My summary of the Microsoft Build 2015 Keynote (with videos from Build 2015)




So the Keynote to kick off this year's Build conference has been delivered and a lot of news (regarding Windows 10) to ponder upon. It could be too much to handle, so here's a quick summary of the event for you.
But if you haven't already, Here is a highlight reel on Windows 10 @ Build 2015...




A quick summary then...


Carrier billing now supported on PCs, Laptop and Tablets: Carrier billing will not be supported on just your Windows phone anymore, you will now be able to pay for apps with your carrier from your PC, Laptop or Tablet!

New universal Windows Store: A new revamped Windows Store is introduced that will run on all Windows platforms (PCs, Laptops, Tablets and Phones). There is even a new "Windows Store for Business" that will serve the business/enterprise communities.

Windows 10 on 1 Billion devices by 2017: Microsoft projects that in about 2-3 years, Windows 10 will be running on 1 Billion devices, It is very possible, there are currently 1.5Billion Windows PC users today, so this is a reachable feat, with the fact that Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade, most Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 users should be upgrading. And let's not forget Xbox One, which is also running Windows 10.

Benefits of developing universal apps: universal apps! universal apps!! universal apps!!! What does this really mean. Well, today we got a very good description of it and a close look at what Microsoft is trying to achieve.
Universal apps are apps that are built with one code and will scale/flex to whatever platform they find their selves on, giving you a unique experience, whether on your PC or Phone, even though they were built with the same code. A demo of the USA today app which showed the app which was written with a single code, running on Phone, PC and on the Xbox giving unique UX based on the platform it was on!

Easily port Android & iOS apps to Windows 10 as universal apps: The biggest news of the night? Microsoft announced 4 new ways to bring new apps to Windows 10...

  1. Bring your web code apps (like WebGL), so you can easily bring your web browser apps to Windows store.
  2. You will now be able to bring your .NET and win32 apps to Windows 10 and Windows store by reusing your .NET and win32 code.
  3. Windows will now enable developers to reuse Android code (java C++) apps to run on Windows 10. (android subsystems now in Windows and this can be done with a toolkit called Project A)
  4. Windows will also enable Devs to build Windows apps by reusing iPhone app code (Objective C), making it very easy to port iOS apps to Windows.
 But from that 4 we were confirmed with the last 2, easily porting Android and iOS apps to Windows platform.
One of the biggest problems with Windows ecosystem is lack of apps, but somehow Microsoft found a way to easily port Android and iOS apps to the platform while preserving the Windows 10 native look and feel.
Microsoft even revealed that the Candy Crush you all play on your Windows Phone was actually ported from iOS!
This to me is their greatest achievement, but if it is the solution to the app gap problem remains to be seen and I guess we will find out by the end of the year. 
But now there is no excuse really for Android and iOS Devs not to bring their apps over, Microsoft revealed that this could be done within an hour, you don't need to hire extra staff to do this (so it is cost effective) as your in-house Android Devs have already done the work.
These apps when ported wouldn't even look like Android/iOS apps, as you can add windows native extensions  to your reused android and iOS apps like Cortana, Xbox live achievements, example is Candy Crush Saga.
This is exciting news, maybe SnapChat, Instagram can now bring their apps over and those sub par Windows Phone apps (when compared to their Android & iOS versions) will be a thing of the past.

New Windows 10 Build 10074 with new improvements and features: A new build of Windows 10 was demo'ed today, with new features like the new Cortana UI and new commands she can perform including carrying out tasks from apps for you, new Live Tile animations, new UX in the Start menu, a new Lockscreen called Microsoft Spotlight was also introduced and it shows just how suggestive and interactive Windows 10 can be, but I wait to see if this app will also be available on WP.
Also, Cortana.

Introducing Microsoft Edge (aka Project Spartan): After months of toying with the codename Project Spartan, Microsoft finally revealed the official name of its new browser: Microsoft Edge. It was built from the ground up, it's also easy to bring over your Chrome extensions and it has full Cortana integration among other improvements.
Here is a video introducing Microsoft Edge...



Continuum on Windows 10 for Phones: Continuum is the feature in Windows 10 that allows universal apps to detect what platform/mode they are running in and automatically switch the app to switch to that mode.
For example, if you built a universal app on Windows 10, when running it on a 2-in-1 Laptop, when in Laptop mode the app scales/flexes to accommodate the use of keyboard and mouse, but once you switch to tablet mode, it gets optimized for touch, the ability for universal apps to flex to adapt to the platform they are on is called "Continuum"
Say you are running Microsoft word on your phone display, then you connect to a external monitor and connect Bluetooth and mouse, the app you now see on the monitor is now optimized for the larger display and input from keyboard and mouse.
There is even a feature where you can run multiple apps, one on the monitor, while doing something else on your phone, (like having your kids watch a movie from your phone on the connected TV, while you perform other tasks on your phone itself). But according to Joe B. this multitasking feature will need special hardware and they have partnered with Qualcomm on making this possible (Qualcomm 810 anyone?). 
So don't expect to experience this feature in its fullest until the new flagship Windows 10 phones are launched later this year.

Here is a quick presentation of continuum on Windows Phone....




Microsoft also showed off new practical usage of the Microsoft HoloLens and it is phenomenal, I had goosebumps watching the demo. I have got a different post on just HoloLens coming up next.




In conclusion, there is a lot to look forward to.
With the development of Windows 10 moving faster, and alot of new innovative features, I have got to admit, it's like a little bit of Nokia DNA was pumped into Microsoft's blood. Maybe there is a lot of influence from former Nokia, now Microsoft staff?
I mean, Microsoft has gone from a boring company to a radical, not afraid to try new things with a totally new approach kinda company and I applaud their efforts.
I hope it yields dividends, major dividends.
Microsoft is not taking a hit from Google and Apple lying down, they stood up and stood tall. Only time will tell now.
I can't count how many times I've said that, But with the support for Android and iOS apps, Universal apps, continuum, Cortana and so much more, there isn't a reason not to be exciteed.


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