Microsoft Build 2016 Keynote Summary

A concise recap of the goings on at the Microsoft Build 2016 Developer Conference …

Microsoft’s Build 2016 Developer Conference started earlier today with a keynote in which Microsoft revealed new information about Windows 10 and new features that would come to the operating system. While you may have read about one or the other feature already on sites that pushed out news blurbs as soon as Microsoft employees revealed them on stage. Anyway, this article is for those who want a single article that reveals all the important information and tidbits that Microsoft revealed during the keynote.

Anniversary Update is the name of the update that will bring many of the features mentioned by Microsoft to the Windows platform. It will come this Summer.

Windows 10 on more than 270 million devices

Microsoft revealed today that eight month after launch, Windows 10 is used actively by 270 million users. That’s an increase of about 70 million devices since January 2016, when Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 was running on more than 200 million devices.

The company revealed other numbers of interest. Windows 10 users spent 75 billion hours in Windows 10, and that more than 500 new devices built specifically for the platform have been released already.

Cortana, the digital assistant, answers one million questions per day.

Improved pen and ink support

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Microsoft pushed pen support with its Surface line of devices and Windows 10, and the company showcased improvements coming to pen and ink support.

Improved Windows Ink support was highlighted mostly by showcasing new app functionality, like better integration of note taking with other apps such as the calendar to have time-related data picked up automatically, or map improvements that let you draw a line between to points on the map to get information about the length between both points.

There is also a new ruler and ruler-like templates that people can use, or better proofreading support in Office.

Bash coming to Windows 10

by Scott Hanselman

by Scott Hanselman

The Linux Bash (the real one, native, according to Microsoft) will come to Windows 10 with this summer’s Anniversary Update.

This isn’t Bash or Ubuntu running in a VM. This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself. It’s fast and lightweight and it’s the real binaries. This is an genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools I use like awk, sed, grep, vi, etc. It’s fast and it’s lightweight

Microsoft partnered with Canonical to bring Bash to Windows 10, and it will be provided as an application that users can download from Windows Store using a new Linux subsystem.

Apart from using Bash directly, it enables anyone to write and use .sh bash scripts on Windows. Also, you can use emacs and a bunch of editors directly now.

See Scott Hanselman’s blog post for additional information about the integration.

Cortana becomes pro-active

Deeper integration of Cortana will come with the Anniversary update thanks to 22 new apis, the Microsoft Bot Framework and other features that introduce bot to the operating systems and apps running on it.

Cortana may, for instance, offer to buy you lunch or book a hotel room.

The digital assistant will be accessible on the lock screen, as well in apps such as Skype directly

Other changes announced

  • Microsoft Edge to support biometric verification.
  • Facebook Ad platform coming to the Universal Windows Platform.
  • You will be able to turn any regular Xbox One into a Xbox One Dev Unit.
  • Desktop App Converter is a new application that ports traditional desktop programs to the Universal Platform. This is showcased later on with Age of Empires II HD from Steam and Witcher 3.
  • Visual Studio 2016 Update 2 coming today.
  • All Microsoft games will be released for Xbox One and Windows 10 going forward.
  • Cortana will come to the Xbox One.
  • Single unified store coming to all devices running Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update.
  • HoloLens Dev Kit ships to developers and Enterprise partners today.
  • A new smartphone app is showcased that can identify objects and people around you. Designed to help blind people, it can identify age and gender, emotions, and read menus in restaurants to name a few things.
  • Check out CaptionBot which is a photo identifying AI.

Check out Microsoft’s official blog post for further information.

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