Skip to Main Content

Top 10 reasons Day 1 of Build excited developers and Cortana, too

Cortana normally keeps a cool, calm head about her. But on Wednesday, Microsoft announced new Azure data and cloud services to help developers quickly modernize their existing apps, as well as new AI and Azure services that allow them to more easily build intelligent apps with understanding and natural user interaction capabilities. The company also showcased new data, Internet of Things (IoT) edge and AI services built for a future of ubiquitous computing and intelligent edge.

Here’s our top 10 list of why Day 1 of Build excited developers, and Cortana, too:

_ 10. Cortana Skills Kit is now in public preview in the U.S. Developers can build skills for Cortana by creating a bot and publishing to the Cortana channel of the Microsoft Bot Framework. This is available across Windows 10, Android, iOS and the new Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke speaker.

_ 9. Azure IoT Edge, technology that extends the intelligence – and other benefits – of cloud computing to edge devices, was shown.

_ 8.  Azure Cosmos DB was announced. It’s the industry’s first globally distributed, multi-model database service that delivers horizontal scale with guaranteed uptime, throughput, consistency and millisecond latency at the 99th percentile.

_ 7.  New MySQL- and PostgreSQL-managed services are joining Azure SQL Database to give developers expanded choice and flexibility on a service platform that delivers high availability, scalability with minimal downtime and data retention and recovery.

_ 6. Visual Studio 2017 for Mac, out of preview and now generally available, enables developers to work seamlessly across Windows and Mac environments with full support for mobile, web and cloud workloads and previews of Docker tools, Azure Functions and Xamarin.IoT support.

_ 5. They learned about how graphic designer Emma Lawton, who has Parkinson’s disease, can sketch and write again without shaky scrawls, thanks to Haiyan Zhang. The Microsoft researcher spent months studying Parkinson’s disease, creating and testing prototypes to give Lawton what is dubbed “Emma’s Watch,” a wearable device that temporarily short-circuits tremors in the right wrist and hand. Now Zhang is collaborating on a new initiative, Project Emma, exploring the use of sensors and AI to detect and monitor the complex symptoms associated with the disorder – from body rigidity and gait slowness to falling and tremors.

_ 4.  Any developer can now publish for Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365. Coming soon, apps in Teams will be more discoverable for end users through a new app experience. Developers can also add new capabilities to Teams apps, including third-party notifications in the activity feed, Compose Extensions and Actionable Messages.

_ 3.  New Microsoft Graph APIs were made available to developers, including APIs from SharePoint and Planner. The Microsoft Graph gives developers access to Office 365 data and intelligence and helps connect the dots between people, conversations, projects, schedules, processes and content. These insights help developers build smarter apps, enabling smarter ways to work.

_ 2.  Microsoft has the industry’s broadest offering of cognitive services with 29 of them now, and with unique customization options. New services include Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service and Video Indexer. A new PowerPoint add-in called Presentation Translator, which leverages Microsoft Translator API, was featured, allowing real-time translation to multiple languages during any presentation.

_ 1. Azure Batch AI Training is a new Azure offering, available in private preview, that will allow developers and data scientists to configure an environment with parameters and run their models against multiple CPUs, multiple GPUs and eventually, field-programmable gate arrays.