Nadella teases Windows Update; Teams, Azure Enhanced
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corp., speaks during an opening session at the Microsoft Developers Build Conference in San Francisco, California, United States, Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
David Paul Morris | Getty Images | Bloomberg
Microsoft kicked off its annual Build conference for software developers on Tuesday with a slew of cloud product announcements, and the company said its Windows operating system would improve for developers as well.
It is important for Microsoft to keep developers interested in its platforms. The company needs to make sure that programmers want to choose its Azure public cloud over its competition. If developers become less interested in building and updating apps for Windows, companies might consider switching to alternatives, which could threaten a significant portion of Microsoft’s business.
“Soon we’ll be sharing one of the most important Windows updates of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunities for developers and creators,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during his speech. speech during the virtual conference. “I have self-hosted it for the past few months and am extremely excited about the next generation of Windows.”
He continued, “Our promise is this: Today we will create more opportunities for every Windows developer and welcome all creators who are looking for the most innovative, new and open platform to create, distribute and monetize applications. ”
Along with the event, Microsoft released a 43-page “news book” detailing its updates. Many are progressive, although the company has unveiled a few notable new products. Here are the highlights:
- Windows on Arm Development Kit. Microsoft has promoted third-party Windows 10 devices that contain energy-efficient Arm chips and also shipped Surface PCs running on Arm. This summer, the company will take the next step and start selling an affordable Windows PC running Arm, intended to allow developers to run their Windows applications well on 64-bit Arm devices, not just traditional Intel or AMD systems. . .
- Tools for cloud calling. Last year, after Microsoft Teams became more popular for allowing colleagues to stay in touch remotely, the company announced the launch of Azure Communication Services. The same systems Teams uses to run calls and chats have become available to third-party developers as application programming interfaces. Next month, Microsoft will launch a preview of recording calls in audio and video format, just like in Teams. In addition, there are new open source user interface components developers can sign in to applications when working with Azure Communication Services.
- No more Azure Arc support. Increasingly, major cloud providers allow developers to run cloud services in alternate environments. In 2019, Microsoft announced Azure Arc, giving customers a way to consume resources from competing clouds like Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform, and then manage the resources through Azure. Now Microsoft is previewing Arc support for more of its cloud services, including Azure Application Services, Azure Functions, Azure Logic Applications, and Azure API Management.
- Blockchain data storage. Microsoft announced the preview of Azure confidential registry, a critical data storage tool. Microsoft has said the service operates on special, hardware-secured enclaves and is tamper-proof – data cannot be erased or changed.
- Personalization of teams. As more and more people flocked to Teams last year, Microsoft introduced Together mode, a way to view all of the participants in a video call in a virtual group with a unified background, such as a classroom. . This summer, Microsoft will allow developers to customize scenes for Together mode. Developers will also have access to audio and video stream, with which they can integrate new features into Teams, such as translations and notes.
- Easier collaborations between professional developers and non-technical staff. Power Platform is the group of applications from Microsoft that business users without programming knowledge can use to create software. Now Microsoft is considering how to improve collaborations between these people and their more technical colleagues. The company was building updates to its Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code applications that will make it easier for developers to bring together resources that non-technical people can then access in Power Platform.
- Artificial intelligence to write code. Perhaps the most exciting tech feat Microsoft has shown at Build is a new way to harness San Francisco startup OpenAI’s GPT-3 artificial intelligence model. In the Power Apps Studio app for writing software, non-technical people will be able to type words describing what they want to add to an application, and GPT-3 will generate candidates for the underlying code needed in Microsoft’s Power Fx programming language. Users can choose the formulas they want based on the suggestions.
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