ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Executive Vice President, Operating Systems Group, Terry Myerson. (Music, applause.)
TERRY MYERSON: Good morning, everyone. Good morning. Welcome to Build 2014. You know, just yesterday I was looking online. I looked at Wikipedia. And I realized that it was 22 years ago that right here in Moscone Center, we had our first Microsoft Developer’s Conference. This is just an amazing tradition that we’re all part of here today.
And so I asked myself, “What is the right way to kick off this conference?” You know, I considered coming out chanting, “Developers, developers, developers.” (Laughter, cheers.) For those of you that know me, I would kind of like to do something like that. But it’s been done.
So then I considered coming out dressed like Scott Guthrie. (Laughter.) But red is just not my color.
So then I just decided to just be simple and straight and say what motivates me, and what motives everyone you’re going to hear from today and everyone else that works in the platform teams at Microsoft or contributes to the Microsoft platform, is making your creativity come to life.
Every day, we’re thinking how are we going to enable our developers to build the richest applications, to reach their customers in every corner of the globe, whether they’re at home or at work or in their garage.
So who’s here with us today? I mean, this is just an incredibly impressive and diverse group. We looked at the surveys you filled out on registration. And we know that some of the most impressive line-of-business applications have been built by the people in this room. Some of the most entertaining and fun games have been built by people in this room. Some of the most powerful Web services on the Internet are represented here. And everything in between.
And online, we’re expecting viewers from over 170 countries to join us. And something that I think is just incredibly cool, using our public translation APIs, everything we say on stage here today is going to be translated in real time for that online audience. I think that’s pretty slick.
Now, without further ado, I figure we should just get started. So let’s kick off Build 2014. (Cheers, applause.)
(Video Segment: Sizzle)
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group, Joe Belfiore. (Music, applause.)
JOE BELFIORE: Good morning! (Cheers, applause.) Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Build. We’re obviously very excited to have you here in San Francisco.
Just as the video said, your fans are waiting. And we weren’t kidding about that. We think these are your fans because, really, it’s all of you who build value and create a ton of what’s superb about the Windows ecosystem.
So I’m Joe Belfiore. I’m now running a group for PC, tablet and phone within our Operating Systems team. And it’s a great honor for me to be here and spend about the next 50 minutes with you talking about some major updates for Windows.
In fact, today we’re announcing two things: Windows Phone 8.1 and our Windows 8.1 Update.
So I’m going to start out by taking you through Windows Phone 8.1. With Windows Phone, we set out to create an experience that’s inspired by people. An experience that gets you closer to the things and people that matter most in your life, one that’s a little bit less like technology and a lot more about you.
And that’s why we believe that Windows Phone is the world’s most personal smartphone. Now, with Windows Phone 8.1, this story gets a lot better. And that’s through not just a bunch of the software work that we’ve done, but also the wider range of hardware that you’re going to see showing up with Windows Phone 8.1.
At Mobile World Congress, we announced a range of new hardware partners that were all working on new phones. And, in fact, today, we’re announcing two additional partners: Micromax and Prestigio.
Now, these companies are building phones, working with Qualcomm and with us through our reference design program, which is a lot of work that we’ve done in conjunction with Qualcomm to make it way easier and less expensive for companies to bring up new Windows Phone devices.
And at Mobile World Congress, we talked about the partners that were working on this, but we didn’t show any phones. So I thought today we would bring a couple of new phones on stage here.
So what I have here in my left hand, Micromax, and in my right hand, Prestigio. (Applause.) So these are their real phones under development. These companies have worked with Qualcomm and with LongShare (ph.) LongShare is an OEM that’s a device manufacturing partner. And these phones are up and running with Live Tiles and the software is in good shape and well underway.
And you can expect to see all of these companies making progress on their engineering with Windows Phones to see that wide range of phone hardware.
Now, I know one of the things that you’re all really interested in is getting a good look at the software. So let’s get to a demo of Windows Phone 8.1 software.
OK, let me see here. All right. Now, I want to start out by showing you a few ways that we’ve made Windows Phone 8.1 more personal, more sort of tailored to the way you use the phone and better at expressing your personality.
The first thing I want to show is a way that we’ve tuned Windows Phone to help make you more efficient and give you a customized way to connect to the apps that maybe you haven’t pinned, and get some notifications about things that are happening, as well as get quick access to settings.
So I’m going to come up here and pull down from the top and show you our new action center in Windows Phone 8.1. (Cheers, applause.) Yes, thank you.
We know this is something that a lot of our users have been asking for, so here it is. And if you look down from the top, the first thing you’ll see is it shows you more detail about things like your actual battery percentage.
If I had dual SIM running on my phone — woops, I think I pulled the power cord out there. If I had dual SIM running on my phone, I’d see information about both of my SIMs with their name.
Up here, you’d see these four buttons are customizable quick settings. I can set whatever I would like. And down below are the notifications coming from all my apps.
And as app developers, we’re putting you in a position to really control what’s shown in those notifications through new APIs that give you control. And the user has great control as well because they can decide which apps should cause the phone to vibrate, make a sound, or just show up in the action center and so on.
So as you see, I brought this down over the lock screen. It’s accessible wherever you are in the UI, really very convenient.
Now, the second thing we’ve done to make Windows Phone feel even more personal is a feature that lets you greatly personalize your lock screen. And I’m pretty sure this is something that none of you have seen before.
In Windows Phone 8, we had support for applications to set a background image behind lock. But in Windows Phone 8.1, we’ve implemented a new set of APIs for the lock screen which we’re using ourselves for a little while before we publish them all to you.
These APIs enable lock-screen experiences that are highly interactive and unique where the application can take over full control and really render whatever it would like.
As the first app to use these, we’ve been collaborative with Rudy Huyn. Do you all know Rudy Huyn? Star Windows Phone developer behind Wikipedia and 6Tag and 6Chat.
And he’s been working with us to build out a first experience which we, Microsoft, are going to publish in the store in the coming months to give users a wide range of highly varied lock-screen themes.
So in this case, this is one that’s called Diagonal. And you can see, the app has got complete control over the lock screen. And when I move and touch, it shows the time and calendar and notification information in a unique way. And when I unlock, it unlocks.
