The six biggest announcements from Microsoft Build 2018

After two days of Microsoft Build keynotes, we've seen a lot. There was an API in the cloud. Live coding demonstrations. Once, Microsoft set aside a wall to reveal a demonstration meeting room. It was really an exciting event.

But mixed with all that there were some exciting announcements: new features of Windows, improvements for voice assistants and new and useful services in the cloud. Much will not be available until the end of this year, but here are the most exciting things that Microsoft had to share.

Your phone is synchronized with Windows

Microsoft previewed a new application called Your Phone that can synchronize Android phones and iPhones with Windows 10. You can use the application to send text messages, access your photos and See mobile notifications from your computer. It is a great convenience that you should avoid getting your phone out every few minutes. The show goes into beta this week and is expected to be released publicly this fall.

Cortana and Alexa will work together

At some point, in the near future, you can talk to Cortana through Amazon Echo or reach Alexa through your Windows 10 PC. This partnership between Microsoft and Amazon, which It makes each of your smart assistants available on each other's platform, it was announced for the first time last year. But it was not until today that we saw it in action.

On stage, the representatives of Microsoft and Amazon demonstrated the integration in an echo and a surface. The integration is not entirely natural: you have to say "Alexa, open Cortana" or "Cortana, open Alexa" before you can talk to the other assistant; It would be much more convenient if you could say the name of the assistant. to invoke them. That said, the attendees seemed to function normally once they were open, and the integration should be useful for the people who have them set up to handle different tasks.

The feature remains in a "limited beta version", and is not clear. if consumers are still allowed. Microsoft has a website where you can register to see the progress in the integration of Cortana / Alexa, and it is likely that wherever you want to go to find out about any wider beta version.

the six biggest announcements from microsoft build 2018

Timeline for iOS and Android

Microsoft has just introduced the timeline with its latest Windows update, and now the tool is about to be even more useful. The Windows 10 timeline keeps track of all the applications you are using and what you are doing in them. You can open the timeline to see your history and return directly to where you were.

What's powerful about the timeline is that it can be synchronized through Windows 10 devices. And now, Microsoft is also bringing the timeline to iOS and Android. Therefore, if you use the same applications on your phone and desktop, you can select something on the mobile device that you started on a desktop. In Android, Timeline will be included as part of the Microsoft Launcher. In iOS, it will be a tab within the Edge browser.

For now, it is largely Microsoft's own applications that will synchronize their status between devices. But Microsoft encourages developers to start synchronizing the activity of their applications with the timeline. Now that it is available on all platforms, there should be one more reason to add support.

Microsoft offers developers more money than Apple or Google

For years, it has been standard practice for all major app stores to take 30 percent of the money an application brings. That remains largely true, but Microsoft is about to make a big change: in some circumstances, it will only take a 5 percent cut, leaving developers with 95 percent of the money they bring in.

That's a great incentive for developers to create applications for Microsoft Store, which is still struggling to attract developers. The 95 percent cut will only be available for consumer applications (games not included), and Microsoft will have a larger cut if it helps publicize the application. But it's still a much better deal than the application developers can get elsewhere. And if the application store fees were holding them back before, this should solve any pending problems.

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More powerful chips

The next version of Windows will have a big change in how windows work: instead of each window representing a single application, you can create a "set", which is a single window that It contains tabs of different applications. So, for example, you could have a window (or "set") that contains a tab for Microsoft Word, along with tabs of some different websites in Edge.

The feature seems a smart new option that should help people to better organize their work. Microsoft is also looking to change how Alt-Tab works, so you can use the keyboard shortcut to switch between individual tabs, as well as windows.

Kinect is alive (and in the cloud)

Here's a surprise: Microsoft keeps Kinect alive, only in a very different way than we know it today. Instead of being an accessory for Xbox, Microsoft is turning Kinect into a cloud service. It seems that developers can send information from their own cameras and depth sensors to Kinect in the cloud, have Microsoft process that information and then send it back to the device.

The intention is to allow hardware manufacturers to create all kinds of cameras similar to Kinect, which could be used in a much wider variety of ways than the failed Xbox accessory.

And there's a lot more ahead

Microsoft is going through a lot of changes right now, so we sit down with its CEO, Satya Nadella, to discover where it's going.

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