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Microsoft Build 2017 Conference - Day 2 Recap

Day 2 of Microsoft Build 2017 departed from purely technical products for a more conceptual approach to appeal to the “creators” in the audience.

Microsoft has kept artists, designers, architects, and more in mind in the creative-centric direction Microsoft is taking Windows, which in turn has birthed the next Creators Update coming this fall for Windows 10.

The Microsoft Build 2017 presentation decisively focused on the people themselves who can utilize the powerful tools of Windows 10 in tandem with Microsoft’s line of Surface products to effectively marry art and technology together cohesively. The three main pillars of the Microsoft Build 2017 Day 2 presentation included the following: 

  • “Love and engagement” across devices as part of the new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to grant developers new capabilities for app and project development
  • Continuous delivery from the Windows Store and improvement to Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Amazing tools for developers in Visual Studio for creating apps for any platform

Windows Story Remix

This new application provides users with more dynamic ways of sharing photos and creating videos. The program’s AI finds your best moments from all your uploaded photos and videos to create a “story” made up of only the best shots and angles. Windows Story Remix is programmed to search for action, faces, people, objects, and important focal points within your content to use the most optimal images (in addition to music) for your story. You can also filter your story to concentrate on a specific person, or “star,” and Story Remix will perform a new search for optimal images or footage of that person for a more specialized video. The Story Editor allows you to customize your video even further by giving you a variety of tools, effects, 3D, mixed reality, and the ability to rearrange your footage to fit your taste.

Microsoft Fluent Design System

This new design system has been crafted by Microsoft work with new design elements as well as the ability to be manipulated by mouse, touch, or stylus. Microsoft Fluent Design concentrates on multiple factors to deliver captivating visuals that blend traditional 2D imaging with 3D and mixed reality; these factors include the following:

  • Light
  • Depth
  • Motion
  • Material
  • Scale

A special emphasis is also being placed on the use of the stylus pen and Windows Ink to enhance visuals in new and exciting ways. Regarding search and navigation within search engines, the pen can handwrite keywords into the search box, select links, copy and paste, and scroll along the edge of the page. Users will also be able to add writing and notations within PDF documents as well for better understanding.

Windows & Microsoft Graph

Microsoft Graph is a radical new idea that claims “Microsoft will love all of your devices,” even stretching across hardware lines such as Apple and Android products to grant anyone using any device the same wonderful experience with Windows programs. The new mantra is “all your files, activities, content…across multiple devices.”

OneDrive Files on Demand

Users will be able to upload files to the OneDrive cloud system and be able to access them from any device that has OneDrive installed. Additionally, files will be able to be “pinned” to specific locations such as device hard drive or the OneDrive cloud if the user desires to ensure he or she always has access to those files on a specific device. If a file is saved to a user’s desktop on one device, it can be displayed as available to be opened across all devices that are synced to the user’s OneDrive account.

Timeline

By selecting the Task Switcher button, the user’s current applications that are open are displayed at the top. Below the open apps is a chronological list of applications and activities the user has engaged in each day going backward in time as you scroll down the page. Each activity is also labeled with the activity name as well as an intuitive card that illustrates the activity visually. Activities can be searched by using the Search button, and you will be taken to where you left off before you closed the activity by selecting it. Your Timeline can be accessed from any of your cloud-connected devices, prompting you to open a file you were previously working on with your desktop for example and access again from your tablet.

Cloud-Powered Clipboard

This feature allows users to copy and paste text and images across devices through the intuitive Swiftkey Keyboard. For example, you can copy some text from a document on your laptop, and then switch to your mobile phone. When accessing your Internet search browser on your phone, select the Swiftkey Keyboard function on the phone’s on-screen keyboard. A list of recently copied material will appear in a list, and you can simply select the text you had previously copied and apply it to the search box. This function is great for moving content from one device to another quickly.  

Windows Store

New apps that will be available in the Windows Store as of Microsoft Build 2017:

  • iTunes
  • SAP Digital Boardroom
  • Autodesk SketchBook
  • Autodesk Stingray for mixed reality
  • Ubuntu
  • SUSE Linux
  • Fedora
  • Xamarin Live Player (for iOS app development)
  • Narrator Developer Mode

Windows Mixed Reality

Microsoft is touting itself as the foremost innovator in mixed and virtual reality, allowing users to change and build within their world to visualize what can become true reality. Besides the several mixed reality headsets (including Microsoft’s own HoloLens), Microsoft introduced its Motion Controller devices to compliment Windows 10 mixed reality headsets for more options and control when creating virtual objects.

Stay tuned for our recap of Day 3 from the Microsoft Build 2017 Conference!


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