Microsoft Build 2017: Launch Time, LiveSteam and What to Expect
Microsoft is back in Seattle this year with its annual Build Developers Conference. Microsoft Build 2017 is being held from May 10 to May 12 and the software giant will be another attempt to attract developers to its platforms. The keynote address will begin at 11AM ET or 8.30PM IST, and Microsoft is expected to announce new features in Windows, Office, Cortana and Bots. The build keynote will also be available for live stream via the company’s event page.
Here’s a preview of what we expect to hear from Microsoft during the three-day developer event:
Even in this post-PC era, Microsoft can improve its Windows ecosystem. With the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has integrated its PC, mobile and Xbox ecosystems into a single unified experience. In the build, Microsoft is expected to show the upcoming Redstone 3 update for Windows 10 to be released in September. Microsoft recently rolled out the Creator Update and Redstone 3 will be a memorable solution with new features, such as the ability to pin contacts in the taskbar and reduce power consumption options.
Microsoft could use the opportunity to talk about its “Project Neon” Windows refresh aimed at bringing a new UI with a blurred background and scalable interface. Some Redstone 3 features have already begun to appear with Windows 10 Insiders Build 16188, and in the build, it may show how the features will simplify the overall user interface.
Microsoft recently announced Windows 10 S, targeting education users only with support for Windows Store apps. In the build, the company will probably shed more light on that effort and perhaps release details of the traditional Win32 apps coming to the Windows Store. The company is expected to highlight the century-old bridge used by developers to bring their apps to the Windows Store from other platforms.
Last but not least, Microsoft will finally talk about Windows on the ARM platform. Last year, the software chief announced plans to introduce full-fledged Windows devices powered by ARM mobile chipsets. Qualcomm has already confirmed that Snapdragon-powered Windows laptops won’t arrive until Q4 of this year, and Microsoft expects to be the first to talk about Windows for ARM and apps or devices that come with this year’s ecosystem.
Cortana and connected speaker ecosystem
Microsoft has already announced its Invoke speaker, powered by Cortana Digital Assistant and manufactured by Herman Cardon. The device, which will only be available later this year to get into Microsoft’s larger gameplay home automation and connected family.
In the build, we expect to hear from Microsoft about how it is expanding the Cortana Intelligence suite to third-party manufacturers to create connected speakers. The company will also unveil Cortana Skills – an SDK for developers to create apps for these devices. Microsoft is already rumored to be working on a HomeHub feature for Windows 10 as a software alternative to Amazon Echo and Google Home. The update will be released later this year along with the Redstone 3 update.
No new Surface hardware
Panos Panay, VP of Microsoft Devices, recently commented that there is no such thing as a Surface Pro 5. He confirmed that his company will announce the Surface Pro 5 only when there is a meaningful update for customers. The company is hosting a surface-related hardware event in Shanghai on May 23, further indicating that no major hardware will be announced at this year’s build.
Microsoft Bots occupy the web
Last year, Microsoft surprised many developers with its leadership in the bot ecosystem. The company has also showcased bots coming to Skype and its tools used to bring bots to other messaging platforms. This year, rumors suggest that bots will land on the company’s Bing search results Advertising can serve as a tool to chat with online retailers and bring bots out of the chat environment and onto the web.
Satya Nadela, Microsoft CEO, believes that mixed reality is the future of computing. The company has already surpassed other Silicon Valley tech giants by launching an augmented reality headset called HoloLens. Although HoloLens is priced at $ 3,000 and primarily targets developers, the company hopes to hit the consumer segment with its Windows holographic platform-based mixed reality headsets.
Acer has already announced such a first device at its New York event and we can expect to hear more at the build. Microsoft could talk about specific apps designed for mixed reality experiences, and possibly new uses for HoloLens.
Office and Azure
For the past three years, Microsoft has been focusing on how Windows, Office and Azure come together for a seamless computing experience. In the build, the company will showcase new developments in its Azure Cloud platform and possibly launch new cloud services to expand existing computing capabilities. Last week, Microsoft announced plans to bring the full desktop version of the Office and Microsoft Teams app to the Windows Store. In the build, the company will talk about the future of Office and new features in Office 365 as a universal Windows platform app.