Remarks by Steve “Guggs” Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist, and John Shewchuk, Technical Fellow, at Build 2016 in San Francisco on March 31, 2016.
QI LU: To do that, I’m going to invite my colleagues Steven Guggenheimer and John Shewchuk to shift from the conversation and the examples of Microsoft developers. So please welcome Steven and John.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Thank you, Qi. Big hand for Qi, his first Build. We’re happy to have him here, pretty good stuff. (Applause.)
So I hope everybody is holding up OK. We’re going to sort of take that last lap. John and I are here to take all of the pieces we’ve seen over the last two days and bring those together through the eyes and lens of the partners we get a chance to work with. And for us this has been a journey. We’ve sort of talked to developers, and our team does, on an ongoing basis for the last couple of years. And the conversations have really evolved.
The first year or so the conversation in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, Microsoft, do you get it, it’s not all or none, all Microsoft, all Oracle, all IBM, all Apple. We’re sort of past that. The Salesforce partnership, the Box partnership, the Dropbox partnership, the Red Hat partnership, and on and on, people are there. You take that and the open sourcing of .NET, SQL on Linux, we’re sort of past that point.
So then the second conversation becomes, in an all-or-none world, of all the pieces we’ve seen, where do we spend our energy, because nobody is going to use everything, but it’s also true that hardly anyone uses nothing. And so we try and work with folks to find the right thing at the right time to help them move their business or their ideas forward.
And then the last piece, which I think we’re the most proud of and the team is the most proud of, is showing up. And that’s not showing up with a set of PowerPoints, it’s showing up with a set of developer tools, sit down and code with people, either in the community or with an ISV for a day, a week, and doing that year-in and year-out. And so some of the partners we’ll show today are folks we’ve worked with over the years, and some of them are new. And you’ll see some videos and demos that bring that together in the sense of that ongoing relationship.
And to kick that off we have a video from a partner we showed on stage last year, actually. Our partner was Muzik, do you remember that one?
JOHN SHEWCHUK: Yeah, that was the group where we had the cool Bluetooth drumsticks. We sat with them, coded that up. Doing some new stuff.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: So we’re doing some new stuff with them. Well, they’ve got a new developer on their team, and we’ve got a little clip of the video of him starting off there and getting his head around this new platform. So maybe we should run that video to kick this off.
JOHN SHEWCHUK: All right.
(Video segment, applause.)
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: All right. I’ve got to have a little fun. So the guys at Muzik their real product is this ‑‑ besides the drumsticks ‑‑ is this headset. They’ll come into the market in the summer of this year or end of spring. And the cool part of this is they’ve got a set of buttons on the side that are programmable. So they programmed them, for example, if I sit up here and press the button it will tweet out the song I’m listening to. They’ve got another button that connects to Spotify. What they wanted to do is turn this into a platform for developers so all of you could program against the buttons and basically create a software platform on top of their hardware headphones.
JOHN SHEWCHUK: Yeah, so we brought a bunch of their engineers to Redmond. We sat down with them. A bunch of our interns got involved and we coded up an SDK that would run on iOS, on Android and on Windows phone that makes it incredibly easy for almost any developer to put together one of these applications. So it’s a great example of just working together to make this stuff.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Year-in-year-out and, by the way, we’ll tweet out that video a little bit later on. Now we wanted to get into a couple of other conversations. That’s one around devices and IoT and stuff we have a lot of fun with. The first one is next-generation productivity. We want to take the pieces that Qi showed and some of the bot stuff and bring those together.
So first demo we’re going to come over here, it’s a company called Highspot, so we’ll see if we get the demo machines up. Yeah. And Highspot basically builds a tool to help sales people be more productive. How do you get the right content, the right case studies, the right slides, bring those together for a customer? And so if I go into their service you’ll notice here I can go into content. I can pick case studies. And what they do is they use a combination of tracking and machine learning to help figure out what actually works. So if I send content to a customer, does the customer actually read it? If marketing people, like we do, create a bazillion slides, which ones actually work?