And I’m actually going to come over here and switch to a different one to give you a sense for how widely varied these lock-screen experiences can be. I mean, the sky is the limit in terms of what all of you will be able to do with this creativity once it’s available.
Here, you can see my day of the week is displayed completely differently. The arrangement of things on the screen is different, and up here you see this cool sort of — this one is called Tokyo. These three balls all align very nicely when I pan right up to the top, and then it unlocks.
So there’s a wide range of possibilities here. And we think our end users will love the creativity flexibility that will be possible with these new lock screens.
Now, third, of course, we’ve evolved the heart and soul of Windows Phone, the start screen. And so we’re going to pan over here. And the first thing you’ll notice on my small device was Windows Phone 8.1 users have the option to choose a high-density, lots of tiles layout where they get three columns across of tiles.
And I’m going to jump in here to settings and go to the start and theme area where you can see down here, there’s an on/off switch for showing more tiles. I’ll leave that turned on. So that’s one way we’re letting users greatly customize their start screen.
But another thing we’re doing here is we’re letting people choose a background for start. So I’m going to choose background and go into the set of backgrounds that we’ve supplied. I like this one here with this cool, green texture, which matches my phone.
I’ll say OK. And then you can see there, that photo has been selected. And now when I go back to start, voila, I have a really different and beautiful visual appearance for my tiles. (Applause.)
All of this is about making Windows Phone more personal and better able to fit your personality and look the way you want and give you customization because we think when a phone knows you, you have a better experience with it. There’s no other device that’s so personal.
In fact, along those lines, actually, one of the things that we spent a lot of effort on this past year is a new way — a new feature that makes Windows Phone very personal in an incredibly useful way.
So we’ve been working on this for a long time. We think it’s an experience you’re going to love, but rather than me describe it to you, I figure you should just watch as she comes to life.
(Video Segment: Cortana)
JOE BELFIORE: (Cheers, applause.) Well, here she is. I’m thrilled for you all to now meet our truly personal digital assistant for Windows Phone, and yes, her name is Cortana. (Cheers, applause.)
Hey, Cortana, do you like your name?
CORTANA: Cortana? I love it. It’s certainly a lot catchier than “Microsoft Personal Assistant v.1 Service Pack 2 2014.” (Laughter.)
JOE BELFIORE: We thought so too. Any comments about how you look?
CORTANA: Some things I resemble: A hula hoop, a doughnut, a halo. (Laughter.)
JOE BELFIORE: All right. Now, Cortana is powered by Bing. So since she understands the entire Internet, you could say she knows everything about the world.
But beyond what you’d expect from a mere search engine, Cortana also gets to know you. She’s always looking out for you and she keeps you closer to the things you care about most in the world and the people you care about most in the world.
So let’s take a look at how she actually looks and performs on a Windows Phone.
So I’m going to switch over to my Lumia 1520 here. And I’ll unlock my phone. And I want you to notice right there on the start screen, front and center, right here, I have a Live Tile for Cortana.
So of course Cortana has a Live Tile. And you can see she’s animating right there. And there’s a number of interests that I’ve already taught her about and the Live Tile is showing me this news and information. So that’s one way I might get to Cortana.
But Cortana also fully replaces the search function on Windows Phone. So whenever you push the search button, Cortana is there to help you do searches, find information or get things done.
So I’m going to go down here and touch the search button, and there’s Cortana. And you can see, she greets me, she looks a little excited to see me here on stage, and probably to see all of you. She says, “What’s on your mind?” And below that, you see she’s giving a bunch of suggestions for things that I might ask.
And these suggestions are actually personalized. If you watch them, sometimes she suggests things actually related to people that she knows about me, people that she knows that I know.
And one of the nice things you can do here is I’ll just touch this “see more.” So you get an overview of all the kinds of things Cortana can do.
Like a real personal assistant, she’s good at handling your communications and your calendar. She can make phone calls or send texts or schedule appointments, take a note, give you a reminder. She’s also good at helping you learn things. She can do searches, tell you what music is playing. She knows the places you frequent, and so on, and so on.
So all of that is built right in. But we knew that if we really wanted to make Cortana the most personal and the most powerful digital assistant, that we needed all of you to help us make her better and better.
So if I scroll down here, you’ll see as well, Cortana can be extended via third-party apps. And there are a number of app vendors that we’ve been working with to get ready for this announcement, have the first samples of speech-enabled Cortana apps that can do things when the user interacts with their phone, and I’ll show you how that works a little later.
OK, so let me come back here again. And there’s Cortana. Now, a couple other things you might notice. When we went out and started working on Cortana, we met with a bunch of real-world personal assistants. And we talked to them about what made them good at their job.
And there was this recurring theme they had about getting to know their client, what were the things the client liked, who were the people that he or she cared about, when should he be bothered and when shouldn’t he.
And a lot of them said they kept that sort of information in a notebook. We said, “Well, that’s a pretty good idea. We should give Cortana a notebook.”
So right up here in the upper right, I’m going to touch this hamburger button. And you see here’s Cortana’s notebook.
This is the transparent way of putting the user in control of their relationship with Cortana. You can help her understand all of your interests, the people you care about, what your quiet hours are, and so on. So let me take you through some of this.
When I go to interests, these are all the things that Cortana has inferred about me or asked me about or that I’ve told her I care about. I want a daily glance, I want to know about traffic, I want some news headlines, I care about the NCAA tournament, Stanford football, Windows Phone and Xbox One. You get the idea.
And the more I use the search function, the more Cortana learns about me by asking and confirming, “Would you like me to keep track of this for you?” Just like a real personal assistant would.
Another good example of something Cortana really gets to know about you is the people that matter most. How could you have a personal assistant if they didn’t know your friends and family? And that’s the inner circle.
So here you can see Cortana has inferred some people that I might care about. She’s giving me suggestions down here. And then I confirm that certain people should be part of my inner circle, like my wife, my sister and so on. And she even gets to know the relationships I have with those people.
And that’s really useful for a lot of different functions, but in particular, it’s useful for quiet hours. I can turn on quiet hours and explain what I want my quiet hours to be and then Cortana has a set of rules you see here for letting the inner circle break through, even during my quiet hours.
