Microsoft Build 2015 day two Keynote review
The time taken to update us on Office and Windows 10 was just enough to keep the anticipation of gadget geeks going. For the average consumer, there a couple of announcements to whet the appetite. Carrier billing for all Windows devices was one of the significant announcements that will touch the end-user directly. The other big piece for developers was Microsoft’s announcement of tools that allow the reuse of Android or iOS coded apps and bridge them to Windows.
From a developer standpoint, Microsoft only glossed over the inside work involved to make some of this stuff work during the first day’s main event.
Day two’s event was a lot more code, a lot more code.
The Microsoft gurus behind the numerous programs at work shared a bit about the commercial space for applications since a significant portion of the developers on-site work in commercial. While reviewing batches of code, and tools that let these developers run their work behind their respective enterprise firewalls.
While singling out Autodesk and three-dimensional printing, Microsoft posited that we are fast approaching the point where 3D printing departs the “modelling” scheme it is now, and will become an applicable manufacturing space. To that point, Autodesk’s Spark 3D printer has integration with Windows 10.
More time was spent today discussing Windows 10, and taking note of lessons learned from Windows 8. In fact, one of the primary developer complaints about Windows 8 was the inability to “window” the modern apps, they had to take up the whole screen, or nothing. The issue became an inside joke in Redmond, where the teams would refer to the OS as “Window 8.” Microsoft also updated other framework issues that were the subject of grumblings among the developer community.
Universal apps discussed at length, and one area that was aptly demonstrated was an app called XXX which was viewed through a traditional machine, Xbox, and HoloLens. What was remarkable about it was the fact that in all three platforms, it was the exact same app. It was able to provide a two-dimensional rendering of the drawing on the monitor, as well as a full 360-degree, three-dimensional view through HoloLens.
When viewing some of the code involved that allowed the app to function so seamlessly, it was essentially three lines of code that enabled the app to render the imagery, whether it was viewed on a monitor, or through constantly moving stereoscopic lenses on HoloLens.
Universal apps for Windows are not just one app across the platforms, it is one app for the developer to submit, and one app for certification. It is a single stop, single process for the developer, and that is a big deal.
Project Spartan Microsoft Edge
Microsoft announced EdgeHTML as it discussed the improvements that can be expected with the new browser, Edge. According to Microsoft, Edge undoes everything that “Internet Explorer had become,” and that there were over 4,200 interoperability improvements which maximize performance.
Citing several different benchmarks, Microsoft Edge performs at least twice as good as IE, and tops other 64-bit browsers in scoring. Developers will also have tools to turn sites into apps, including the ability to integrate Cortana.
David Treadwell, Corporate Vice President of the Operating System Group summed up what Microsoft, and indeed Build is about, “We live and breathe developers. Your code is the soul of your app.”
Later today, we will get to experience HoloLens first hand, and we cannot wait to tell you what that is like.