The season of annual developer conferences has begun with Microsoft Corp. taking the lead with its most-awaited Microsoft Build 2018, a three-day developer conference which commenced on May 7 in Seattle, Washington. Here are all the important Microsoft Build announcements made during two days. Day one was all things – Azure, Artificial Intelligent, and Mixed Reality. Meanwhile, day two emphasized on the vast opportunities on Microsoft 365 platform.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft welcomed developers with a note on the world of computing. During his keynote, Nadella encouraged developers to take a leading part in this omnipresent digital technology. Nadella believes developers need to shift the focus from ‘what computer can do’ to ‘what computers should do’. This alteration in thought process is critical to the ethical and responsible usage of cloud intelligence.
Nadella highlighted the three core areas where Microsoft has currently put focus – privacy, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. The Redmond Company is making all efforts to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It has taken additional steps, like, Cybersecurity Tech Accord to restrict data theft. ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ is the center of attention as it aims to make AI presence ubiquitous – in cars, homes, workplace, and basically everywhere.
Key Microsoft BuildAnnouncements
New phone app – Your Phone
Microsoft previewed a new phone app at Build developer conference 2018 – Your Phone. The app has a feature wherein it can mirror the screen of Android phones and iPhone on Windows 10 desktop PC and laptops. In addition, users can sync and access text messages and photos, and view mobile notifications directly from their PCs. The interconnection between phone and PCs enables users to avoid the interference of checking out mobiles during office work. Your Phone app will beta launch this week and may come in the market by this year fall session.
Alexa and Cortana Shake Hands
One of the major Microsoft Build announcements made this year is Alexa and Cortana working together. Amazon and Microsoft partnered to explore multi-device and multi-sense experience. Thought the announcement was made the previous year, we could see the live demonstration only at Microsoft Build 2018. Now command Alexa to send an e-mail to your peer and it will guide Cortana to perform the task. Quite interesting and fun to watch is this new digital friendship!
Microsoft 365 is a Strong Platform
A developer working on Office or Windows is by default a Microsoft 365 developer. Microsoft Corporate Vice President (CVP) at Windows 10, Joe Belfiore mentioned that there are now 135 million commercial monthly active users of Microsoft platform -Office 365, and more than 200,000 organizations who use Microsoft Teams.
During his keynote, Satya Nadella urged developers to put people instead of a device at the center while exploiting the technology. For this, Microsoft is strengthening its platform so it can interface with multi-operating systems and syncs on multi-devices. This feature is imperative for people to transit from one location to another and Microsoft determines to make this journey smoother.
Timeline, the newly introduced feature in Windows 10 latest update can sync across all Windows 10 devices. Belfiore told developers that Timeline tool, which depends upon Microsoft Graph API, can now sync on iOS and Android platforms too. The advantage – if the same app opens up on any platform or device, it will pick up from where the user left last. Timeline will be introduced on Microsoft Launcher in Andriod, whereas it will appear in Edge on iOS. Belfoire appealed developers to link their apps with Timeline to discover its phenomenal potential.
Teams & Sets
The other updates are on Teams and Sets. With an update in Microsoft Graph APIs, companies can now create personal and customized apps and share them on Teams app store. Windows is also working on how each tab appears on the screen. For now, each new app appears in a different window, like if you open Microsoft Word and Microsoft Edge, there are two windows on the screen. In Sets– you can now have multiple apps in a single window. This new organization feature may introduce us to a completely refreshed Windows!
Referring these as key Microsoft Build announcements, Microsoft 365 seems to emerge as a strong platform for developers to create exciting apps.
Other than the discussion on digital space, the physical world requirements also made an appearance in the Microsoft Build announcements.
Mixed Reality – a less heard tool of Microsoft showcased the power of blending real world with cloud intelligence. Microsoft intends to empower the 2 billion first line workers with Mixed Reality. It introduced Microsoft Remote Assist at Microsoft Build 2018, which lets the workers approach an expert where and when needed and share what they’re watching.
Another addition to Mixed Reality is Microsoft Layout. This tool allows teams to create a virtual floor plan and visualize it with the HoloLens at the real location. Once the desirable design is ready, the user can share and edit it in real time. The gradual Microsoft Build announcements have turned the developer conference worth to look forward.
Artificial Intelligence is for Everyone
Microsoft has taken up the challenge of making artificial intelligence a ubiquitous commodity. Microsoft’s initiative – AI for Accessibility is about making advance research and development in the field of disabilities. The company will grant funds to NGO, research organization and entrepreneurs to enable special people to participate in the economic growth.
Project Kinect for Azure
Satya Nadella announced at Build 2018 that Kinect which was available only on Xbox solely, will now reside in the cloud and it is alive. Originally Kinect is the first AI gadget introduced eight years back in 2010 and it pioneered in speech, gaze, and visual recognition technology with HoloLens. Nadella says, “Kinect is a powerful sensor kit with spatial, human and object understanding to enable new scenarios across security, health and manufacturing. Project Kinect for Azure will bring together some of the best spatial understanding, skeletal tracking, and object recognition, with minimal depth noise, and an ultra-wide field of view, enabling new experiences across robotics, automation, and holoportation.”
Developers become Rich
Microsoft may change the revenue sharing economics for developers. According to the industry standard, the app stores make 30 percent cut in the income generated by an app. Microsoft plans to reduce this to 5 percent for consumer apps (and not gaming apps). The step is clearly taken to persuade developers to create more apps for Windows 10. Anyways, the developers may plan their next big shopping as soon they have more money in the pockets.
Keep reading this space to get more updates on 2018 Microsoft Build announcements.