I might not want Terry Myerson to call me during quiet hours, but I probably do want to get a phone call from my wife. That level of control is entirely up to the user, just like you would have in a real-world relationship with a real personal assistant.
Cortana also knows the places that you frequent. And she will automatically infer your home and work. But if she gets them wrong, they’re right here in the notebook, easy to find, you can fix them.
And if you want to teach her about some places that are important to you, you can just click the plus button and add a place and then Cortana will come to understand that place as well. So the point is, the user is in control of his or her relationship with Cortana.
Now, back on Cortana’s home, you might be wondering, well, where do these suggestions and things show up? You might notice down here on the very bottom, Cortana is prompting me with information that’s — wow, look at that — Microsoft is announced Windows Phone 8.1? (Laughter.) Here’s a photo. Obviously, that’s something I’m interested in, and you can see her in action right there.
Here’s news and information about Xbox One. Health news, sports news, the weather. And here’s a good one. Cortana is asking would I like for her to track Alaska flight 26 from Seattle to Chicago.
Now, let me explain how she knew to ask me that. I’ve given Cortana permission to read all of the email I have on my phone. That’s on my phone, Cortana on my phone. I’ve authorized her to scan email and recognize things that she might be able to helpfully track for me in the service.
This is not the service knowing, it’s the phone. And so Cortana has recognized a flight itinerary in my email. And now she’s asking, “Should I track it?” And I’ll say, “Yes.” And voila, now the service becomes aware of it, and Cortana can prompt me when it’s time for me to physically leave and get to the airport wherever I am. She can notify me proactively if my flight is canceled or the time changes and so on.
And that gives you a good sense of the way that Cortana on the phone gets to know you, with your permission. It goes in the notebook, and then the service can be helpful proactively.
So that gives you a sense of all the things that Cortana will do for you proactively. Now, I know a lot of you are wondering, is this guy ever going to get around to showing me how I interact with Cortana? Well, yes, thank you for bearing with me. I wanted to really give you a sense of what she’s about.
So let me actually get her to do some stuff for me. So here I am in Cortana. The first thing, of course, that you’d expect is that she can help me with my calendar and being organized like a real personal assistant.
Wake me up at 7 a.m. tomorrow.
CORTANA: OK, your alarm is set for 7 a.m.
JOE BELFIORE: Yeah, simple, of course you’d expect that. (Applause.) She’s not only good at alarms, but she’s good with your calendar too.
So imagine a real-world personal assistant, the kinds of things you might say to be organized. What’s on my calendar for Saturday?
CORTANA: I’m finding three events Saturday. At 10 a.m., Alex’s soccer practice at soccer field. At 11 a.m., soccer game. And read all books from “Game of Thrones” before premiere all day. (Laughter.)
JOE BELFIORE: You’ve got to be ready, right?
So in this case, I just asked her a question and she responds. And she’s really good at telling me stuff on my calendar because that’s what you would expect a personal assistant to do. And she can schedule things too.
Now, imagine you’re in the dentist appointment at the desk and they want you to set up an appointment. Well, you can do this really easily. Put dentist appointment on my calendar for August 1st at 10 a.m.
CORTANA: All right. I’ll add dentist appointment to your calendar for Friday, August 1st, at 10 a.m., sound good?
JOE BELFIORE: Yep.
CORTANA: All right. I’ve added it. Just so you know, you have pick up Christina from airport at the same time. (Laughter.)
JOE BELFIORE: Well, that’s what you’d expect from a personal assistant, if there’s a conflict, you want them to tell you. In fact, I could say to Cortana, “Please move that appointment.” And so on. And she can handle all those sorts of tasks.
So that gives you a sense of how she can help you be organized and get things done.
Well, as I said, she’s powered by Bing and knows the entire Internet, so she’s pretty good at searches and questions and those kinds of things.
So here I am in San Francisco. I’m hoping to meet up with my family a little bit later, and I’m going to get a big group of people, let’s say, and go out down in Palo Alto. So this is the perfect kind of thing that Cortana can help me with.
Show me the best Mexican restaurants in Palo Alto.
CORTANA: Here are 10 Mexican restaurants in Palo Alto that are four stars.
JOE BELFIORE: Now, here’s what’s going on. Of course Cortana powered by Bing knows a lot about the Internet, but remember, Bing has relationships with lots of other great data feeds. So in this case, Yelp data helps Cortana identify four-star restaurants, and that’s what she’s showing me here.
Now, because that data is present and because Cortana is sufficiently smart, I can narrow my query in a really natural kind of way.
I’m going to have a big group of people, so I want to make reservations. Which ones take reservations?
CORTANA: Here are the ones that are four stars and take reservations.
JOE BELFIORE: You notice, she knew what I was already talking about. Now, let’s get a vote from the audience. I know some of you will know these places. Who thinks we should go to Milagros? Come on. Milagros? No one, OK, I’ve been warned off. Cascal? (Cheers.) All right, OK, thank you. The wisdom of the crowd in action here.
So now of course I want her to help me complete the task by getting a reservation. Call the second one.
CORTANA: Sure thing. Who would you like to call?
JOE BELFIORE: Oh, well, there you go, our first little demo bug with my nervous voice. Generally, Cortana is quite good at recognizing in lists of places like that if I say call, she’ll call, the phone call happens automatically.
So sorry about that. Actually, that’s a good segue to mention that as you notice in the upper right, we’re launching Cortana as a beta because we’re training the service on the back end with lots and lots of voice utterances to improve its speech recognition as things go on. And later on, we’ll remove the beta tag as we expand from the United States to the U.K. and China and then, following that, to other countries. So it’s not that surprising that the service has a couple of glitches now. You’ll all get a chance to play with it later.
Now, there are a whole bunch of other questions that I can ask Cortana. How did the Seattle Mariners do yesterday?
Oh, it got a — I’m going to try that one again. How did the Seattle Mariners do yesterday?
CORTANA: On Tuesday, the Seattle Mariners defeated the Los Angeles Angels.
JOE BELFIORE: You see that? That’s the “undefeated” Seattle Mariners there at 2-0.