JOHN SHEWCHUK: And for Highspot they’re an AWS shop and this ability to start connecting in and do one-click Office editing, work with OneDrive, all that stuff ends up being a big way to make their app more effective and sell more.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Right. So the starting point was Office and Office 365, but the other pieces, if you go into reporting they have a set of reports they were working on, but they realized that they need to not just connect into the Office Graph, but their system of record for the employees, the sales information. So here they actually took Power BI and embedded it in. So even though they’re an AWS shop, we now have Power BI running in their service, and if I click on, for example, 90 to 100, I can see what the top 10 percent of sellers are using in terms of content. So I can go figure out how to do that.
So a nice integration of Power BI, even though it’s an AWS shop on the backend, great integration with the Office Graph, and then if I go into the other side, which is the Office add-in, if I go and start a new email here you’ll notice they have that Highspot piece right in the ribbon here, which is what Qi was showing earlier, and I can click on that and I can go full content.
Now this is nice, but there’s more ways add-ons can bring these things together. Should we show a little bit?
JOHN SHEWCHUK: Yeah, so as Qi talked about, one of the things that we’ve been working with Highspot on is that next-generation set of Office add-ins. And as you can see, over here on this screen, what I’ve got is a website hosted up here, up on Azure and what I want to do is I want to take this website, which has got some code in it, we’re going to try and turn that into an Office add-in. So let’s see that in action.
I’m going to go over here — and last Build we talked about a cool project called Manifold JS. This allows you to take Web content and bridge it directly into iOS apps, Android apps, as well. We’ve extended that so that we can now create Office apps. So watch what I’m about to do. I’m going to say I want this to be an Office project and I hit return and that’s it. We have actually created our first Office plug-in. Let’s actually take a quick look at it. These Office add-ins use a manifest to understand what’s happening, and as you can see it’s got things like the display name and so on. But Manifold puts those things together. It also gives us a good way to understand what to go do next.
So let’s see that actually in action and here’s the idea. What they wanted to do was they wanted to be able to get that rich data and analytics about how presentations are being used right when you’re in the presentation you can see, do people look at this slide, don’t they look at that slide? So to demonstrate that what I’m going to do is I’m going to go insert an add-in and here is that add-in we just created. And I’m going to go insert that and there it is. Now think about this. This is a website up on Azure that’s connecting into the code that is associated with this PowerPoint document. It’s really kind of an amazing thing.
Now if you saw it that was pretty easy to put together, but the reality behind building something like this is going to be more complicated. How do you debug something like this? I mean, think about that. That’s a website on Azure running inside a PowerPoint. Well, we introduced a pretty cool, new open source project, again last Build, called Vorlon and I want to show that off. So here’s Vorlon and what Vorlon allows you to do is use the Web as the backbone for connectivity. So I’ve got Vorlon over here. Let me do a little adjustment so we can see things maybe a little better. And as apps connect what they do is they reach back to the Vorlon server and what we’d like to do is identify this particular one.
So I’m going to say “identify client” and notice what happens, it picks, it shows that No. 1 in my list is this particular PowerPoint. So I’m going to click on that and we’ve got this new plug-in, a new tab, for Vorlon, which allows us to actually go in and in real time look at what’s going on here. So here’s the context. I can see some of the functions we’ve created. And you’ll notice I had selected some content inside that Office document. I can actually go actually test that out. So if I take a get selected data async and I invoke that you can see it’s pulled out of Office into this add-in. We’re able to go manipulate it. And I can go the other way, of course. So here is selected data async, I can pump hello world into that. And if we go back here and look there’s my hello world. I’ve manipulated the document. I’ve used Vorlon to debug it. It’s a really cool setup.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Yeah, it’s a nice piece of work. Last year we showed Manifold and Vorlon Web-to-Web, a little applause for John there, and then this year adding PowerPoint in there, all the extensions, you see PowerPoint becoming more of a platform and using a standard set of tools. Now the next logical step in this is if we’re going to continue down with Highspot, if you think about the mobile phone and mobile applications, while the app is good, the other piece that might be interesting to them is bots. So let’s take that Bot Framework and pretty quickly build a Highspot Bot that can be used on a mobile device.
