Azure Updates: Terra platform; NRF 2021; Spatial analysis; SQL popularity

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As the pace of announcements pick back up, Microsoft is focusing its attention on life sciences, retail, Cognitive Services, databases and more in the month of January.

Microsoft has teamed up with the Broad Institute and Verily to expand the Terra platform for life science research. Industry projections suggest that rapid generation of biomedical data will total dozens of exabytes by 2025. This includes data from genomics, biometric signals, electronic health records and medical imaging.

As part of its initiative to span data silos Microsoft is working with a worldwide network of 168,000 health and life sciences partners on human disease research. The Broad-Verily-Microsoft partnership aims to expand on the Terra platform’s existing modular, interoperable setup, boost accessibility, support secure authentication, conduct federated data analysis, and leverage open APIs and modular components.