Microsoft Build 2016: Day 2 Quick Take
Microsoft’s annual Build developer conference continued today in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Day two of Build 2016 was all about Azure, Enterprise services and how developers could tap into the tools available with Visual Studio.
- All about Azure
Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Cloud and Enterprise group in Microsoft, started things off with some of the momentum Microsoft Azure is experiencing:
Guthrie also mentioned that more than 85% of Fortune 500 companies use some part of the Microsoft Cloud.
- Build native mobile apps with C#
Miguel De Icaza demonstrated building a C# app in Visual Studio that targets iOS 9.2. iOS emulator running on Windows—emulator supports multi-touch events being inputted from the host computer.
Next Icaza demonstrated what essentially an interactive programming tutorial (Xamarin Inspector)—the tutorial is live, so that editing code shown in the tutorial appears instantly on an Android emulator. You can use Xamarin Test Cloud to test apps on 1,000 of devices and use HockeyApp to monitor performance for all your users, too. Xamarin will be available to Visual Studio users for no extra charge – even free community edition users! All of it will be open-sourced.
- BMW’s vision for cars
Thom Brenner from BMW joins Guthrie to talk about digital services. They played a clip showing BMW’s vision for cars that feature dynamic response to driving conditions, road conditions, and the ability to display communications (video chat and emails) while driving the car.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT based devices are all around us in our daily life’s with more businesses introducing all kinds of creative uses for these devices. Azure IoT provides multiple solutions that can expand and contract based on the demand for them and give you all the data you need to collect for analysis.
Microsoft will also soon launch an Azure IoT kit that comes with an Adafruit board so you can code some lights into clothing.
- Power BI and Azure tools
Microsoft announced a new tool called Power BI Embedded for in-app data visualization directly within your own applications. Power BI will be free to try until December 1.
Other Azure products such as Container Service and Service Fabric previews are available today, you can now connect DocumentDB using MongoDB tools or libraries.
- Getting more productive
After spending the first hour and a half on Azure, Microsoft moved onto productivity with its Office suite. It says it now has 1.2 billion users using all Office products.
Office add-ins for Mac is arriving, adding to the support lineup for Windows, iOS, and iPad. Microsoft even had Starbucks join them on stage to show how to add an add-in to Outlook so you can purchase a gift card and send it straight to your recipient right from your mail client.
The company also touched upon how the app overload, and how there are too many single-purpose apps crowding their devices. It wants to resolve this with “conversation interfaces” that provide tools like checking train time or order items from things like Office, Skype, and Cortana.
Qi Lu discussed the general availability of Office 365 Group Connectors and the Skype for Business Web & Mobile SDK. Office 365 is HIPAA compliant which increases its usefulness for the medical industry.
A great augmented reality demo showed how a 3D object rendered by Unity could be viewed through a camera or Surface Pro tablet. The model isn’t there, but it appears to be physically present, making inspection of the object possible in a way not possible with a 2D display.