JOHN SHEWCHUK: Right, so as you saw Satya talked about on the first day we have these new Bot Frameworks. So I’ve got a very simple Bot Framework that we’ve put together. Let’s just take a look at it in code. And what we’ve got here is a Node.js program. I mean this is just standard Node.js. We’re using a popular RESTify library. We’re including that bot builder. And notice what we’re going to do is we’re going to go create a new bot and we’re going to look for the ability to find presentations. That turns out for Highspot to be a big deal. How does a sales person who is on the road find that, and we think dialogues are a really good way to do that.
And as you can see all we do is we hook it up, again, standard Node.js to HTTP. So to demonstrate that in action, let me just actually start this. So I type nodeapp.js and we are off and running. I’ve got a little bot tester we have that will go talk to it. And so now it’s pretty simple. I say “find presentation.” And look it looks at the Microsoft Graph, it pulls that information in, let’s take a look at that Steve’s been doing, those reports that he was just showing, and we can click on those things, go immediately into Highspot, see that case study. So it’s a great way another kind of extensibility that Highspot is doing with their app.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Yeah, a super-easy way to use it. Now before we do anymore on the Highspot, you can have a lot of fun with the bot technology. So we switched machines real quick. We created, got together with our team, the C&E team, the Skype team, put everybody together, and they’ve been working in a Skype Bot that basically is based on the old “What If” concept. There was a What If comic book back when I was young. So for example here if I type in what if Scott Guthrie was a penguin, given all the good Linux open source stuff we’ve been doing, make sure I spelled it right.
And what it’s doing is it’s using all the services now that we showed off yesterday to parse the language, to find the photos, and viola, in fact, I’m going to download this. Let’s blow that up a little bit. Oh, yeah, I think that works out pretty well. So ProjectMurphy.net. It’s out at some of the kiosks. We’re going to set that live. This is a Skype box that you can play with within the Skype framework, and we’re going to let people have a little bit of fun with that. But it’s sort of the power of what you can start to do when you mix the services together and all the capability between Skype, Azure and some of the other pieces.
Now back to the Highspot. The last piece of this, you showed Vorlon as using this on the Office side. The other place we use extensions a lot is with Edge. And we’ve done a lot of work to get sort of standard setup working there. We didn’t talk about Edge extensions at all, maybe we can use Vorlon to do that.
JOHN SHEWCHUK: So inside of Vorlon one of the key capabilities is the ability to reach out and look at HTML content and give the developer some notifications about whether that’s standards-compliant and so on.
Now you would have had to go set up a Vorlon server, you would have had to go connect to it. With the power of Edge and this ability to use Web plug-ins in the standard way to do across all these, we’ve created another quick-and-easy plug-in, the page analyzer plug-in, so you as developers can get to this really easy.
So let’s say you wanted to look at the Highspot application, you’d just hit run and there it goes. It says, hey, you’ve used your prefixes incorrectly and then the developer would be able to go through and do that. So Edge extensions have become a key way to go extend the platform.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Perfect. So that’s a nice on that’s available now. Excellent. So a good set of extensions in the line of business side. If we sort of look at some of the people we’ve worked with, obviously we just did the extensions that John built, but we also have Reddit, Reddit Enhancement, 3D Ad Blocker, Ad Blocker Plus, Blast Pass, Amazon, Evernote. I had a chance to catch up with the Pinterest folks yesterday, they’re working on one.
And then on the line-of-business side, Box and Salesforce are conversations, and Dropbox actually started with the Office side of the platform, all the things that Qi is showing. And those partnerships are getting stronger. As they showed the Skype capabilities now, integration with Skype is the next part of that conversation. DocuSign, Splunk, Smart Sheet (ph) is another setup that’s using all the different pieces of the Office platform. So for many developers, it might not be Azure, it might not be Windows, it actually is Office, Skype and some of the other services that ends up being a great starting point for the conversation, and one of the things that we spend energy on.
