Microsoft Corp. has announced new features in Windows 10 and unveiled a set of software development kits (SDKs) to help developers bring their code for the Web, .NET, Win32, Android and iOS to Windows 10.
At the company’s annual Build developer conference, Microsoft also announced new Microsoft Azure data services for intelligent applications; Visual Studio and .NET tools and runtimes for Windows, Mac and Linux; and APIs that enable developers to build rich apps with Office 365.
“Microsoft has bold ambitions for platforms that empower developers across Windows, Azure and Office,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Together, we will create more personal and more intelligent experiences that empower billions of people to achieve more.”
The company showcased several new features in Windows 10, from new capabilities to scale applications across devices to new ways for developers to build code for Windows 10. Capturing the breadth of opportunity, the company declared its ambition to have 1 billion active Windows 10 devices by FY18.
Microsoft further detailed ways in which developers can create a single app that scales across all Windows 10 devices, automatically adapting to different screen sizes. With the Universal Windows Platform, developers can tailor their apps to the unique capabilities of each device, integrate Cortana and Xbox Live into their apps, offer trusted commerce, create holograms, and publish their apps into the Windows Store. Also as part of the Universal Windows Platform, the company shared how apps can scale using Continuum for phones, enabling people to use their phones like PCs for productivity or entertainment.
The Windows Store will also offer a single unified experience for Windows 10 customers across devices and make finding great content easier than ever — across apps, games, music, video and other content. Transactions will take advantage of a range of popular payment options, including the largest carrier billing footprint of any ecosystem supporting 90 mobile operators. USA Today, WeChat, Disney and Netflix Inc. are a few of the partners referenced in the keynote already building apps for the Windows Store.
Microsoft welcomed all developers to the Universal Windows Platform by announcing four new software development toolkits that will make it easy to bring their code for the Web, .NET, Win32, iOS and Android to the Windows Store with minimal code modifications. This will enable developers to start with an existing code base such as Android or iOS, integrate with the Universal Windows Platform capabilities, and then distribute their new application through the Windows Store.
Highlighting the opportunity with Windows 10, Microsoft shared the progress it has made in fewer than 100 days since unveiling Microsoft HoloLens — the world’s first untethered holographic computer powered by Windows 10 — and showcased how customers like Trimble, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic are using this innovative new technology.
Microsoft previewed Azure SQL Database elastic database, which allow ISVs and software-as-a-service developers to pool capacity across thousands of databases, enabling them to benefit from efficient resource consumption and the best price and performance in the public cloud. To help developers manage massive datasets, Microsoft introduced Azure SQL Data Warehouse, the industry’s first enterprise-class cloud data warehouse as a service that can grow, shrink and pause in seconds. Microsoft also announced Azure Data Lake, an open and massively scalable data repository that supports petabyte-size files and provides high-speed integration with Azure HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, Cloudera and Hortonworks to quickly derive insights from vast amounts of data.
Also announced was new and runtimes for multiple platforms and devices. In preview on Windows, Mac and Linux, Visual Studio Code is a free code-focused editor optimized for Web and cloud applications. Furthering its work with open source and .NET communities, Microsoft released a preview of the .NET Core for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Microsoft also released Visual Studio 2015 Release Candidate, which makes it easier for developers to build and deploy applications to Windows, Linux, iOS and Android platforms.
Microsoft introduced more ways for developers to reach 1.2 billion Office users, including the new Office Graph API, expanded add-in capabilities for the iPad and Outlook, and unified APIs. The Office Graph API allows customers and developers to access, add to and build with the Office Graph, an intelligent store of Office 365 user, service and relationship data. Unified APIs across OneNote, Outlook and OneDrive, combined with the Office Graph, will enable developers to help consumers and organizations take advantage of some of their most valuable and useful data.