Technology giant Microsoft kicked off its annual Build developers conference for 2017 in Seattle yesterday. The conference will go on for three days until May 12. The first keynote, for a jam-packed 3 hours, was held yesterday. While the company has not announced any hardware at the Build conference, it is evident that it is focussing on the enterprise section using several tools and services. From MS Office to XBox to Azure, the biggest theme of this year was Microsoft’s consistent efforts to push artificial intelligence into all its major portfolio. While there have been rumours that Microsoft could also be launching some new Surface hardware but mainly the event is directed to attract developers to the company’s platforms. The Microsoft Build developers’ conference can be live streamed on the Build 2017 website. Here’s what Microsoft announced on the first day of the Build conference:
Cortana skills improved
The company, at the Build conference, announced new Cortana Skills Set. It will enable third-party developers to create new skills, and it includes the possibility of porting the existing Alexa skills on the platform. This will likely make Cortana a much better voice activated assistant and Microsoft’s hardware a force to reckon with.
— Microsoft Developer (@msdev) May 11, 2017
Windows 10 milestone
Microsoft has announced that its popular operating system has hit a big milestone, that it is running on more than 500 million computers. Windows 10 was released in 2015, and by the end of September, it was on 100 million devices. Earlier, the company had set the goal of reaching 1 billion devices by mid-2018.
HP’s Cortana speaker
Microsoft has taken on Amazon and Google, by partnering with HP and Intel for their Cortana powered speakers. The company announced that the voice activated speakers will come to the market soon. However, it did not provide any more details about the smart speakers. Incidentally, a few days ago, Microsoft and Samsung owned Harman Kardon had announced the ‘Invoke’ Cortana-powered speaker. It will likely arrive by the end of 2017.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) May 10, 2017
Visual studio now available for Apple Mac
Microsoft has announced that the Visual Studio coding platform is now open for Mac users. This will essentially allow developers to code apps using its development environment on Apple’s Mac OS. Previously it was available only for preview.
Azure Cloud has an app
Microsoft has announced an app for its Azure platform. It unveiled at the Build 2017, that the app will be available for both iOS and Android. Now that the new mobile app is here, consumers can maintain their Azure Cloud even while travelling. The mobile app will come with support for new Azure Cloud Shell. Additionally, Microsoft is also working on a UWP Azure app for Windows 10 devices.
Translate presentations in real-time
Microsoft Powerpoint will now be able to translate slideshows in real time. The translator plugin will offer a real-time translation of powerpoint presentations, after saving the original formatting. A Microsoft Garage project, the plug-in uses Translation APIs to translate content from any Powerpoint presentation into 10 different languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish). Interestingly, the plugin can also provide translated subtitles in real-time.