Microsoft s yearly developer conference, Build 2017, has concluded and the software giant has made a number of key announcements at the two-day extravaganza. Being a developer conference, the major focus of day-one was on services that will help developers write apps with ease. On the second day, Microsoft announced the next major version of Windows 10 along with a new movie maker app. Also Read - Windows 11 could be a free upgrade for you provided you fall in this categoryAlso Read - Nintendo Direct E3 2021: Metroid Dread, Mario Party Superstars, a new Legend of Zelda and more
One of the key changes to the next Windows 10 update includes improved focus on performance, user interface and Windows Store apps. Microsoft is also working on making its apps compatible with Android and iOS platforms to tap on the wider audience. Yes, the improvements sound interesting and here s a quick glimpse at everything that Microsoft announced at Build 2017 developer conference. Also Read - Windows 11 leaked online: Centralised start menu, revamped UI, new widgets, here's what to expect
Windows 10 runs on 500 million devices
On day one, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Windows 10 now runs on 500 million devices. The milestone is pretty impressive considering that the operating system was released less than a couple of years ago. Besides these numbers, Microsoft Nadella also revealed that Cortana is now used by over 141 million users, whereas Office is used by 100 million customers on a monthly basis. READ MORE: Microsoft Build 2017: Windows 10 operating system now runs on 500 million active devices
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
The next major update for Windows 10 will be called Fall Creators Update, and it will be rolled out later this year. Microsoft also introduced its new Fluent Design system, a design language for writing Windows apps. Fluent Design is a refreshing new take on Google s Material Design language.
When writing apps, programmers can detect the type of inputs that are available be it camera, touchscreen, keyboard or mice. Fluent Design system will also let developers customize apps for devices with larger screens and also for the ones that do not feature any display. Fluent Design also makes it easier to make apps for other platforms such as HoloLens and Windows mixed reality. READ MORE: Microsoft Build 2017 Day 2 live: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update announced, coming later this year
Windows Story Remix
Windows Movie Maker, which has been a part of Windows XP, Vista, and other Windows operating systems has been missing from the Windows 10 OS. Now, Microsoft has announced Windows Story Remix app that will be rolled out along with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
The app uses machine learning to create professional looking videos for you, while also bringing the ability to create visually appealing content. It also comes with collaborative tools, allowing you to share your footage with your friends and colleagues. To enhance your videos, you can also add effects such as explosions, fireballs, import 3D images, soundtracks and animations among others. READ MORE: Microsoft Build 2017 Day 2 live: Windows Story Remix will let you create videos with 3D effects using machine learning
After adding real-time translation to Skype, Microsoft has now added a new PowerPoint plugin to the presentation app. This plugin will allow you to instantly translate subtitles and text in real-time. It leverages Microsoft s Translation APIs to translate content in 10 different languages including English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese, among others. READ MORE: Microsoft Build 2017 live: PowerPoint gets ability to translate presentations in real-time
With the likes of AI-based speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa already out there, Microsoft is a little late to the party with Cortana-powered speakers. However, Microsoft is taking a different approach here. While Google and Amazon make their own hardware, Microsoft is leaving it to hardware partners. READ MORE: Microsoft Build 2017 Live: After Harman Kardon, HP, Intel join the league of Cortana-powered devices
A couple of days ahead of Build 2017, Harman Kardon announced its Cortana-powered Invoke speaker. Similar to Amazon Echo, it offers 360-degree speakers, Skype calling and smart home controls using voice commands. Its ability to make and receive Skype calls with other Skype devices such as smartphones and landlines is an interesting addition to a home assistant. Microsoft also announced that HP and Intel have also joined the league and will soon release their Cortana-powered speakers.
Visual Studio for Mac
At the Build 2017 developer conference, Microsoft also announced the launch of its latest Visual Studio 2017 for Mac. The tool will allow developers to use Microsoft s integrated development environment (IDE) on MacOS to build apps for mobile, web and cloud. It will be compatible with computers running OS X El Capitan 10.11 or higher. READ MORE: Microsoft Build 2017 Live: Visual Studio 2017 for Mac launched
Ubuntu now available on Windows Store
After announcing its plans to bring the Bash shell to Windows last year, Microsoft has now partnered Canonical to bring Ubuntu to Windows Store. It is now available to download from the Windows Store, and will let users to natively run Ubuntu tools and Utilities. This is a big advantage for developers as it will allow them to run Windows and Linux apps side-by-side.
Microsoft has also announced that Apple will be bringing iTunes to Windows Store, with full compatibility for iPhone and Apple Music. It s good news for Windows 10 S users, where one can only install apps from Windows Store, with no support for X86 (.exe) apps. What s more, besides Ubuntu, other Linux flavors such as Fedora and Suse are also coming to the Windows Store, later this year. READ MORE: Microsoft Build 2017 Day 2 live: Ubuntu arrives on Windows Store, Apple iTunes, Suse, Fedora coming later this year
Other than these, Microsoft also announced the Graph API, Microsoft Teams for developers with new features, Cortana Skills, and an AI-powered virtual sales assistant. However, one of the most impactful announcements at the Build 2017 developer conference was the life-changing Emma Watch designed for a patient with Parkinson s disease. The device features vibrating motors to compensate the tremors and steady her hand. ALSO READ: Microsoft Build 2017: Impact and human emotion is what trumps technology