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InfoQ Homepage News Quick Take: Build 2015 Day 2 Keynote

Quick Take: Build 2015 Day 2 Keynote

Day 2 of Microsoft’s Build developer conference was opened by Microsoft’s Steve Guggenheimer and John Shewchuk.  A quick video montage was used to provide developer feedback from various companies (GE Healthcare, Acumatica, Game-Insight, etc) on how they feel Microsoft’s treatment of developers has changed.  The pair then described how their talk today would focus on demonstrating how developers can utilize the various new technologies unveiled in yesterday’s keynote.

They view today’s developer ecosystem as focused on mobile devices and the cloud—and how the two are linked.  Their talk and the various presenters will focus on the following areas

  1. Media and entertainment
  2. Commercial Apps
  3. Building for Windows 10
  4. Cross Platform
  5. Data and the intelligent cloud
  6. Gaming

To demonstrate how Windows has reduced the latency and has improved audio support, musician Questlove from Roots spoke in a video to show his project Muzik and their smart sticks.  These are virtual drumsticks hooked up to a Surface that allow a user to ‘air drum’ and produce sound the same as if they were using a real drum kit.

Shortly after, David Treadwell, Corporate Vice President in Microsoft’s Operating System Group took the stage to describe how Windows 10 will be different from Windows 8.  Essentially his team internally views it as “Window 8” and Windows 10 will use resizable app windows, realizing the promise of the original Windows from 1986.

Treadwell says that developers can create custom XAML views for every device type they wish to support while powering them from a common core.  A slide shown by Treadwell shows how the Windows Universal Platform sits on top of Windows Kernel Services.

Kevin Gallo came on stage to demonstrate several applications and how they can benefit from the new interoperability of Windows 10.  A kiosk running a slideshow was attached to a Raspberry Pi that had a proximity sensor.  It detects the distance of the viewer and adjusts the display accordingly.  From a distance a single full screen image is shown, but as the viewer walks towards the display the number of images shown onscreen increases.

Gallo also showed how an existing web-based application was containerized into a Windows 10 app allowing it to take advantage of X-Box achievements and Cortana.  Since very little code needed to be changed to make it an app, the developer could focus on adding the Windows 10 specific features.

Moving along, Joseph Sirosh commented on Data and the Intelligent Cloud.  Microsoft Azure Machine Learning provides improved ways to make high-powered data crunching available to end users.  One example showed how it was used to predict March Madness basketball results.  Other showed the analysis of human genome data.

A demo on the Connected Grid was provided by Erik Åsberg of eSmart Systems.  He showed how his company is able to Azure to monitor electrical usage on a power grid.  The next demo was using drone-recorded photos of Pompeii to provide a visual flythrough of the ruins using Babylon.js. 

The final main demo of the keynote was done by Aidan Brady, high school junior, and Briana Roberts of Microsoft.  Visual Studio now offers Minecraft modding support, which means developers can write Java in Visual Studio again (last seen in Visual J++).

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