Build 2016: Top 10 announcements by Microsoft

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1. Build 2016: Top 10 announcements by Microsoft

Microsoft on the first day of its ongoing annual Build developer conference in San Francisco made several announcements. Many of which will help developers to create applications on its Universal Windows Platform with ease. The software giant gave a glimpse of what users can expect from Windows platform in the near future. Here are the ten important announcements made by Microsoft during the first keynote at Build, 2016.

2. Windows 10 Anniversary update

Microsoft has announced the next major upgrade to Windows 10 will come around July 29 — on its first anniversary. The free update will roll out on all Windows devices- PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox One, Microsoft HoloLens and IOT. Microsoft Insiders will get it before it is officially rolled out to the masses. The new update will offer Windows Hello biometric login, improved Cortana and pen support among others.

3. Bash comes to Windows 10

Microsoft has introduced Bash shell on Windows 10. It will be available with the anniversary update. With this, developers will be able to work on .sh Bash scripts natively on Windows 10 and not via virtualization. Microsoft has worked with Canonical to deliver a complete Ubuntu environment on Windows. The software giant might introduce other shells in future as well.

4. Any Xbox One can be turned into a dev kit

With Microsoft taking Xbox One to Windows 10, any retail unit of it can be converted into a development kit. The preview version of the same was announced. This is aimed at making it easier for hobbyist game developers to create something, which they can experience. On installing the dev mode, users will have to register their Xbox One as a development kit to achieve the same.

5. Intelligent Cortana

Microsoft is all set to make Cortana more useful to its users in 13 countries, including India. CEO Satya Nadella has put Cortana at the heart of its Mobile/Cloud first mission, which Microsoft calls conversation as a platform. Cortana will be available everywhere on all platforms. These include Windows, iOS, Android, Xbox etc. Hey Cortana will work even on locked systems, too. It will be introduced on Outlook, PowerPoint and Skype among others.

6. Windows Ink

Microsoft is looking ahead to add pen support across Windows 10 and not just restrict to specific apps. It claims to have made it easy for developers to do so. Microsoft’s pen support called Windows Ink will power intelligent sticky notes, Map apps and others. There is a new sketchbook to doodle with digital rulers. It will work with Adobe Illustrator CC to improve the tools and bring new features.

7. HoloLens Dev kit

HoloLens Development Edition is for developers and enterprises in the US and Canada only. The developer can use the Universal Windows Platform to create new mixed reality with holograms.

8. Desktop app converter

Legacy apps can now be placed as Universal Platform apps on Windows Store with the introduction of desktop app converter. App based on Win32 and .NET can be converted to AppX app format with this new tool kit, which is yet to go live.

9. Bots everywhere

Clearly, Bots are the future for Microsoft. CEO Nadella was quick to get back to the drawing board after its Tay bot was a disaster. But this is not deterring Microsoft on betting big on them. It announced the Bot Framework for developers to create machine learning bots. These will behave like digital assistants to help user’s complete tasks like searching for information, transacting on the web and more. Skype will be also armed to interact with bots via Cortana.

10. Microsoft Cognitive Services

Cognitive Services is a collection of intelligence APIs that allows systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret commands using natural methods of communication. This is another part of the Cortana Intelligent Suite along with the bot framework. This offers better speech recognition and is intelligent enough to recognise objects in an image and also add caption to pictures automatically.

11. Over 270 million Windows 10 users

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Windows and Devices Group announced that Windows 10 is now running on over 270 million active devices. Microsoft is aiming to make Windows 10 the most productive development environment for all developers, with capabilities for the Universal Windows Platform and tools for bringing apps to Windows 10 from any platform.

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