Microsoft Build, the company’s annual developer conference is in full swing with a bunch of announcements.It’s shame that Google and Microsoft can’t get their act together and not run their events concurrently as I’m sure there are developers that work across both platforms. Build kicked off ahead of Google I/O and the opening day was filled wth interesting revelations of thee future of Microsoft’s software and services stack.
Here are the highlights package from Satya Nadella’s oipeing keynote.
#1 Internet Explorer lives on… sort of
Microsoft’s Chris Jackson, a cybersecurity expert in the Windows division, recently said “Internet Explorer is a compatibility solution”. It’s not a browser in his view.
During Build, Microsoft revealed that Edge will get a new IE mode. There are still a lot of websites built using legacy tools and standards that rely on IE. But being able to use a single, more secure and compatible browser is a big deal for a lot of people.
#2 Edge will be getting more private and come to the Mac
While this wasn’t officially announced, Edge for Mac was sneakily revealed in a video that was played during the keynote.
Edge will also get more robust privacy tools. Three privacy levels – Unrestricted, Balanced and Strict – will offer you some options on how third parties can track you.
#3 Office 365 gets a boost
Microsoft Graph data connect is a service that helps organisations bring together productivity data from the Microsoft Graph with their own business data securely and at scale using Azure Data Factory. The tool has now been released into general availability as a feature in Workplace Analytics.
A new web-based platform and componentised document model, Fluid Framework, was also announced. It will enable you to deconstruct and reconstruct content from the web or productivity apps into modular components. This will allow people to use intelligent agents to work alongside humans to co-author, fetch content, provide photo suggestions, identify experts, translate data and more.
#4 Preparing for quantum computing
Quantum computing is coming and it’s a new frontier for developers. Microsoft designed the Q# language specifically for quantum programming with a native-type system for qubits, operators and other abstractions. Microsoft has made Q# compilers and simulators open source in an effort to grow the community of Q# developers and unlock new opportunities for partners and startups to enhance their offerings for their own businesses.
#5 Conversational AI
At Build the company demonstrated a new approach to virtual agents that leverages its acquisition of Semantic Machines. The new conversational engine will be integrated into Cortana and made available to developers through the Bot Framework, as well as other Azure surfaces and beyond, powering conversational experiences across the company and our customer ecosystem.
The subtext of this announcement is that Microsoft is positioning Azure to become the AI engine businesses use.