Microsoft’s developer conference came to a close this weekend and I take a look at the major announcements from the tech giant.
Windows 10 Creators Update
As previewed in my Build 2017 article here, Microsoft unveiled its next Windows update due for fall this year. Windows 10 Creators update will come with a focus on “Fluent Design. Fluent Design builds on 5 core principles; Light, Depth, Motion Material and Scale. The combination of these fundamentals paves the way for Microsoft to create responsive, unified app experiences within Windows 10, a design language that updates the Metro style UI and pushes it across devices of various screen sizes. Fluent Design also encourages users to interact with their device via multiple inputs whether it be touch, pen voice or traditional mouse.
The new update also introduces Microsoft Graph, an effort to improve Windows experiences across various platforms. The new Graph API enables Windows to seamlessly work across Windows, iOS and Android. This is a clear ploy to be accepted by all platforms and get users on all these platforms to jump on board with Windows.
Other key features announced in the fall creators update are, Clipboard, which enables the user to copy text on one device and then have access to paste on a completely different device. In the same vein, Microsoft also revealed OneDrive Files on demand will enable the user to have access to any file saved in the OneDrive cloud without the need to download.
A feature associated with its UI is the Timeline which lets user track back their Windows usage such as apps opened, websites visited and documents opened. In a way, it’s a “History” mode for Windows. This also leads to “Pick up where you left off” a feature that will let you start something on one device and then jump onto a completely different device to continue at the same spot. This shows the ability of the new Graph API and Timeline feature coming together seamlessly as desired by Microsoft.
Windows Story Remix
Along with the new Windows update, Microsoft also announced a new app called Windows Story Remix. This new app is targeting users who have a love to create and experiment with photos and videos. Features range from the basic, adding filters to photos to augmented 3D reality creation. This app ties in a lot of what Microsoft want to push forward with respect to creativity, AI and Augmented reality. A clever demo of the app was shown at the conference, (Shown Below) highlighting the app’s ability to recognise objects within videos and track it throughout while the user adds annotations. This I believe is something that is simple to do but ends up being very effective, props to Microsoft in their creation of the app.
Microsoft Mixed Reality Controllers
AI and VR together bring you mixed reality and there was a concerted push on this front by Microsoft. Alongside the already established HoloLens, Microsoft along with its partners HP and Acer are pushing out developer edition mixed reality headsets to enable developers to build apps and programs and be ready for when the product is available to the general public.
Mixed reality was taken a step further with the announcement of motion controllers. The thing that sets these apart from other motion controllers, is there is no need for sensors to be placed in the room to track the controllers. Mixed reality headsets have the sensors built into the device and work in tandem with the controllers. The sensors will track distance depth and position giving the device another dimension and input to take advantage of.
In a surprise announcement, Microsoft announces that Apple iTunes will make its way to the Windows store. Users will have access to iTunes and Apple music features all from their desktop. This move shows Microsoft’s effort in creating a unified and platform ranging experience.
Microsoft Build revealed what’s in store for the future and there is a clear push in key areas including, Windows, Mixed Reality and Creativity. It’s going to be great to see this unfold and gives competitors a heads up that Microsoft is back.
Tech Off Melon!