I’ve been looking forward to hearing the announcements that will be made at Build, especially it is the first Build since I’ve been a Microsoft employee. Unfortunately I’m not in San Francisco this week so this blog post was written from my living room while watching the keynote. I have outlined the key themes without going to go into a great deal of detail as many of the topics discussed are outside my area of expertise and there have been many more comprehensive blog posts written already about each specific area (I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel).
Windows 10 Anniversary Update
The anniversary update for Windows 10 is scheduled for this summer. Two features that were demonstrated during the keynote that I can see myself using were:
- Biometric sign in for apps – Windows Hello support for apps and websites via Microsoft Edge
- Improvements in inking – including a cool ruler feature to help draw straight lines and align objects
I am sure there will be more improvements announced prior to the release of the update, but these announcements and the Windows Anniversary SDK preview will enable developers to get apps ready prior to release. As always if you want to be on the latest preview release of Windows 10 to try some of these new features sign up to the Windows Insider program.
Windows as a single development environment for all platforms
Satya promoted the fact that a Windows PC can be the ultimate development environment, not just for Windows but for many platforms.
- Bash on Windows – native, running on an Ubuntu Linux subsystem will be available on Windows 10 will help to drive this. The idea behind this is that you can develop applications to run on Linux on a Windows PC. More details on this here: https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2016/03/30/run-bash-on-ubuntu-on-windows/
- Xbox Development mode – with the Windows 10 anniversary update it appears that Windows apps will be available on the Xbox. To aid development Xbox now has a “Developer Mode” to enable testing of these applications. More details: http://support.xbox.com/en-GB/xbox-one/apps/developer-mode-activation-app-faq
- Universal App Converter – Convert existing Win32 application to a UWP application. This enables the application distributed to multiple windows platforms using methods such as the Windows Store, also take advantage of new UWP features to be used in the app. More details: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/bridges/desktop
I’m not going to say much about this as I hope everyone already knows about HoloLens. The news is that development devices are now being shipped! I still haven’t had chance to try one…
The Cool Stuff
The final part of the keynote focused on Artificial Intelligence. This stuff excites me as it WILL change our future and how we interact with the world around us.
- Bots – The Bot Framework was announced. This allows interactive agents to be created to respond to users via a number of communication methods. Skype was used in the demonstrations but other technologies such as Slack, and even SMS are supported. Have a play with some of the bots available in the Bot Directory. This technology will definitely change how we interact with businesses as customers – be it ordering a pizza (as demonstrated in the keynote) or making a doctors appointment – I am sure we will see some interesting bots appear in the not so distant future.
- Cognitive APIs – The release of a load of cognitive APIs that can be integrated into your applications. I’m sure we will have fun with these at future hackathons. The following video came at the end of the keynote and really demonstrates what is now possible and fills me with enthusiasm as to what we can achieve with technology in the future:
More to come tomorrow after day 2…