Cortana is, right now, the service is in the process of learning a ton about sports and being good at answering sports questions. So I was out with a bunch of people and we were talking about a particular sports topic and this particular question came up, oh, and here was a perfect scenario for Cortana and one that I know a lot of you here in the audience will care about.
How old is Russell Wilson?
CORTANA: Russell Wilson is 25 years old.
JOE BELFIORE: She has to think. 25. You know, for you 9’ers fans, I’m sorry, that means he’ll be with us in Seattle for a long time. (Laughter.) So we’re all happy about that, we’ll see how that goes.
Cortana is good at answering questions about the world. And as I said, as a beta, we’re making the service smarter and smarter and smarter. And sometimes she can help me with tasks that are related to my questions.
So let’s say I’m out eating and I’m trying to track my calorie intake, watch my diet. How many calories in a banana?
CORTANA: There are 105 calories in a serving of banana.
JOE BELFIORE: OK, so she answers the question. And what’s even more interesting, if you look down here, I can see more nutritional information, or I can add this to my diet tracker. And Bing will keep track of this. Part of Bing on the Web, but also the Bing Health & Fitness app gets this data as a means of Cortana being extended to apps. And then when I use that app, the banana is then added and I can keep track of those calories. It’s an easy way to interact with Cortana by asking a question and then get the data in another app.
So more questions. What’s the weather in Las Vegas?
CORTANA: It’s currently 51 and cloudy in Las Vegas.
JOE BELFIORE: OK. Straightforward. Straightforward. I know some of you might be confused by that. How about in Celsius? For the Canadians.
CORTANA: Here’s that temperature in Celsius.
JOE BELFIORE: OK, I know some of you are still confused, I’m sorry. I have one for the rest of you, and I want to hear whether this is what you were really looking for. How about in Kelvin? (Laughter.)
CORTANA: I converted that temperature to Celsius.
JOE BELFIORE: No, that’s not what I want. (Laughter.) I’m going to do that again. How about in Kelvin?
CORTANA: I converted that temperature to Celsius.
JOE BELFIORE: No! You know, the vagaries of a service that’s alive and up and down. You should try this yourself when you get these bits, because Cortana is smart enough to tell you the answer in Kelvin.
You know, we’ve tried to make her smart and sometimes you think about the things that she might know, and just how deeply can she reach into the Internet to figure things out for you. And it’s been fun to track in the limited use we’ve had at Microsoft to see the things that people are asking and tune the service and make it better.
One of the things I know you all will be really interested in: What’s the story of the next “Halo” game?
CORTANA: I’m quite certain you don’t have the proper security clearance for that information. (Laughter, applause.)
JOE BELFIORE: It is Cortana, after all. I mean, I thought I’d give it a shot. But you never know.
Now, what you’ve seen me doing here is using the speech recognition capabilities to have a really natural conversation with Cortana.
But there are lots of times that you expect and need not only your search function, but you’d like your personal assistant to work in situations where it doesn’t make sense for you to talk to her.
So Cortana works with typing as well. So I’m going to go here, press the search button, and I’m going to do some typed queries. So the first one — and if you think about searches, sometimes you want to search the Web, and sometimes you want to search on your phone, which is new in Windows Phone 8.1.
So I’ll say “email from Terry.” I’ll type that. And now Cortana recognizes that I’m probably looking for stuff on my phone. She doesn’t make any audio audible noise, and here you can see the emails on my phone from Terry.
So search of local content on the phone is now supported, and you can see how Cortana handles that in a very natural way.
Another example you might be wondering, well, can I type complex requests to Cortana? Or do I have to speak them? Yes, you can type anything. So as a personal assistant, one of the things that she’s also good at is reminders. So I’ll type in here, “remind me when I get home to cook dinner for my wife.” So remind me when I get home to cook dinner for my wife, probably more realistically, cook dinner for my kids.
I’ll type it in. When should she remind me? OK, here, again, ordinarily she would recognize “when I get home” and you would see right there, “home.” You get the idea, I can type these things, generally she recognizes places, fills it in, and makes it super easy even when I’m not talking.
Now, one of the other things that we’ve added into Cortana which is something we heard these personal assistants talk about a lot is the degree to which they help their clients with relationships with other people.
You know, the personal assistants knew that you had a meeting with so and so, and they knew that the person got promoted or was bummed out about something. And so a real-world personal assistant helps you with those relationships. We thought, well, that’s a perfect thing for Cortana to do as well. In fact, it’s something that other digital assistants don’t do.
So I want to show you a kind of reminder that only Cortana can do, and these are people reminders. So I’m going to keep myself out of trouble with my sister by remembering to talk to her about her new addition to her family. Next time I speak with my sister, remind me to ask her about her new puppy.
CORTANA: All right. Next time you talk to Nancy, I can remind you to ask her about her new puppy. Sound good?
JOE BELFIORE: Yep.
JOE BELFIORE: Now, of course since this is a phone, I might talk to my sister on the phone, or I might have a chat string with her, I might have an email conversation. And in all those cases, Cortana will now remind me when I’m in the context of talking to my sister to talk to her about her new puppy. And of course that will make my sister feel much better about me as her brother.
OK. I showed you a little earlier that as we’re building up Cortana, we are making her smarter and smarter on the service back end. But we’re also inviting you all to participate with that as well.
And when people start talking to their phone in natural language, we want to be able to use the natural language capabilities in the cloud to make your apps work better.
So if a user addresses an app by name and then says some text, we’re going to parse that and get it to you so that good things happen. Let me show you some examples.
Skype, get David Treadwell.
CORTANA: Starting Skype.
JOE BELFIORE: This is a new version of Skype that we’re updating for Windows Phone 8.1 and you can see here, Skype has recognized David Treadwell, and he’s coming online here in the contact that I have set. I’m not going to actually make the call here on stage, you get the general idea.
There are lots of other things that we’re working on right now. And we invite you all to participate as well.
Let’s say I’m at a party and I’m out and someone says, “Have you seen the new show, in this case, ‘Deadbeats’?” The new show on Hulu. Oh, Joe, you should watch that. I don’t want to have to navigate around and find stuff. I want to really get to my apps quickly. So I can now do that via talking to Cortana.
Hulu, add “Deadbeats” to my queue.
CORTANA: Opening Hulu Plus.
