About three days are left for Microsoft to kick off their annual 3-day developer conference Build 2018 on May 7 through May 9 in Seattle. The conference is going to clash with Google I/O which will start on May 8 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View.
Microsoft has had a strategic shift since Satya Nadella took the command of the company. It was recently known that the company has moved away from fighting with other companies like Apple to building products for their fans.
This year’s annual reorganization marked the exit of Windows and Devices Group head Terry Meryson who worked at Microsoft for 21 years. Microsoft knows they can’t sail on the Windows boat for a long time.
We can expect a lot of new stuff related to Cloud and Artificial Intelligence, and app development. Many of the major announcements would be a part of keynotes from Microsoft CEO and other biggies including Scott Guthrie and Joe Belfiore.
What to expect at Microsoft BUILD 2018?
Fluent Design and Windows 10
Launched last year, Fluent Design is what gives Windows 10 its modern looks, but with some inconsistencies. With every feature update, Microsoft is adding more and more Fluent Design effects to their operating-system-as-a-service. The recently released April 2018 Update shows Microsoft’s design language in a bigger manner.
At Build 2018, Microsoft will talk about some new controls, design patterns, and features that developers can use to make their app’s Fluent Design experience better.
Microsoft may have shifted the focus away from Windows 10, but they’re not going to forget it. The company is expected to reveal more information about upcoming features in the next feature update, including Sets and Cloud Clipboard. While Sets has been in the news since last year, it hasn’t made past insider builds and blog posts, onto Microsoft’s stage.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the new buzzing word in the tech world, and Microsoft might not want to be left behind. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that they’ll spend a $5 billion on IoT over the next four years.
At Build, the company is expected to talk about what new IoT-related stuff they have developed.
Microsoft could announce updates to Project Emma, a unique watch launched at last year’s Build to help the people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – a long-term degenerative disorder that affects the motor system. Due to this, patients face difficulty in writing as their hands shake.
The project is named after the graphic designer Emma Lowton who has Parkinson’s disease. The biomedical watch is meant to compensate for the tremors and get control of her hands in performing simple drawing and writing tasks.
Windows Mixed Reality (WMR)
It was last year when Microsoft brought some interesting mixed reality stuff in front of the public. It includes the built-in Mixed Reality Viewer in Windows 10 and many third-party Mixed Reality headsets launched last year. The platform already supports over 2,500 games and VR experiences available from Steam VR and Microsoft Store.
Microsoft is still working on Hololens 2 and it’s less likely that the headset will be a show stopper at BUILD 2018. But Microsoft is expected to talk what they have in store for the future of WMR.
UWP and PWA
Progressive Web Apps – web apps optimized to run like native apps – are the new hot topic among Microsoft fans and it’s definitely a talk you can expect at Build 2018.
Microsoft is trying to motivate developers to submit there PWAs on Microsoft Store. Recently, Twitter made their PWA app available on the Store.
However, PWAs aren’t a threat to Microsoft’s own UWP apps. In fact, in Windows 10, a PWA running in a browser window is a UWP app. Both UWP and PWA share a common base, EdgeHTML engine.
Lots of Azure
The cloud computing platform Azure is an integral part of the new public image Microsoft is trying to build since the last few years. For the company trying to spread its reach in the enterprise market, Azure has empowered them to stand confidently in front of other giants like Amazon and Google who have their respective cloud services.
More Cloud, AI, and ML
In addition to Azure, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are also on Redmond’s table. They are working hard to make their AI-powered digital assistant Cortana stand firm against Alexa (with her 25000 skills) and Google Assistant.
Recently, they launched Windows ML API to enable on-device workload processing on Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft is expected to talk about their plans for Cortana and come up with some new Cloud, AI, and ML stuff at conference happening for developers.
So, these were something of things we can expect at Build 2018. But who knows, tech giants are known for surprises.
How to watch Build 2018 with the comfort of your couch?
If you aren’t in the mood to spend $2,495 on the conference pass, you watch the keynotes live, interact with developers without leaving your home. Just visit the Build 2018 website and RSVP the conference.