learning with the simplicity of the cloud,” Kelly said.

Microsoft’s cloud makes sense

By taking to the cloud, Azure ML almost does away with the need of users to purchase expensive hardware that often leaves machine-learning projects halted before they have begun in earnest.Azure ML will also offer something that Microsoft is calling the Machine Learning Studio where users will be given a palette, if you will, of commonly used algorithms to drag and drop into a problem. It will also allow developers to write and share algorithms written in R programming language while providing working templates.

“You train the model on historical data, tune and optimize it, and then you could look at the output to see how well it did,” Kelly said.

Following the use of these templates users will be given an opportunity to publish their work. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been offering a private beta of Azure ML to certain Azure customers.

The company has yet to speak of pricing for Azure ML when it finally goes into commercial use at some undetermined date in the future.