JOE BELFIORE: And so the app runs, the service recognizes the data.
CORTANA: All right, adding “Deadbeats” to queue.
JOE BELFIORE: There it is. “Deadbeats” has been added to my queue using natural language and making that really convenient. (Applause.)
OK, I’ve got one more third-party app example I want to show you. We’ve been collaborating with one of our really good partners to light up Facebook.
Facebook, what’s up with Terry Myerson?
CORTANA: Starting Facebook.
JOE BELFIORE: So of course the app will launch, the text is parsed in the cloud, it found Terry Myerson, and here I am looking at Terry Myerson’s news feed. So it’s very quick and easy for me to pan in — (Laughter.) What? It’s so on. OK. Who wants to see what Terry has posted about on Facebook? Yes? Yes? All right, let’s do it.
(Video Segment: Terry Myerson Facebook)
JOE BELFIORE: Yeah. That sounds like something Terry would post to his Facebook timeline for sure. I wonder what Cortana thinks about that. Do you like Jimmy Fallon?
CORTANA: Thank you note to Jimmy Fallon. Thanks for my TV debut on your show, love Cortana.
JOE BELFIORE: Excellent. Well, we certainly think that that’s a great way for Cortana’s career to launch. You get a sense of what she’s about. From our point of view, Cortana is the first truly personal digital assistant who learns about me and the things that matter most and the people that matter most. She understands the entire Internet, and she’s great at helping me get things done, whether it’s by typing or talking.
So now I’m going to change gears and talk about a whole different part of the Windows Phone 8.1 and a bunch of work we’ve done to light up an audience that we love, and which I know a lot of you will love, and that is businesses.
So to help go through all the ways that Windows Phone 8.1 is now killer for businesses, I’m going to invite Nick Hedderman on stage. So, Nick, come on out. (Applause.)
Nick first started working — Nick is a great expert to have do this because he first started working with enterprise customers back in Windows Mobile 5, and I’m going to let him take you through a bunch of the work we’ve done for business and then I’ll be back.
NICK HEDDERMAN: Well, thank you very much, Joe. And good morning, everybody.
With the best productivity tools built right in like Office, and a platform that’s built on the secure NT kernel, Windows Phone has always been the right choice for business.
But now with Windows Phone 8.1, we’re taking it to another level. We’re respecting existing IT investments, and we’re working with a number of partners to support this new release. In fact, you can see just a few of them here on the slides on the screen.
What’s also great about Windows Phone is consumers can chose a device that suits their price point, design, screen size and the color. And two very important things once they’ve chosen the phone. First of all, they all come with that beautiful, consistent experience that Joe has been showing you so far. And secondly, they can be secured and managed in exactly the same way.
Now, I’m going to show you some of these new capabilities here on this phone I’ve got plugged in.
Now, we’re trying to recruit Joe for a new role at Microsoft. It’s a top-secret role, and it’s a thing that’s very, very close to his heart, and that’s keynote T-shirt design. You’ll, notice he had a pretty cool one on there, and he typically always wears a great one when he comes out to talk to you guys.
Now, this is Joe’s phone. It’s a beautiful Nokia Lumia Icon. He bought it from a retail store. And, in fact, he started using it for a few days before I took it off him.
And then I asked for his username and password. We enrolled this device into his new role that we’re trying to recruit him for. I want to show you some of the changes that have happened. Once we enrolled that device, it pushed down all of the corporate information. His email, applications, policies, settings and many, many more things.
Now, the first thing I want to show you is the fact we now support enterprise VPN in Windows Phone 8.1.
So I’m just loading up here an internal site that we’re connected to. Here it is. And I’m just going to go into a real Microsoft website. And you can see there, this is on Joe’s phone, we’re behind the firewall, we’re browsing the Web. And if I just swipe down from the top here, you’ll notice that I’ve actually pinned VPN to my quick action settings there, and you can see the little padlock is flashing away as it’s going out there. It’s going in to connect up to VPN. And in a second, what you’ll see here is that it’s going to be connected. So that’s just one of the first things that we’ve done in Windows Phone 8.1.
The second is we now support S/MIME. So that allows users to read encrypted emails on their device and they can also encrypt and sign emails when they send them from their phone.
So I’m just going to go into — there we go, the VPN is connected there, just so you can see it.
I’m just going to go into Joe’s email here. And what you’ll notice, here’s a mail from Justin. And because of that little certificate symbol showing up at the top there, you can see it’s a signed message.
Now, what’s also great about Windows Phone is that when Joe or any user goes to send a new message from their phone, they can decide whether they want to encrypt or sign that message.
So, for example, if Joe was just sending an email to his wife or his family or friends, he could just send it in the normal way. Or if he was sending something very confidential internally, he could choose to use S/MIME, so it gives the user choice.
Now, I want to move on and talk about some of the MDM capabilities that we’re bringing in this release. The first thing I want to do is show you a T-shirt design here from our head designer. This is a new designer that Joe’s going to be working with in this role if we get him to do it. Here’s a beautiful new Cortana design. Looks pretty cool.
Now, if Joe went to try and save that email to his device, I’m sorry, Joe, we don’t trust you with that information. You can see there, the save option is completely grayed out. That’s because the MDM policy is telling him that he can’t have local copies here on his phone.
Now, I also know that Joe loves to play “Wordament.” I saw him playing it just last night. And, in fact, he had “Wordament” installed on this device before we enrolled it. But what you’ll notice now is, unfortunately, we’ve put it on the deny list. So now the application can’t be used on that device. We want him concentrating just on work and not having fun. Sorry, Joe, that app’s been disabled.
So let’s get Joe back out on stage and see what he thinks about all of these new capabilities, and specifically, this new role we’re trying to recruit him for. What do you think, Joe?
JOE BELFIORE: I love the phone, but no “Wordament”?
NICK HEDDERMAN: No “Wordament.”
JOE BELFIORE: “Wordament”! Do you folks play “Wordament”? (Cheers.) I’m still going for the elusive 16-letter word achievement. I don’t think I could do this. I love the T-shirt. I can’t do this without “Wordament.” Can you put it back the way it was?
NICK HEDDERMAN: You don’t want to do the role?
JOE BELFIORE: I’ll work on T-shirt design without the role.