Now, in terms of the ISVs’ part, we didn’t get a chance to show everyone, so let me just show a quick video of some of the partners we’ve worked with over the years to get a sense for how those partnerships continue to evolve. Let’s go ahead and run that video.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: My thanks to our partners for helping us out and letting us talk a little bit with them.
The next conversation we end up in a lot is sort of that migration for commercial entities to the cloud. And that’s a conversation we have all the time, think Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, pretty much everyone. And many people start that dialogue inside the company by actually doing sort of a private cloud model first. Pivotal with their Cloud Foundry offering is a great example of that. We’ve spent time with them. And Pivotal works with us and a lot of large companies, Ford is a good example, where they want to move thousand-plus applications into the cloud.
So the first step then, if they’re working with Pivotal, is to find some ways to connect between the work that they’re doing and then Azure. And in that world open source is a great way to go. There’s lots of libraries. There’s lot of opportunities to connect between what people are using today and some of the work we’re doing.
So I’ve got Rita Zhang onstage with John here, and they’re going to walk us through a little bit of the work we’re doing in this area.
JOHN SHEWCHUK: So Rita is on my team. She’s an open source engineer, works down here in the Valley with a lot of startups and companies that are using open source technology like Pivotal. And one of the things she’s done is make it very easy for people who have been building applications to move them over to Azure. One of the things we often see in that kind of scenario that Steve was just describing where people have code on stage is they want code on-premises. They want to be able to move it up to the cloud. They often start with things like AWS.
So, Rita, what did you do to help make this easier for people?
RITA ZHANG: So in order to improve the migration experience for a lot of our customers and developers what we’ve done is we’ve partnered with a San Francisco startup called Bounce Storage on a solution called S2 Proxy (ph) that essentially enables enterprise companies and developers to continue to use their existing code, leveraging AWS and Java SDKs to communicate with multiple storage providers like Esri and Azure Storage.
So let me quickly show you how that works. So as you can see here in my application I am using the AWS Java SDK to talk to AWS so we approve some content. So instead of doing that what I’m going to do is quickly change that to talk to S2 Proxy so that I can basically use an S2 Proxy to get content from Azure storage.
So as you can see here, I am still using AWS Java SDK, so I’m happy in my storage credentials, and instead of talking to AWS I pass in the S2 Proxy as my end point. So what I’m going to do is quickly phase this and just build it really quickly. And S2 Proxy is not class-owner specific. It can be hosted as a standalone Jetty application. But here we’ve deployed it as a containerized application on Cloud Foundry because a lot of our existing applications are now in Cloud Foundry.
So let me just quickly do a CS push so that I can get my updates.
JOHN SHEWCHUK: Now all this code you’ve written is up on GitHub, and can we take a look at that and tell us a little bit about what you did there?
RITA ZHANG: Yeah, definitely. Everything we do is open sourced. So if you want to follow just end-to-end demo, you can definitely do that. Here’s my GitHub, and this also walks you through how to deploy S2 Proxy and Cloud Foundry. And here is the specific code for S2 Proxy. Definitely let us know if you have any issues.
JOHN SHEWCHUK: So let’s see that in action.
RITA ZHANG: So now my update is now pushed to Azure, so I’m going to go ahead and just collate, and this is now retrieving data directly from Azure storage.
JOHN SHEWCHUK: So this is a great example of where we’re working with the open source community, partnership like Pivotal, with technology like Cloud Foundry to make it easy for people to take their applications and move them onto Azure.
And once they get to Azure, we often see that they want to take advantage of additional Azure capabilities. Let me give you a quick example of that. As Rita showed, we’ve got this library that is enabling us to switch easily from that AWS S3 to the proxy-based solution that Rita came up with. Let’s also extend that now and let’s just write the code to make this work from Azure. So here’s the Azure SDK work now. Notice that we’re going to use Azure connection strings. We’re going to connect into that same code, but the model remains the same until all we need to do is we need to go into that code, replace what we had put in the controller, and we are off and good to go.
