Thursday, 11 May 2017 11:35

Microsoft Build 2017 – Windows 10 reaches 500 million

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Microsoft chief exectuive Satya Nadella has told the opening session of the company's Build conference that Windows 10 had reached 500 million monthly active devices.

Nadella, Scott Guthrie, and Harry Shum welcomed thousands of developers to Seattle for Build 2017 — Microsoft’s annual developer conference. You can see the webcast here and there is a public page – Channel 9 – if you want to deep dive.

Microsoft made many significant announcements, mostly of interest to developers and enterprise users.

“In a world of near infinite compute power and an exponential growth in data, we are focused on empowering every developer to build applications for this new era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge,” said Nadella in his keyntoe.

Highlights include:

500 Million Windows 10 users

While it is nearly half way to the 1.1 billion potential devices mentioned at launch in July 2015, it has been enterprise that has been hanging back eking every last drop out of Windows 7 on legacy devices.

According to Netmarketshare Windows 7 still has 48.5% of installations and Windows 10 is at 26.28%. Enterprise is expected to largely phase out Windows 7 over the next 12 months.

Office 365 had more than 100 million “commercial users” users.

Microsoft’s Presentation Translator

Offers real-time translation of PowerPoint presentations without removing the original formatting.

Azure Cosmos DB

It is said to be built from the ground up to power planet-scale cloud services and data-intensive applications — from IoT to AI to mobile — with support for every type of data, including graphs.

New MySQL- and PostgreSQL-managed services

These join Azure SQL Database to give developers more choice. There will also be an early preview of Microsoft’s new database migration services, which will allow Oracle and SQL Server customers to more easily move their data and quickly modernise their apps.

Azure SQL Database improvements:

  • A new managed Instance private preview, which offers customers SQL Server instance-level compatibility.
  • General availability of Threat Detection and a preview of Graph support.
  • General availability of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac.
  • Support for containers of nearly every type, on every platform.
  • DocuSign announced Microsoft Azure is its preferred cloud for global expansion, starting in Canada. 

New developer on-ramps to the world’s largest productivity platform

Microsoft announced plans to better connect developers with Office 365 customers around the globe:

  • Any developer can now publish for Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365.
  • Microsoft also made new Microsoft Graph APIs available to developers, including APIs from SharePoint and Planner. 
  • Developers and ISVs who host their production SaaS applications on Microsoft Azure and sign up through the Azure website can now have their apps’ data and workflow automatically extended to authorised Office 365 customers through standard connectors for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.

AI to augment the capabilities of every developer, organisation, platform and person

Microsoft also highlighted its vision to amplify human ingenuity with intelligent technology, bringing AI to every developer through the combination of the Microsoft cloud and AI. New announcements included the following:

  • The company added new services to its offering of cognitive services and now has 29 services for developers, with customisation options. 
  • Using the new adaptive cards supported by the Microsoft Bot Framework, developers can write cards once for multiple apps and platforms. 
  • Azure Batch AI Training is a new Azure offering, available in private preview only, that will allow developers and data scientists to configure an environment with parameters and run their models against multiple CPUs, multiple GPUs and eventually field-programmable gate arrays.
  • The Cortana Skills Kit is now in public preview. 
  • A demonstration was provided on how multiple Microsoft products and services, including Dynamics 365, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Cortana Skills, Microsoft Graph and Sentiment Analysis, will be integrated into Tact, the sales experience platform that is claimed to turn any connected device into a AI-powered virtual sales assistant, later this year.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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