ICYMI, here’s Microsoft’s //build/ conference in 15 minutes. The full keynotes and others sessions, including the popular ‘The Future of C#’ and ‘Running Bash on Ubuntu on Windows’ are available at Channel9. In short – bots stole the show. The future is bots. Using AI to respond to your words and interpret your needs in the basis for Microsoft’s next platform – conversation. With this also comes a new bot framework for you, the developers. This runs off the Cortana Intelligence Suite, which runs off the Microsoft bot framework. There are currently 22 APIs available today to start playing around with.
Cortana also got some air time to herself – namely around her entry onto Xbox where she can help you find new titles and share tips. She’s also gained strength working with third party apps – she can make food orders through delivery apps for example. Back to bots again, the next generation of Skype’s relationship with bots was talked about. Simply put Skype will become smarter as it integrates with Cortana who will ‘broker’ conversations with a third party bot. Cortana will take the initiative in suggesting meetings and actions for you, using information in your inbox or calendar and combining it with context from your conversations and travel/location patterns.
Of course, there were updates on Windows 10 too with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which will bring a bunch of new features such as biometric authentication aka logging into your computer using your fingerprint. New developer tools such as a Linux command line were shared too. And there’s ‘Ink’: Microsoft’s stylus capabilities and pen-powered apps which sit under the ‘Ink Workspace’ umbrella. A great demo showed how Ink can work to interpret a squiggly line overlaid on a map to travel plans and times. Check out the videos from //build/ to see the code you can add to your apps to include Ink abilities. New Universal Apps were announced too with more to come; from Facebook to Starbucks and Uber.
Finally, HoloLens is shipping to developers in the US. The HoloLens app, Galaxy Explorer took the audience through the planets using gestures. Continuing on the galactic theme, NASA also shared Destination Mars where viewers can see the red planet from the same perspective as a NASA scientist. There’s lots to get through, and some of it good enough to have a second look!