Now the fun thing about this, the kind of amazing thing is, we’re also working to take the same technology and get it working on Azure Stack. If you think about this, you have the ability to start with applications on premises, grow it up, start using cloud capabilities, take advantage of things like platform as a storage, and go all the way to have the thing run as a platform using Azure Stack.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: And the Pivotal Cloud Foundry is now available in the Azure Marketplace. I think they went live this week?
RITA ZHANG: That’s right.
JOHN SHEWCHUK: All right. Great. Thank you, Rita.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Thank you, Rita. Thanks for coming out and helping us out. Big hand for Rita. (Applause.)
There’s a number of partners we’re working with on the Azure side, Horton Works and Cloudera and DataStax, Mapper, the Mesosphere folks, we’ve had somebody probably coding in their office for the last year, Docker. We talked about Red Hat. We share that sort of hybrid model mentality, which is why it was not easy, but it was logical to partner with them. Hewlett Packard just moved their Haven On demand, they’ve got about 60 machine learning REST APIs onto Azure.
One I wanted to highlight here was SIGFOX, on the IoT side Scott talked about. They’re building a network that allows you to use very low-power chips, so you can do very cost-effective devices. So as opposed to using either cellular or Wi-Fi they’ve built a very low-power network, works literally about 100 kilometers away. They’ve set it up all over France. They’re going to Antarctica so if we did the old pedometer on a cow you can put a pedometer now on a penguin, I guess, and track it around. But it’s the kind of infrastructure that’s running against Azure that’s going to help us scale IoT in a very unique way. Cool stuff, we’ll get a blog on that one out pretty soon. We didn’t have a chance. It’s actually very hard to show. Low-power chip, low message-setting demos, they’re not really that cool, they’re just sort of hard to do. But it’s very interesting stuff.
Because we’re talking about the community, as well as working with ISVs we spend a lot of time in the community. So let me run a second video now from the community aspect.
(Video segment, applause.)
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: All right. Thanks again to our partners and a ton of the evangelists that do the community work and some of our RDs and other folks are here. So if you want to get out and code there’s hackfests going on. There’s people to talk to.
Last scenario, one of the favorites, it’s that combination of hardware and software and actually the cloud, bringing those three things together, and there’s just a ton of good work going on. A couple of quick examples, Square Enix we had on stage last year. They bring together the very best of hardware, high-end hardware, and high-end graphics and artistry really. And their new game which is Hitman 4 they do with IO Interactive, one of their studios, they’re now extending all of that sort of real high-quality gaming and using the cloud on the backend, for the AI work, some of the stuff that Scott Hanselman showed. Since Scott showed a bunch of it I’m not going to run it here today, but that one is a very cool piece of work and brings those two things together.
Now the second one I want to pop over to the Surface Hub here. Let me have them bring this to life. This is a company called Aviva. Aviva is out of the U.K. They’re actually about as old as we are, close to 40 years. And they’ve been building Win32 and then .NET apps for a long, long time. This is actually UWP. And what they do is they build the software used for building oil rigs, the largest ships in the world, really complex mechanical infrastructure. And as you see here I can move this one around and you can sort of zoom in. If you want to get an X-ray view you can get an X-ray view. If you want to tap on an item, you can tap on it and you can actually go in and get the drawings.
And what they’ve done now, this is collaboration for them, is sort of heart and soul, so this device, and then connecting to OneDrive and OneNote, and then Skype, allows them to work across the world, allows them to collaborate, communicate, share the documents, use OneNote. So they really love the combination of sort of the platform for Windows, the cloud on the backend and then these new category of devices.
Now last one on the devices side, VR, AR, lots of conversations going on and so we thought we’d do one demo there. This one is kind of fun for us. The folks at Vuforia built basically a middleware toolkit for building augmented reality scenarios. They’ve got about 200,000-plus developers, about 250 million downloads. So in the same way Unity is used for gaming these guys are building the toolset for AR in particular. And they’re bringing their SDK to Windows.
