While not the most celebrated or anticipated conference, Microsoft Build is still an important event. As an event for developers on Windows and Windows still being the most popular desktop operating system, the things announced at Microsoft’s Build event have some impact.
While it is a 3 day long event – that can actually be live streamed in it’s entirety – I figured I’d grab some of the most important announcements and condense them into an easier to digest video and bulleted list. From bots and a new age for Cortana, the Microsoft virtual assistant, to big changes for Skype and even Xbox being able to run Windows apps, check it out and let me know what you think in the comments below.
- Biometrics for all apps
- Windows Ink
- Comes to Xbox and Holo Lens
- Cortana can grab words contextually and then use them to set reminders, edit
- Rulers from the other hand can be controlled with two fingers to rotate and one to position, then you can use it to straighten lines
- Ink drawn on a map can calculate distance, can record elevation so it is 3D when rotated
- Crossing out words or paragraphs will erase them, highlighting can be straightened
- New Universal apps that will work on Xbox, Windows Desktop and Windows Phone
- Bash shell from Ubuntu linux binaries running on Windows
- Desktop app converter to convert existing desktop app from 32 bit or DotNet to a new universal app
- Xbox Dev Mode – Convert retail Xbox to Dev Kit with an app
- Single store for Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone
- New Features like Background Music, new features announced at E3 in June
- Shipping to Windows Developers Now for $3000
Cortana and Bots
- Cortana understands more context
- Bots are apps that can communicate with you through text in a conversational way
- Cortana can help you communicate with bots by recommending one when you need it and handing you off to it
- Available on all your devices (Android, iOS, Windows, etc.)
- Cortana can see emails and help grab documents and send them to contacts with a sentence (“Send Ben the powerpoint I was working on last night”)
- Cortana wants to monitor your activities to learn how you operate and then preemptively offer help (“Would you like me to add the taxi ride you took last night to your upcoming expense report that is due soon?”)
- Video mail new look
- Cortana is in Skype chats
- She’ll highlight text to try and improve your conversation (i.e. highlight a company name within your chat automatically and have that bring up a card containing info on the company)
- She can privately message you and broker your conversations between you and bots (like a real personal assistant) with info from bots (“I just received a message from the Cups and Cakes Bot. They have a package and would like to know your location for delivery. Should I share it?)
- Grabs info from other chats and will use that later to help you (you mention a trip it offers the Westin Bot to help book it).
- Knows who you talk to so might offer to ask you if you want to reach out to a friend that she knows lives in the location you are about to travel to then prepare a message with info taken from your other conversations about the trip (i.e. she knows you’re going to Dublin from the 1st to the 3rd and asks you if you want to message a friend that lives in Dublin with the message “Hi Janny, I’m going to be in Dublin between the 1st and 3rd. Would love to catch up!
- Intelligence like this in real time into videos is coming as well
- Developers can access the Skype Bot SDK right now
- Skype consumers can access bots right now as well in their Windows, iOS, and Android apps.
- Skype for Holo Lens released as well
There you go a quick overview of everything announced at Microsoft Build 2016. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below!