Microsoft Build 2018 — company’s annual developer conference kicked off in Seattle just a week after Facebook’s F8. At Microsoft Build 2018 this year, the focus seemed to have shifted from Windows to more on Cloud, AI ,IOT and ofcourse Blockchain.
Here’s a list of all the major product and services announcements which the company made at its annual developer conference.
Cortana and Alexa Come Together For First Time
Microsoft Build Conference showcased the much hyped first integration between Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. Users can open Cortana from Alexa by saying ‘Alexa, open Cortana’ and it looks pretty cool to see two virtual assistants coming together.
Microsoft commits $25 million to AI For Accessibility
Microsoft has been applying it’s AI expertise for making the world a better place. After AI for Earth last year, this year microsoft has committed a $25 million fund, spread across grants and tech investments to use AI for imporving lives of people with disabilities.
Microsoft bets on Drones and IOT
Satya Nadella has been talking a lot about IOT and role Microsoft wants to play in the growing industry. Company partnered with DJI, the chinese drone juggernaught to release SDK for Windows 10 os which will give real time data transfer capabilities and complete flight control from windows to DJI drones. Both companies intend to build AI and IOT services around drone-based use cases like agriculture, defense and public safety.
Microsoft made another partnership with Qualcomm around Azure IOT for creating vision AI developer kit for camera based IOT devices. Leveraging this tech IOT cameras will be able to do real time machine learning locally as the camera pulls in the image feed.
Kinect For Enterprises
Company also announced a small device for enterprises which will include 360-degree microphone array, an RGB camera, and an accelerometer built upon xbox’s kinect technology.
Hololens gets two new shiny mixed reality apps
Company released two mixed reality apps called layouts and remote assist. Remote assist is a collaboration app to remotely help on-site workers using video calling, image sharing , real time annotations integrated with microsoft 365. Layouts allow people to design 3d spaces with three dimensional models using hololens.
Microsoft released Azure Blockchain workbench which helps developers build blockchain based apps and connect them to Azure cloud and they are currently piloting the tech with 100 customers. Microsoft last year had also launched coco — which is an opensource blockchain framework.
AI in the cloud
Microsoft is building things in AI and intelligence with all guns blazing. They released couple of sdks at conference including speech devices sdk which allows developers to build cortana like intelligent audio services. They released windows machine learning to help developers train machine learning models on windows. They also announced project brainwave which is a microsoft research project which allows developers to do deep neural network processing on Azure.