So let me, I’ve got an application here from Caterpillar that I’m going to launch on my device here. So I’ve got this little Caterpillar app. And what we have here is a page from a catalogue for Caterpillar. And so if I go to this standard sort of catalogue a sales person would send over, or you’d bring out, and I bring my surface device here, what you’ll notice is I have a model now, a 3-D model rendered there. And if I turn the page around and actually see into this, I can get closer, I can get further away. And the nice thing here is, because it’s a UWP app, I can click “take note” here and take advantage of the hardware, and here I’m going to make a note to change the bucket on this loader at some point. And I’m going to save the note and now you’ll notice the change notification just hovers above there.
So we’re mixing that sort of hardware, software, really cool capabilities and this new toolset from Vuforia. Can we show a little bit of this?
JOHN SHEWCHUK: Sure, so what you can see up here on the screen is Unity; we’re inside the Unity engine. We’re using the Vuforia plug-in, and at the core what Vuforia does is it allows you to take a target image and then map 3D models on top of that. So that’s what we’re going to do here.
Now of course when you’re doing this for something like this, where we’re building the catalogue and have sale people running around, we would do this a little bit more dynamically, but this shows the basics of the system. And so I’ve actually now connected the two of them together and really that’s the core of the application. Let’s actually run this thing in Unity and as you can see I’ve got a camera up here and there is that same experience that Guggs was just showing, where we’re able to map that thing on there. It’s pretty cool. Again, you can zoom in. You can see all the ways that this works.
Now, because it’s in Unity one of the great things that this does for Vuforia is it means they can produce an iOS app, they can produce an Android app, they can also produce a Windows app. And that Windows app is special in that you can use those things inside of Visual Studio and extend them. So let’s take a look at that.
Here is that salesperson app that allows people go to and communicate with their customers and you’ll notice this thing is a XAML app. There’s all kind of standard stuff. And as Kevin talked about yesterday, one of the key things that we’re adding is this great inking capability. So I’m just going to drop in an ink canvas and let’s just go look at kind of the complexity associated with that. It’s really surprisingly easy.
We’re going to just take stroke input. We’re going to collect them up. And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to store them in a notes manager with the XY position that we had. And there you go, that’s a way that we can take this great plug-in, we can combine it together, to produce a UWP, and that gives us the ability to get this out to a lot of different platforms.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Yeah, I sort of moved over here, because if it’s a UWP then by definition it should run on any Windows device, and since it’s a 3D model the next logical thing to do is to run this in HoloLens, right? So I have that same catalogue page over here and you’ll see I’ll hold up my Surface and there’s that same loader. Now, hi, how are you?
PARTICIPANT: Hi, Steve.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Yep, my brain has gone flat. Margot is here to join us and she’s going to help us with the HoloLens version of this now. So what I’d like you to do is, yeah, put on the HoloLens. And she’s going to look at that same catalogue page and see it from the HoloLens view. So go ahead.
So she sees the same model. If you’ll notice even the change note is there. But the cool thing is, because she’s using HoloLens, she’s not tethered then to this piece of paper, the catalogue. She can bring this catalogue to life.
So why don’t you go ahead and take the loader and go ahead and put it on the stage for us.
PARTICIPANT: Great. Happy to trigger that animation. And what’s unique about this mixed reality experience is that prospective Caterpillar customers can view the Caterpillar at true size and scale, leveraging the existing human and environment understanding APIs that are already available in Windows today.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: So here I’m able to walk around the loader. She can see all the different pieces of it. Look inside the cab. It’s a very cool scenario. And as a sales person, I’ll tell you, if I had something like this, night and day in terms of selling against Kubota or some of the others. The other thing is we made that change notification so she could actually go ahead and modify this loader in sort of the life-size version. So can you go ahead and drive that change.
PARTICIPANT: Absolutely. Caterpillar, change configuration.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Oh, I like that. So when they talk about the magic of software, I think it’s all right there. So hardware, software, the cloud, bringing it all together, real-world scenarios. Thank you, Margot, for helping us out with this. Appreciate it.
PARTICIPANT: Thank you.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Big hand for Margot. (Applause.)
