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Microsoft Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie at the inaugural GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Microsoft plans to introduce several new features Monday that bolster its Azure cloud computing service, including a key new feature for Azure Cosmos DB, the general availability of its managed Kubernetes service, and new AI-powered services for its Visual Studio developer environment.

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud + AI group, is expected to unveil the new additions to the second-place cloud computing vendor during a marathon keynote address Monday morning headlined by CEO Satya Nadella. The new features are not exactly groundbreaking, but they should help Microsoft compete for cloud business against the Amazon Web Services juggernaut and Google’s relentless focus on its artificial intelligence capabilities.

One year after introducing Azure Cosmos DB, a new database built for the cloud era, Microsoft will show off an upcoming feature that should improve performance for distributed applications that need to write data on a near-constant basis. Multimaster write capability will be shown off in preview mode during Guthrie’s keynote, a few months after AWS demonstrated similar capabilities at its re:Invent 2017 conference last November.

After operating at an arm’s length from the Google-backed Kubernetes open-source container-orchestration project for a few years, cloud vendors went all-in on Kubernetes in 2017, and Microsoft’s managed Azure Kubernetes Service is almost ready for the general public, the company plans to announce Monday. Kubernetes has become table stakes for cloud vendors as containers in general have exploded in usage, and the company also plans to integrate AKS in Visual Studio.

Speaking of Visual Studio, which is a popular development environment for software engineers, Microsoft plans to demonstrate AI services within Visual Studio that provide “intelligent suggestions” for making your code a little better. And a new partnership with Github will allow Visual Studio users building mobile apps to automate their software build process by linking the popular code repository with the development environment.

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