Differences between OpenAI and Microsoft Azure OpenAI

The Differences Between OpenAI and Microsoft Azure OpenAI.

The Differences Between OpenAI and Microsoft Azure OpenAI

While the names are similar, there are distinctions between OpenAI and Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI. If you use any language AI models like OpenAI GPT or DALL-E, Azure OpenAI provides a safe and reliable ecosystem to safeguard your data. With that said, there are many who don’t understand the difference between what Azure OpenAI offers compared to OpenAI alone, a difference that can heavily impact your business depending on how often you use these technologies.

Differences between OpenAI and Microsoft Azure OpenAI

What is OpenAI?

OpenAI is a leading research laboratory focused on developing safe and beneficial AI for personal and professional use. They’ve created some of the most advanced AI models to date, including Chat GPT-4, which can understand and generate human-like language. Some of the other models created by OpenAI include Whisper, an automatic speech recognition system, DALL-E, an image generation model, and Jukebox, an AI model that can generate music with lyrics.

OpenAI research focuses on a wide variety of AI applications, from natural language processing to speech and beyond. Their work encompasses solving some of the greatest challenges to the AI developmental landscape, such as consistent and useful content generation, while also ensuring that these technologies are created in a way that is safe and beneficial for everyone. From AI enthusiasts to Fortune 500 businesses, OpenAI creates tools that have been used across the world.

The Microsoft and OpenAI Collaboration

Azure OpenAI is the result of a partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI, with the result being a combination of Microsoft’s powerful cloud computing resources and OpenAI’s vast AI knowledge and skills. Microsoft carefully gates access to Azure OpenAI to ensure that projects comply with all ethical AI usage policies and are made for specific use cases. To access Azure OpenAI in the first place, you have to be a Microsoft Enterprise customer.

There are three ways that Azure OpenAI can operate:

  • Custom Models: Azure OpenAI customizes models based on your training data. This provides customers with the ability to upload training data using the Files API. The uploaded data is then stored in Azure Storage, encrypted by Microsoft Managed keys, and isolated using the customer’s Azure subscription and API credentials. These files can be used or deleted as needed.
  • Text Prompt Processing: The Fine-tunes API allows customers hone OpenAI models using their uploaded training data, with the resulting fine-tune models being stored in Azure Storage, encrypted, and logically isolated with the user’s subscription and credentials.
  • Prompt Examination: Azure OpenAI, in collaboration with Microsoft personnel, examines prompts and completions to detect instances of abuse, misuse, or creation of harmful content. These prompts and completions may be stored by Azure OpenAI temporarily for up to 30 days. This data is encrypted and accessed only by authorized Microsoft employees for debugging and investigating patterns of misuse. If a customer is approved for modified abuse monitoring, the prompts and completions data are not stored and the data can’t be accessed by a Microsoft employee, ensuring businesses can confidently leverage advanced AI while maintaining data control.

The Main Differences


  • Azure OpenAI: Co-developed by Microsoft and OpenAI
  • OpenAI: OpenAI

GPT-4 Support

  • Azure OpenAI: Supports the latest GPT-4 models
  • OpenAI: Paid services with a $20 monthly subscription to ChatGPT Plus


  • Azure OpenAI: Need access to Azure and requires an application to use Azure OpenAI
  • OpenAI: Access available to everyone

Learning Resources

  • Azure OpenAI: Offers introduction to Azure OpenAI training courses
  • OpenAI: Learning resources available

Customer Support

  • Azure OpenAI: Part of Azure Cognitive Services support options
  • OpenAI: Customer support through various channels, including email support

Training Data

  • Azure OpenAI: Training data provided is only used to fine-tune the customer’s model and is not used to train or improve any model
  • OpenAI: Data submitted to the API prior to March 1, 2023 may have been used for improvements

SLAs for API Responses

  • Azure OpenAI: The overall SLA for Azure OpenAI Service is the same as for other Azure Cognitive Services
  • OpenAI: Not currently available but working towards it


  • Azure OpenAI: Currently only available in Western Europe, Eastern US, and South Central US, with expansions planned for the future
  • OpenAI: Provides API access to many countries, regions, and territories

The Power of OpenAI Models

One of the main benefits of Azure OpenAI is seamless integration with other Cognitive services within Microsoft Azure. Businesses and developers can easily integrate their AI applications with other Microsoft Azure services, like Azure Data Leak Storage. This integration provides businesses with greater flexibility and control over data analysis and processing, making it easier to build intelligent applications that can process large amounts of data.

OpenAI is consistently breaking new ground in the field of AI. They create some of the most sophisticated AI systems on the market and their research is pushing the known boundaries of artificial intelligence. As previously mentioned, models like GPT-3 and GPT-4 generate human-like language that sometimes appears more human than machine. This model has incredible implications for natural language processing, chatbots, and other AI-driven applications. The DALL-E model can generate highly realistic and detailed images from text descriptions. Codex assists developers in writing code more efficiently. OpenAI models offer endless possibilities for companies across the world, something that Microsoft wishes to utilize through their Azure OpenAI model.

Overall, Azure OpenAI is a service that offers advanced language AI with OpenAI models while providing the security and enterprise promise of Azure. Your data is your own instead of being part of a wider knowledge base, which ensures the safety of any sensitive information used in data processing. OpenAI is a series of models, while Azure OpenAI is a Microsoft-specific learning model that can help your business grow using advanced artificial intelligence.

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