On the first day of Build 2016, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Windows and Devices Group, talked to thousands of developers about the work Microsoft Corp. is doing to help them embrace the new era of conversational intelligence and create more personal computing for every customer, industry and business. Nadella showcased improvements to Cortana and announced previews of new cloud services and toolkits designed to understand the world around us and create intelligent bots. Myerson announced the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which will deliver significant new innovations for consumers and developers for the Universal Windows Platform.
We reproduce below new improvements and innovations announced by Microsoft as communicated to us by the company’s press statement:
Microsoft announced new additions to the Cortana Intelligence Suite, both in preview. The first, Microsoft Cognitive Services, is a collection of intelligence APIs that allows systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret our needs using natural methods of communication. The second, the Microsoft 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.
Microsoft demonstrated how developers can use services, like those found in the Cortana Intelligence Suite, to transform not only businesses but people’s lives. Seeing AI, a research project under development, shows how these new capabilities can help people who are visually impaired or blind better understand who and what is around them.
Microsoft also released the Skype Bot Platform, which includes the SDK, API and Workflows all in the new Skype Bot Portal. With this platform, developers can build bots that leverage Skype’s multiple forms of communication, including text, voice, video and 3-D interactive characters. Today, customers can get started with Skype Bots by downloading the latest Skype apps for Windows, Android and iOS. Developers can start building Skype Bots today using the Skype Bot Platform and reach hundreds of millions of Skype users.
Microsoft also introduced all-new Windows 10 Anniversary Update featuring innovations for Windows Ink, Cortana, Windows Hello and gaming. Windows Ink is a new experience, putting the power of Windows in the tip of your pen. With Windows Ink, you can write on your device as you do on paper, create sticky notes, draw on a whiteboard and easily share your analog thoughts in the digital world. New Cortana features enable you to receive proactive guidance from Cortana throughout the day and speak with Cortana, even while your device is locked, without logging in. New Windows Hello features extend the security of Windows 10 to multiple devices and to Microsoft Edge, so you can log into your devices and websites with enterprise-grade security. These are just a few of the many features that will become available this summer when the Windows 10 Anniversary Update becomes broadly available.
Microsoft also shipped Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition for the first time, extending the Windows experience to holograms and allowing developers to begin helping build the future of holographic computing. Microsoft highlighted commercial customers in several industries that are using HoloLens today, including Case Western Reserve University and NASA. Developers can use the Universal Windows Platform to create new mixed reality with holograms.
Microsoft also shared all new tools for bringing apps to Windows 10 from any platform. Web developers, including American Express, BBC Sport, Yahoo Mail, zulily, and more have seen great success with Windows 10 Hosted Web Apps. And now, Windows 10 has support for native Bash with access to the Windows file system and the universe of open source command line tools.
Microsoft shared its new desktop app converter for Project Centennial, which will enable Win32 and .Net developers to easily bring more than 16 million apps to the Universal Windows Platform. Developers can extend their applications with Universal Windows Platform capabilities and distribute their apps in the Windows Store.