Wednesday, April 29, 2015





Microsoft is bringing the BUILD conference to New York
in a one-day event on 
May 18.

For information and to register:

*   ***   *

APRIL 2015

BUILD is Microsoft's Developers' Conference.

MS streamed the keynote live.  (They have a nice STREAMING video channel: CHANNEL 9 -- I'm guessing it will be Channel 10 before too long.

They talked about 
  • Microsoft Store
  • Azure (their cloud)
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Edge (new browser)
  • Hololens

    Here's my take...

    First of all, they are making a strong effort to create a platform that will extend over the largest possible number of devices, including IoT (Internet of Things) devices.  And they are trying, on the one hand, to create a development system which, with one code and content base, a developer can reach the entire ecosystem of devices; and, on the other hand, especially with Azure, to create a platform which will accomodate any development software a developer wishes to use. (Those goals might co-exist, or they might confict.)

    It should be said at the outset that the keynote did not have the simplicity and clarity (of, say, an Apple event --  or the MS events of years ago) that one might hope for.  Especially at the beginning, the BWpM score (Buzz-Words per Minute) was so high that not even a UN translator could have rendered it all into English, intelligible to anyone who is not an MS insider already developing 24/7 (dreams in code, only).

    The talks did not give any dates for public releases (July is estimated by some for Windows 10) but developer code is becoming available now.

    Here are some things that struck me as interesting in the talk:

    • Windows 10 is designed to operate seamlessly and interchangeable on everything.
    • Azure is designed to be extremely versatile for lots of code choices; it is not clear whether it will be simple or inexpensive to use.
    • The Microsoft Store is growing and becoming more useful
    • Windows Edge continues the theme: to leverage the concept of anything, anywhere 
    • Hololens is really interesting.

    Hololens is one of several new types of eyewear coming soon from various vendors that enable VR (putting you an a virtual reality room) and AR (Augmenting Reality by adding information to your real environment).  Hololens, which puts virtual 3D objects into your environment, seems to be mostly AR, but with some VR capabilities. (Kinect was a first step toward Hololens.)

    Hololens can survey your actual environment in real-time in 3 dimensions. It has additional position and other real-time sensors. It can project models and data into your visual space. (Remember Minority Report?) It has independent computing power, so it does not need wires. It looks cool.

    Development for Hololens can begin (Microsoft suggests) by learning Unity.

    It can have many applications in entertainment, education, marketing, and business.  Perhaps even police work. (Remember Minority Report?)

    All in all, Microsoft made a very strong case for the value and power of developing with new Microsoft Software.  The case for ease of development not so much.  

    The techy nature of the keynote (well, it is a tech conference) however, did not provide much guidance as to the ability of Microsoft to compellingly market compelling consumer-ware.



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