Build 2016: Windows 10 anniversary update, AI, UWP and bots
Microsoft on Wednesday kicked off its annual Build developer conference in San Francisco with its first keynote spearheaded by CEO Satya Nadella.
The company showcased its move towards conversational intelligence with cloud services, tools and bots. “Human language is the new UI layer, bots are like new applications, and digital assistants are meta apps. Intelligences is infused into all of your interactions,” said Nadella
Speaking to an audience of nearly 5,000 developers, Nadella introduced improvements to Cortana and announced previews of new cloud services and toolkits to create intelligent bots.
“We want to build intelligence that augments human abilities and experiences. Ultimately it’s not going to be about man versus machine. It is going to be about man with machines,” added Nadella.
The major announcements were the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Cortona Intelligence suite, interactive bots, Microsoft Cognitive Services, improved pen support, Xbox One development kit and HoloLens integration.
The software giant also announced the Holo Lens Development Edition for developers and enterprises while highlighting that developers can use the Universal Windows Platform to create new mixed reality with holograms.
“With Windows 10 now running on over 270 million active devices, we’re celebrating with our fans by delivering the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. We are dedicated to making Windows the most productive development environment for all developers, with all-new capabilities for the Universal Windows Platform and all-new tools for bringing apps to Windows 10 from any platform,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Windows and Devices Group.
Microsoft announced new additions to the Cortana Intelligence Suite liek the Microsoft Cognitive Services and Microsoft Bot Framework.
Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of intelligence APIs that allows systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret commands using natural methods of communication.
On the other hand, the bot framework can be used by developers — programming in any language — to build intelligent bots that enable customers to chat using natural language on a wide variety of platforms including text/SMS, Office 365, Skype, Slack, the Web and more.
It also released the Skype Bot Platform. With this platform, developers can build bots that leverage Skype’s multiple forms of communication, including text, voice, video and 3D interactive characters.
The Windows 10 Anniversary update coming this summer features Windows Ink, Cortana, Windows Hello and gaming.
Microsoft also shared all new tools for bringing apps to Windows 10 from any platform. Windows 10 now has support for native Bash with access to the Windows file system and the universe of open source command line tools.
A new desktop app converter for Project Centennial will enable Win32 and .Net developers to bring apps to the Universal Windows Platform. Developers can extend their applications with Universal Windows Platform capabilities and distribute their apps in the Windows Store.
Also, Xamarin will help make it possible for .Net developers to more easily share common app codes across Windows, iOS, and Android apps while still delivering fully native experiences for each platform.