Build, also known as the Microsoft Build, is an annual gathering of developers and software engineers under the same roof for a couple of days, which is conducted by the giant American multinational technology company, Microsoft. This year, the much awaited Microsoft Build 2018 took place for 3 consecutive days from May 7 to 9, 2018 at Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA. Microsoft considers this developers’ conference as the great platform to announce its services and updates, be it Cortana and Alexa Integration, Mixed Reality Capture, Windows 10, Office 365 or any other updates for that matter. The company reveals its focus towards the Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing and machine learning. Notably, the American multinational tech company, Google is also conducting the same event to bring together developers around the globe called Google I/O 2018, which is currently going on from May 8 to 10, 2018 at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California, United States.
This year Microsoft came up with some of the amazing services such as Azure IoT Edge Runtime, ‘Your Phone’ app, Cortana and Alexa integration etc. Let us take a sneak peek at the major Microsoft Build 2018 Highlights!
Microsoft introduces Windows 10 ‘Your Phone’ App
Microsoft comes out with a ‘Your Phone’ app, which makes the Windows 10 users to create a mirror of the mobile phones to their desktop PC right away. This will help them access text messages, photos and videos, app notifications etc directly from their PC, isn’t it great? Furthermore, the company states that it can emulate both iOS and Android device features. Notably, the feature is currently in beta phase and the Microsoft will start testing its Windows Insiders in a couple of weeks.
One of the major Microsoft announcements at Build 2018 includes its collaboration with the Drone maker DJI for producing new and compatible SDK for Windows 10 PCs. This association will help Windows 10 connected machines to have full access to the data and will provide the ability to transfer real-time data. Besides, the duo will further slot in the Azure IoT Edge and Artificial Intelligence services, which will enable the agriculture, construction and infrastructure inspection. In addition, the DJI written apps will allow the integration of third-party hardware including the multispectral sensors or custom actuators.
Cortana and Alexa Mutual Aid
Another major announcement that the company made at the Microsoft build conference 2018 includes the collaboration of Amazon and Microsoft for the integration of Alexa and Cortana. Initially, Microsoft announced the Alexa and Cortana incorporation last year and now at build 2018, Microsoft demonstrated the Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa using one another’s platforms to make their services more desirable.
Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture
Microsoft Layout, a new tool that Microsoft announced in the Build 2018, enables its users to design and visualise real spaces such as room layouts and holograms in either Microsoft HoloLens or the virtual reality headset and share them in real-time as well. This will allow HoloLens mixed reality capture feature for modern workstations.
Kinect Gets Life, Turned into the Cloud Services
Microsoft has decided to keep the Kinect motion-sensing input devices on the go but not as an accessory for the Xbox but as a cloud service. At Build 2018 Microsoft announces that it will reawaken the Kinect Camera through its new Project Kinect for Azure – the cloud computing platform for writing, testing and deploying applications. Basically, the depth sensor and Azure AL services will be pooled in together through which the developers can send the information from their cameras to the cloud. Such information can also be accessed by the Microsoft and sent back to the device as well.
Microsoft Meeting Room
Microsoft’s Meeting Room gets the place among the Build 2018 keynotes for sure. The company showcased its 360-degree camera and microphone called the “Meeting Room”. It is a prototype hardware that will help us manage our meetings and conferences more efficiently. The ‘Meeting Room’ camera has the ability to scan and spot the human being present in the meeting room. The device can not only spot the people but also greet them and transliterate their speech into any language no matter what the content is. However, Microsoft has not given any timeline by when the ‘Meeting Room’ will be available in the market.
Project Brainwave Gets Smart
Project Brainwave comes up with two major transformations, which makes the conventional artificial intelligence (AI) even faster and flexible by using the unique processor type called Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). Microsoft claims the Project Brainwave to feature real-time AI, which makes hardware latency five times lower than the standard Tensor Processing Unit (TPU).
Microsoft is planning to release the next update of its prominent productivity suite, MS Office 2019. The new version of MS Office will contain the updated forms of all the existing apps including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Access etc.
A Gift for Mobile App Makers
Today, all the big application stores including Google Play Store and Apple App Store charge 30% of the total profit makers make from the apps they feature on these stores. However, Microsoft, making a huge change in the current scenario, offers to charge only 5% of the total income they make from these apps. This will attract many mobile app makers to upload their products on the Microsoft Store. Notably, the 5% cut is applicable for consumer apps only, games excluded.
Visual Studio App Center
Microsoft’s Visual Studio allows developers the tools such as Visual Studio 2017 and VS Code which will now let developers collaborate with the community in the real-time. Partnered with GitHub, Microsoft provides a Visual Studio App Center feature as well.
In a nutshell, Microsoft is focusing on building smart AI solutions for improving its existing services to attract more consumers to use the platform. The company is introducing new tools and initiatives that undoubtedly will help developers build smarter tools for its audience.