NICK HEDDERMAN: All right. So the good news is that we can return this phone to its original state. We can do that remotely from the IT management console. But in this case, I’m just going to go into settings and do it manually here on the phone.
So I’m going to go into workplace. This is where we originally enrolled the device. You can see the relationship we have here. I’m going to delete that relationship. And then when I go back to my start screen, what you’ll see is all those corporate applications have now been removed. The email, the corporate apps, that connection to VPN, and all the documents that were previously saved in Office. So that’s now a device that’s back. And good news, if we load “Wordament,” it’s ready to go.
JOE BELFIORE: All right.
NICK HEDDERMAN: So, in summary, we’ve added a host of new capabilities. I showed you just a few there, and we’ve got many, many more. Our partner ecosystem is expanding. We showed you just some of those new partners a second ago. And that beautiful, consistent, Windows Phone experience comes to life across an entire portfolio of devices. That’s why we believe Windows Phone is the right choice for business. Thanks, Joe.
JOE BELFIORE: Thanks very much. (Applause.)
All right, so the next set of things I want to talk about is a range of new features we’ve added to Windows Phone 8.1 just to delight users across the broad experience. And I don’t have time to show you all of these, but I’m going to give you a quick sampling of features we’ve put in just to make you smile.
And I’m going to start with one that we think will make all of you smile, which is enhancements we’ve made to the store experience in Windows Phone 8.1. We want end users to be happier finding apps, and we want all of you to be way happier downloading more and more apps and getting more app engagement.
So the first thing you see when I open the store, it’s all about apps. And, in fact, it lands on a new page that’s about featured apps, which we can program its visual appearance from the service. We can change these groups, we can change the size of the tiles. So if there’s a big launch, boom, an app gets a huge tile and the user will be massively invited to engage with it.
When I pan left, we’ve learned in our telemetry that promoting personalized suggestions works great for getting users to download apps. So we put the “for you” area just off to the left of the featured area.
And of course we have our categories, which are now the same as on Windows Phone. And then a number of quick links because we found these are the sorts of things, the lists, that users like to go down and load up their phones with. Things like new and rising apps when they’re looking for something fun to get, top paid apps, top paid games and so on.
So we’re excited that this store experience will get more engagement for you and get more users running apps.
Now, the next new delight I want to talk about is, again, an app that has great benefit for end users, but is relevant to all of you as an audience, and that is our new calendar.
So I’m going to open up the calendar here. And you’ll see, here’s the calendar view. Looks a lot like what you’re used to in Windows Phone 8. You might notice up in the upper right there, I’ve now got the weather. But one thing that we changed in response to user feedback was enabling people to just swipe to the right to get to the next day. So I can go from today to tomorrow and so on. Very simple and straightforward.
Another thing that users asked for was some other views. In fact, people with fewer appointments on their calendar than I have really tend to like a week view because it gives you an at-a-glance way to see any particular day and how busy it is.
So if I touch on a particular day, then I have a way to jump in here and do that. You get the idea.
Now, the feature for you developers is that this new version of calendar, we have reimplemented using the public third-party developer API only. And that means that we’ve been testing out the new platform, improving performance in list scrolling, making it really smooth, and so this nicely tuned experience that you see is one that’s helped us get the platform ready so when you update your app, they have amazing performance as well. So that’s the calendar.
Now, the next thing I want to talk about is a few places that we’ve done a lot of work to improve the basic performance of Windows Phone. And you’re familiar right here on my start screen, I’ve pinned three of these, with Storage Sense, Data Sense and Battery Saver. And all of these have been enhanced.
But what I want to show you is a new Sense application that we’ve added for the phone called Wi-Fi Sense.
So to do that, I’m going to go into the settings here and choose Wi-Fi. And you’ll see there’s a huge, massive number of Wi-Fi networks that are set up here for the Build Conference.
I’ll scroll past all of those. And I’m going to open Wi-Fi Sense. What Wi-Fi Sense is about is helping users take great advantage of Wi-Fi networks. So there’s a service that we run that learns about the good Wi-Fi networks, and it will suggest great ones in your area.
And up here at the top, you’ll see it’s got this connect to Wi-Fi hotspot area that I’ve enabled. And what that does is asks Wi-Fi Sense to automatically connect me to free Wi-Fi hotspots when I’m in range.
Now, with Wi-Fi Sense, we didn’t stop at free public networks, there’s another scenario where getting people to Wi-Fi can be improved.
Think about this, you have your own home Wi-Fi network. You have prudently protected it with a password. But whenever your friends come over, they want to get on your Wi-Fi network and they say, “What’s your Wi-Fi password?” And then you tell them the password and they know your password, they sign in, and then they can get to anything on your network.
Well, we made Wi-Fi Sense take advantage of Windows Phone’s personal nature, the fact that we understand your Facebook friends, your Outlook contacts, and so on to give you a way at your choice to securely share your own Wi-Fi passwords with your friends in a way that’s automatic.
So if I turn this on, when my friends come over to my house, the Wi-Fi Sense service gives them a secure way to sign into my Wi-Fi hotspot without giving access to all the resources on my network, only to the Internet connection, and now I don’t have to verbally tell them the password.
This helps everyone take advantage of Wi-Fi networks wherever they are, and makes Wi-Fi way more automatic. So that’s Wi-Fi Sense. (Applause.) Thank you.
Each of these other experiences, Storage Sense, Battery Saver, Data Sense, they’ve all improved in a bunch of ways which we’ll explain in the blog. (phone rings.)
OK, let’s see here, my sister is calling. Let me just take this. The timing is not great, but it’s not terrible. OK, hang on, I’m in front of a bunch of people, just bear with me.
You see here, the first thing that you notice when my sister calls is there’s Cortana reminding me to ask her about her new puppy. Great. I’m not going to get in trouble. (Applause.) Thank you.
And there’s a second thing that I want to point out here that’s new in Windows Phone 8.1. We wanted to make it really easy and natural for people to take one form of communication like a phone call and go to a different form of communication like, let’s say, a video call.
So you notice right there in the middle of the screen is a Skype button. The new version of Skype is not only enhanced to work with Cortana, but also gives me a way to elevate from an ordinary phone call to a video phone call just by pushing that button.
