Julie Larson-Green, corporate vice president of Windows at Microsoft, announced that Windows 8.1 Preview is now available, claiming that the preview furthers the vision of Windows 8. Key feature updates in Windows 8.1 include increased personalisation, search powered by Bing, cloud connectivity with SkyDrive, browsing optimised for touch with Internet Explorer 11, new in the box apps and more.
We will analyse //build/ keynote in further articles but for now:
- Windows 8.1: The Preview is here. The Windows Blog is here.
- New apps: New apps are coming to Windows, including Facebook, Flipboard and NFL, providing another great example of the steady app momentum Microsoft is seeing.
- Developer opportunities: New opportunities for developers to design, build and market their apps by leveraging the redesigned Windows Store, additional monetisation opportunities and flexible design options.
- Internet Explorer 11: builds on IE10 as the only touch enabled browser IE11 delivers completely rebuilt F12 developer tools, more options for favourites and tabs, better touch performance, faster page load times, and the ability to sync browsing history, favourite sites, tabs, and settings across all of your Windows 8.1 devices using your Microsoft account. For more information, please visit the IE Blog.
- Bing as a Platform: Bing.com is to be embedded as intelligent services into Microsoft devices (e.g. Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox), Microsoft services (e.g. Office, Skype), and 3rd party apps. Bing as a Platform will allow devices and services to help people interact with the world’s knowledge and their surroundings in a more human way. For more information on Bing as a Platform, please see the Bing Blog.
- Bing Developer Services: The new platform will deliver three broad categories of capabilities of which 3rd party applications can take advantage: services to bring entities and the world’s knowledge to applications; services to enable applications to deliver a more natural and intuitive user experiences; and services which bring an awareness of the physical world into your applications. Highlights of the developer services include: The Bing Entity API, Bing Optical Character Recognition Control, Bing Translator Control, Bing Speech Control and Bing Maps 2D/3D Control. For more information visit the new Bing Developer Centre which provides a single destination for developers to take advantage of Bing’s offerings.
- Bing Apps for Windows: Bing introduced two new Bing Apps for Windows 8.1 Preview: the Food & Drink app and the Health & Fitness app. Designed from the ground up for Windows 8.1 to embrace speed and touch, the apps give people a fast, fluid and consistent way to delve into culinary and health interests and get things done.
Visual Studio 2013 includes:
- Previews: Visual Studio 2013 Preview and .NET Framework 4.5.1 Preview.
- ALM capabilities: Visual Studio 2013 provides a connected developer experience and extends Microsoft’s application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities.
- Integrated solutions: The company’s integrated solution for building modern apps across devices and services enables development teams to build rich, modern applications more quickly and efficiently.