Every year, Microsoft organizes a developer conference called “Build” to allow the world to see its current and future goals. From little updates to full fledged showcases, Build provides the developers with new world changing technology. This year it was no different other than Microsoft’s devotion to integrate intelligence in each and every of its products and platforms. Windows 10, HoloLens, Linux on Windows and bots for every task; the crux sounds intriguing.
We all know what dirty work Tay.ai did on Twitter. Well Tay can’t be pinpointed with all the blame as the users made her racist and Hitler devotee, and don’t forget her fickle mind as she turned hardcore anti-feminist too when she posted: “all feminists must die and burn in hell”. The CEO, Satya Nadella, made sure that the technology needs serious improvements and stated “We want to build technology so it gets the best of humanity, not the worst”. “We quickly realized it was not up to this mark. So we’re back to the drawing board.”
With this little pseudo apology, Nadella says that the bots will be the future of how everything will work in the Microsoft environment where artificial intelligence will be infused into every process and digital assistants like Cortana will be the new “meta apps”. Now the developers can create their own bots that when looking at the big picture will talk to Cortana to get the tasks done. Cortana will understand the context and the the bots will be the brokers to the services for the users. Pretty cool huh! Any organization can have the bots for their services which will dynamically handle all of the operations required at the time with few clicks and and more speed. With Microsoft Bot Framework, a Domino’s Pizza bot was demoed in the conference that could work in multiple apps and supports natural language. Of course all of this works off of Cortana Intelligence Suite. There are already 22 APIs available based on years of research and AI challenges.
Moving on to Cortana getting more personal and smarter. She’s growing on the Xbox too and will help you find new titles and might help you with small tricks during the gameplay. Cortana in the next update, will understand your work behavior and will take a note of your activities on the computer. For example, it will save the document you were working on the last night and suggest calendar appointments from notes to Ink scribbles. Cortana will be working with third party apps in more depth.
Quoted as the “The best Windows ever”, the Windows 10 “Anniversary update” will introduce something called “Universal Windows Platform” which as the name suggests will bring most of the Microsoft technologies to work cross-platform for example, Windows PC, wearables, Xbox and even HoloLens. The Windows section introduced tons of developers tools like Linux command line on windows and new universal apps. The bash shell coming to windows can be seen as Windows supporting Linux with Ubuntu binaries running on Windows 10. Thanks to Microsoft and Canonical partnering up. Now instead of using third-party tools, developers can enjoy the power of bash right in the Windows. The universal apps is a big deal for a lot of developers in this world of constant connectivity no matter on what system or platform you are. Microsoft is allowing developers to convert their current Windows apps to the new universal platform with 16 million of them already eligible. A few more apps coming on the universal paltform include Starbucks, Uber, Vine, Bank of America, WWE and including tons of games.
The universal platform will also allow the games like Forza to run on PC as well as Xbox without separate development, thus cutting out the cost and heavy workload. A myriad of games will be developed using the universal platform. The Xbox One will be available as a development kit which means that developers can take any retail Xbox one for development purposes. Talking about development kits, the HoloLens, Microsoft’s futuristic looking augmented reality realizer is now available as a developer edition. Microsoft showed Galaxy Explorer app for HoloLens which animates the holographic planets and galaxies that can be manipulated with gestures. NASA showed off OnSight and Destination Mars to get you a feel of how scientists view the red planet. There was also an anatomy explorer app from The Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University that showed holographic human anatomy which can be used in academics as well as biomedical research.
Time for some keywords and short summary. Windows 10 Anniversary Edition including Universal App Platform and more flexible and intelligent Cortana, availability of HoloLens and Xbox One development kit to the developers, Linux bash coming to Windows 10 and tons of bots to make you work faster and easier.