So that’s cool stuff. Lots of work going on in the hardware/software side, Haier, bringing Cortana to the appliances. We had them on stage two years ago. They built basically threads that are live and they put them in the socks, and now they’re starting to work with NBA teams that use the cloud on the backend. NASCAR, PGA doing some very cool work with hardware, software, the cloud. You see it in all the things they’re doing as the PGA goes forward with their Shotlink system and NASCAR with in-car video, the way they check cars.
Tools, Vongol (ph) on the ad side, but Envelope VR is a startup. Super cool. We’ll have to do a video on these guys as well. What they’re doing is they’re actually creating an environment where you can wear your virtual reality headset and code. So you can actually write the code, you can edit, you can work on it, and then look at your project inside the headset. Never have to pop back and forth between coding and then sort of looking at the VR project. So that’s going to be a much better way to operate and we’re looking forward to those guys coming through in the future.
So with that, can you hand me my clicker over there. With that I want to sort of do one more step, and that’s the connection to students. One of the things that John and I get to do is work with a lot of the different student groups, and that’s just fun for all of us. We have the finals or had the finals for the Imagine Cup for the United States here this week, and we’ll do the worldwide finals in Redmond in July. Lots of different teams. There are some cool projects going on. I saw one on sort of gun control, which I really liked; one on police safety. There’s a ton of games that are going on, some health-related ones. The one in the middle is pretty cool. These are four juniors from MIT. They’re working on a project that allows you to take a reader, essentially, bring it over text and convert it to Braille in real time. So you can basically do books or text conversion to Braille real time, and sort of a really nice project. Ties in a little bit in terms of empowering everyone theme that Satya showed yesterday. So they’re sort of next door.
I think, John, you’re judging?
JOHN SHEWCHUK: Yes, I’m judging.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: The judging is going on tonight, and we’ll get the U.S. winner.
The second part of this is, when we work with kids, we do a lot with university and high school, but kids are starting younger and younger. There’s this really cool project called Quest, which connects young kids and NASA together, and so let me run a little video on that.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: Let me invite them on stage. Hey, guys, how are you? Eighth graders from Valley Christian down in San Jose. That’s where this project is run out of, but they go all over the world in terms of the project itself. It’s really cool. When you think about getting kids interested in science, programming is one side, but space is a whole other angle to work with.
So what did you guys each like about the project?
PARTICIPANT: By being able to just be in the project, it has clarified what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to become an engineer.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: I like that. Engineer, we need more of them. (Applause.)
PARTICIPANT: My favorite part about this project is that we can use Windows 10, IOT and .NET. And I know that sounds a lot like advertising, but —
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: I did not pay him for that, but we’ll pay him later.
PARTICIPANT: But with our old system, we were using a basic dialect from the 1970s. It had two kilobytes of memory. But now with Windows 10 IoT, we can use the entire platform that Microsoft offers with things like .NET and Azure and Visual Studio and C#, we can use these things to make our experiments. So now rather than just writing scripts we can actually make apps and cloud services. I really love the fact that we were able to create something that’s never been done before. And, Guggs, working with your team has really helped us to make the impossible possible.
STEVE GUGGENHEIMER: These guys are great. This experiment, give them a hand, their experiment goes into space on May 31st. So we’ll check back with them in three months, six months, and see sort of the data they’re getting back. So a really cool scenario.
Thank you guys for making time. We really appreciate it. (Applause.)
I couldn’t even offer to get them out of school for this. It’s spring break here, so they actually took time out of their spring break. I feel a little bad, their day off, but it was really nice of them to join us.
With that, look, we hope you’ve had a great Build so far. We’ve got more coming. One of the things I’m happy to announce is we’re going to take sort of Build on the road, London, Melbourne, Toronto, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Pune. One day, long day, as you can tell from this morning and then hackfests at night. So we’re going to go all in.
Build 2016 registration opens April 25th. We’re going to try to get more space next year. Join us on Channel 9. Join John and I online. We’ll see you at the Yerba Buena Lane. We’ll see the evangelists here. Thank you so much for all your time. We appreciate it.