And we do that in a smart way, keeping the phone call connected as long as possible while getting Skype up and running to get you to your video call.
And that mechanism works not just for Skype, but also for the RCS apps that mobile operators are writing and deploying around the world, so there’s an easy and natural way to take a phone call and go to a video call.
Your new puppy is beautiful. I gotta go. (Laughter.)
OK. So that gives you a quick look at Skype, phone calling, and how we’ve enhanced that. And I have one last delighter feature that I want to take you through. And trust me, go read the blog. There’s a bunch more of these things. Play with the build, you’ll find more.
And this is actually, probably — and I hate to choose favorites, but this is really my other favorite feature in Windows Phone 8.1. And once you get used to it and you go back to an older version, you just can’t believe that you lived without this. And that is the enhancements that we’ve made to the Word Flow keyboard. The Word Flow keyboard is already a terrific keyboard on Windows Phone 8. It learns the things that you type and it knows about the people you care about.
And in Windows Phone 8.1, it’s way better. In fact, the thing that really has made it magical is our addition of shape writing, which is now built in for free. And now I’m going to do the riskiest part of my demo. You thought talking to Cortana was risky. This is terrible. I have sweaty hands, and now I’m going to type as fast as I can. You ready?
Being on stage at Build is simultaneously — whew! (Laughter.) Not IV, but oh, come on — on. Being on stage at Build is simultaneously — OK, that worked — delightful and horrifying. Whew! Of course — and I need all caps for this — I love, with a heart, developers. (Applause.) But occasional cynical techies can be intimidating. Whew! There’s the Word Flow keyboard in action. (Cheers, applause.) And now I can wipe off my sweaty hands because that part of the demo is over.
So you saw me do this here. And trust me, actually when I’m feeling natural about it, I can do it even faster. My thumb is like pressing into the glass here. And so I don’t want you to just take my word for it. In fact, as a proof point, I have a video I want to run because we thought our keyboard was so good that we should go for the Guinness Book of World Records world record. So let’s run the video and see Windows Phone 8.1 trying to beat out the Samsung Galaxy S4 previous record holder, going for the world’s fastest typing on a smartphone.
Now, that guy is not nervous on stage. There is an official sentence that you have to type. The Guinness Book of World Records people have an official one. So we had to type that one. This is actually with a beta, not final version here. And that complex sentence was typed in 17 seconds. And you’ll see in a second they’re going to zoom in here and — yeah, come on, let us see — oh, I think first they zoom out.
Trust me. Windows Phone Word Flow keyboard is now the world record holder for fastest typing on a smartphone. And this is something you all should try yourselves. (Cheers, applause.)
All right. So the last thing I want to cover on Windows Phone 8.1 is how Windows Phone 8.1 works with Windows in a lot of amazing ways.
And of course you know that we’ve been doing that for a while. Today on Windows Phone, if you take a picture with your camera, we auto-upload the photo to OneDrive and then if you switch to your PC or tablet, it’s instantly available for you to browse.
On your PC or tablet, if you create a presentation in PowerPoint and save to OneDrive, it’ll immediately be available on your phone where you can view and edit it. So we already do lots of these things. But in Windows Phone 8.1, we did a bunch more. And in particular, we focused on settings.
So, for example, if you connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot on your PC and typed in a Wi-Fi password, well, now with Wi-Fi Sense, that password is immediately and automatically shared to your phone. You don’t need to type it in again.
And there are a whole lot of these kinds of settings like your theme color and so on.
And one of the experiences that’s benefited from that that’s also connected between Windows and Windows Phone is IE 11, which is now part of Windows Phone 8.1, and that also adds a bunch of great new features like in-private browsing now on the phone, and there’s a terrific new reading mode that you need to try out that makes it super easy to read sites when they’re complex or have small fonts. It’s a terrific new browsing experience as well.
So that’s Windows Phone 8.1. And from our point of view, we’re taking the world’s most personal smartphone experience and making it way better with more customization options, with Cortana, the only personal digital assistant on a smartphone. A lot of enterprise features, and many, many delighters, including ways that Windows Phone connects with your Windows PC.
Now, I know a lot of you are going to be wondering when will people get this? Well, Windows Phone 8.1 is going to start rolling out to consumers as an update in the next few months. We’re finishing up our software, and then we work with the hardware vendors to match it with the software that they ship. Then mobile operators get a look at that, and then we roll that out on each phone model as it’s ready. So look for that in a few months.
You’ll also see Windows Phone 8.1 available on brand-new phones starting as soon as very late April or early May, and you’ll hear a little bit more about that later.
And for all of you developers, I’m not going to tell you now, you’ve got to wait until David Treadwell’s on stage, and you’ll hear what we have for you.
So now I’m going to change gears and talk to you about Windows 8.1. This is the second operating system update we have to talk about today. And at Mobile World Congress, I explained that Windows 8.1 is enhanced to work great on lower-cost devices with just 1 gig of memory and 16 gig of storage.
We’ve also improved its enterprise support, in particular through a new enterprise mode feature in IE 11, which I’m going to show you, and we focused on making it smoother and easier to use for people with mouse and keyboard focus.
And whether you have a touch screen or not, if you’re heavily using a mouse and keyboard, we wanted to make Windows 8.1 easier to learn and easier to use.
So today I’m going to show you the Windows 8.1 Update for the first time.
So let’s come over here and switch to the PC. I don’t know if you folks have that on there. You’ll notice I’m on my desktop because I’m on a PC here, which although it does have a touch screen, I’m going to focus on my usage with mouse and keyboard.
So I’m on the desktop and one of the new things we’ve done is enable the PC to boot or resume straight to the desktop. And what I’m going to do here is run IE. So I’ve run IE, I’ve opened Bing, oh, you notice on Bing here down at the bottom there are a few things that look pretty familiar as the interests I’ve told Cortana about. Because, in fact, Cortana on the phone and Bing in the cloud share a knowledge of my interests because I’m signed in. So that makes Bing a little bit more handy.
What I’m actually going to do, instead of focusing on this, that was a little non sequitur, I want to show you how IE 11 has been updated to help enterprises deal with legacy sites on their corporate intranet.
