Microsoft’s CEP Satya Nadella took the stage to kick off the 2019 Microsoft Build conference with a lengthy keynote address. This year, Microsoft came through with a wide range of announcements including the new Microsoft Edge, as well as Fluent Design. Of course, there were others, but we are going to give you the top four announcements from the conference.
Last week, we heard that the future of Facebook is privacy, and Microsoft is no different. The company is relatively early in their development of the new Microsoft Edge, which is being built on Chromium, but it’s taken some time for them to highlight some new features. What does this mean exactly? For business users, an Internet Explorer mode will make sure that Edge works with legacy web apps and sites from within an Edge tab. Edge will also make it easier to control how sites are able to track you across the web, with three levels of privacy controls. But it doesn’t stop there, as Edge will include a new feature called “collections”, which is a built-in way for users to efficiently collect, organize, share and export information. But as a bonus, this feature will integrate with Office to make exporting even easier.
In terms of digital assistants, I think we still have a long way to go. That’s not to say that the technology isn’t great, but it could be improved. Which is what Microsoft is looking into with Cortana. More specifically, they would like to integrate Cortana with new Conversational artificial intelligence technology. If successful, Microsoft says that interactions with Cortana will be more natural. The digital assistant will be able to follow the context of a conversation while handling multiple queries and skills at the same time. If it works as advertised, the flow of interacting with Cortana will feel like talking to another person, following the conversation through multiple turns.
Despite some criticisms of Microsoft’s own consistency as it relates to implementing its Fluent Design System, it’s kind of amazing. And now this service is spreading to mobile devices. In a new Fluent Design System website, Microsoft revealed that they are going to expand from Windows to iOS, Android and even to the web. Developers will now be able to take advantage of aspects of Fluent Design, like blur effects and drop shadows, no matter where they build their apps. The goal is to create a more consistent experience across devices, making the app feel “at home” no matter where it is.
Augmented reality games are becoming increasingly popular on mobile devices, and it looks like Minecraft is ready to get involved. While Satya Nadella’s keynote was incredibly long, the teaser for this particular game was oh so short. Very little of the game was shown, other than a pig and some blocks overlaid on the real world through a phone display. However, we’ll learn much more about what Microsoft and Mojang have in store when the game gets its full reveal on May 17. Until then, prepare yourself for lots of comparisons to Pokémon Go.