Microsoft Build 2017 just finished and there were a lot of great news that took place, meaning a lot of innovation and features to look forward in the next coming months from Microsoft and their software suite. Here are the best announcements that were unfolded :
A new milestone for Windows OS.
Microsoft announced that 500 million machines are now running Windows 10 and it is committed to releasing at least two new builds per year for their current software. As of now they kept their promise and this year we will have 3 new releases with the Creators Fall Update being the third one. You can read more here.
Microsoft still have a long battle ahead to reach its goal of 1 billion devices by 2018, and with the shift from the mobile strategy (Windows Mobile, not longer being pursued ) it is hard to think that they will reach this number by the end of the year.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update … naming wise I have to say that i was not expecting the same name to be kept, but this is indeed the next major update that Microsoft is planning to release somewhere in September.
The biggest news here is Microsoft increased focus on bringing Windows OS experiences to iOS and Android devices while also introducing new features like:
- OneDrive Files On-Demand
- Fluent Design System
And a lot of additional free software to the Windows Store like:
- Story Remix (a reborn Movie Maker)
- Linux to Store: Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and Fedora distributions.
So let’s talk about these new features that will be present in the next build of Windows 10.
Timeline feature will lets you resume applications on other devices. This is essential a pick up where you left off features, as it was explained and presented, you will be able to resume sessions and apps on multiple devices.
Clipboard is a new cloud application that is cross OS compatible Windows, iOS, and Android and will let people copy content from a PC and paste it on a phone no matter the OS it’s using.
OneDrive Files On-Demand has its own section below.
Fluent Design System a new Metro like interface but with a whole new design language.
Story Remix (a reborn Movie Maker). Everyone remembers the old Movie Maker; with the creators update Windows will have a great app for creating videos again. Main features presented were: instant video stories, advanced 3D support and editing to make your videos come to life.
iTunes on Windows Store, was also taken as a major announcement. Sadly I don’t use it, but since many others do, I think it’s a good pace to offer it in your ecosystem also.
Linux to Store: Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and Fedora distributions.
Now this is something very un-expected and nice to see. You will be able to install Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and Fedora directly from the Windows Store with a simple click which is awesome.
Microsoft also released .Net core 1.0, a open-source software-development platform, and ported it to Linux and OSX.
You can try most of the new features announced right now, Microsoft just placed a link to a test build that you can download and install.
OneDrive Files On-Demand.
Meet Microsoft’s new OneDrive Files On-Demand brings better sync options to Windows 10, so much more that it will totally replace the way you use your devices.
The new service is using the cloud in a more heavy way, until now you have the files on a device, but now you can select only the files you need and pull them from the cloud.
Microsoft will be implementing new status icons in File Explorer so that you may better recognize what files are available locally or if they’ll need to be downloaded from the cloud. With Files On-Demand, you will be able to access all your files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on your device.
PowerPoint on steroids.
Microsoft Office suite is one of their best products that is getting regular updates and new features. Since the integration with Office 365 a lot of new features came to the platform. At Build 2017 they came with a new PowerPoint add-in that will allow users to present slides in a foreign language. The demo of the new add-in showed how you can download Microsoft’s Translator app and sync it to a PowerPoint presentation. This link will then provide closed captioning on top of PowerPoint slides automatically.
Microsoft VR motion controllers
Oculus Rift and HTC Vive just got a new competitor on the block. Microsoft Hololens (Mixed Reality VR headset) just got a new set of motion controllers. They have a ring of LEDs at one end for tracking; a round trackpad panel , an analog stick and and menu/windows button and also a side grip trigger.
Acer was the only 3rd company present there with their own implementation of the hololens, stating that the company will ship a $399 VR headset with full motion trackers this holiday season.
Microsoft’s mobile strategy.
You might be thinking of Microsoft Mobile OS… well it seemed like Microsoft acknowledged that their mobile OS is falling behind Android and iOS really hard, so it is now changing the direction of their research.
Instead of focusing on developing their own OS, they will have a suite of software for iOS and Android that you cannot live without if you are using a Windows 10 PC/Laptop. They want to make iOS and Android devices better by allowing things like: users can resume activities and apps, clipboard on all platforms, Office Suite … basically all their software will be available on all platforms and will be interconnected. So no matter if you’re using a device on iOS you will still be able to have the same files and experience as on Windows.
Microsoft has realized that it doesn’t matter if you use Word on iOS or on Windows Mobile, as long as you using their product; and this is a great thing for us end-users, since we have only to gain from well built cross-platform software.
Microsoft Build 2017 had a lot more interesting topics for users and also a lot for Developers and IT Pros, if you have the time, you can take a look here and get the keynotes for day 1 and day 2.