So I’m going to go here to this Contoso corporate travel site. This is a site that the Contoso company has put on their corporate intranet years ago when they targeted IE8. IE8, a very popular browser, and you see the site’s kind of confused. It thinks I’m using an older version of IE. It’s asking me to update to IE8. Oh, no, that’s not what I want.
And so what we’ve done with an enterprise mode in IE 11, which I’m going to switch to right here so you can see the difference, is change the user agent string, change the way ActiveX controls are invoked, re-enable some features that we had previously degraded and disabled, so these legacy sites will work great.
So you see when I switch to enterprise mode, voila, Contoso Travel now works.
And the way I showed that to you in this manual way is not the way we expect IT managers to really handle this. IT managers are able to set a list of sites on their corporate networks that should automatically go into enterprise mode, and therefore, end users will get the right rendering approach for the old site and the most modern rendering approach for sites out on the Internet in a totally seamless way.
And this is great because it makes it much more plausible for enterprises to be deploying this on their new PCs, because they get to keep their site compatibility.
Now, the next thing I want to talk about is a bunch of UI improvements we’ve made to the mouse and keyboard experience of Windows. And I mentioned already that I can boot straight to the desktop or resume to the desktop, but now I want to talk about one of the most-used areas of computing real estate in the universe, and that is the Windows task bar.
If you are a Windows user that’s been a Windows user for a long time, you probably have a deep and intimate relationship with the task bar. It’s the way you think about switching between apps or launching apps. And we’ve enhanced it significantly in this update to work with new Windows Store apps.
So you’ll see down here, I have a few apps that are Win32 apps, and then over here, I have a bunch of task bar buttons for apps that are store apps.
So here is the Facebook app. And you’ll notice, when I open it up, right up here at the top, we show the title bar because Windows users that have a mouse and keyboard are incredibly accustomed to coming up here to choose minimize, and that now works in a modern app. (Applause.)
I’ll switch back here to Facebook again. And you’ll notice the task bar was displayed on the bottom as well. So if I move down here to the bottom of the screen, the task bar will pop up, and I can use that to switch between modern apps, there’s mail, there’s Facebook, or I can switch back to a Win32 app like IE, the desktop is brought up. I no longer have to think about a different switching model for apps whether they are Win32 desktop apps or modern. (Applause.) Thank you.
And I want you to keep in mind that the work that we’ve done to make touch great is unaffected by these changes. If I were holding a tablet in my hand, being able to swipe in from the left and do task switching is convenient and natural. And that’s still present, but it’s no longer required for my mouse and keyboard use.
Now, similarly, if I’m using a tablet when I swipe in from the right with my thumb, it’s handy to have the start button and settings and search right there, but that was something that we wanted to fix for mouse and keyboard users as well.
So let’s take a look at the start screen. When I go to the start screen, you’ll notice we’ve made a few changes here to make it easy for mouse and keyboard users to get to those functions.
So right here, we’ve put a PC settings tile in because Windows 7 users expect to find settings or control panel on start. Up here, we’ve added a power button and a search button. So those functions which previously hung off your right thumb are now easy to find on start.
The second thing we’ve tried to do is not just make it compatible so it’s easy to learn, but get all of the new value, Live Tiles, and a customizable start screen to be more familiar for Windows mouse and keyboard users. So we implemented a right-click context menu that pops up in a familiar way, a way that all mouse users have grown to love, and it makes it easy for me to do things like resize a tile into its large or small size, and so on.
Even beyond that, there are power user commands that Windows users are familiar with, like holding down the control key and selecting a bunch of app tiles. And then when I do that, I can grab them all and drag them around together. I’ll move these tiles all to here, and you can see that set of three all moved. Or I can choose a set and change them all to small tiles. So I have a powerful and quick way to interact with the start screen via the mouse.
OK. Now, the last thing I want to show are ways that we’ve improved Windows 8.1 via this update to help users find your apps.
So I’m going to come back to the desktop, and I want to point out here, you might have noticed — and this is on all PCs that get the Windows 8.1 Update — we are pre-pinning the Windows Store to the task bar so that desktop mouse and keyboard users will find the store much more discoverable, it’s right there, it’s always available, and in fact, I also want to show you that — this is a store update that will be coming a little later. We’re improving the store UI to be really mouse- and keyboard-friendly. And instead of some of these functions being off-screen, handy if you have a touch tablet, but not so discoverable on a PC with no touch screen. Now it will be much easier for people to discover these categories, find recommended apps, so on and so on.
So the store update, as well, is going to become mouse- and keyboard-friendly. And that’s something we’d like all of you to do with your apps. And we’re going to be providing samples for you and doing right-click menus and the kinds of things that make your UI discoverable and on screen for mouse and keyboard users.
So that’s the first change. The second change that we’ve done besides making the store really visible is when people are using their PC to do things like searches, we want your apps to be present. So here I am on the start. And I could click search, or I could just start typing. And if I start typing something like “pinball” you’ll see right here, we recognize there are apps in the store that match. We serve them up to the user. So finding an app and installing an app is incredibly easy. Right there at the top of search, I can just click here to jump to the store and install that.
And then the last thing is that we’ve seen some people get a little bit confused about where did the app go when I installed it? An installed app is no good if there’s not user engagement after the fact. So you see down here, just as in Windows 7, we added a prompt to show you where new apps are installed, and you see here that new apps are highlighted in the all apps list. And of course I can just right click on one and choose to pin it to my start screen or now pin it to my task bar. So whether I’m a desktop mouse and keyboard user or a tablet user focused on touch, I can find the apps I care about, I can make them accessible, and they work well in the modality that I care most about.
So that is a quick look at the Windows 8.1 Update. The Windows 8.1 Update will be available to all Windows 8 and 8.1 users via Windows Update starting April 8th, next Tuesday. And for you developers, yeah, you have to wait until David Treadwell comes on stage to hear what we have for you as well.
So that is my look at Windows Phone 8.1. One big, new operating system release from us, and the Windows 8.1 Update, a second that’s two in one. Thank you very much for listening. Have a terrific Build Conference, and especially thank you, Cortana. So long. (Applause.)
CORTANA: Thanks, Joe. I like your T-shirt.