Build 2015 marks an important step in our journey with developers – and it’s just the beginning

Kicking off Day 2 of Build today, I had the pleasure of expanding on the news and vision that Satya, Scott and Terry shared yesterday. We built upon the big ideas and bold ambitions from Day 1 when we announced our intention to create a world of 1 billion Windows 10 devices, and to create the most attractive development platform ever through the Universal Windows Platform (with new “bridge” toolkits) and the power of harnessing data in the cloud. We took the next step today by grounding these concepts in practical business conversations and code. Add in some announcements of our own, and we were able to show real-world scenarios and solutions from some of our partners to illustrate how developers can really light up Microsoft platforms and technologies.

One of the most exciting parts of today’s keynote revolved around Media and Entertainment, starting with an incredible demonstration of drumming by our friends at Muzik, with a special greeting from Questlove from the Roots. Muzik has created low-latency Bluetooth air drumsticks that enable musicians to drum into the air with full spatial awareness, meaning there’s no need for a full drum set. Parents, imagine your kids putting on a set of headphones and doing their best Questlove impression in total silence. The Propellerhead team also shared their experiences building a music collaboration app across Windows, Android and iOS.

On John Shewchuk’s blog, he shares detailed code and walkthroughs of our coding demos.

For commercial developers, I announced support for Autodesk’s Spark platform, which will provide 3D-printing capability for Windows 10. Siemens demonstrated an engineering solution that offers immersive collaboration for engineering projects on a Surface Hub. For most developers, creating reports is the bane of their existence, and Acumatica showed how they were able to easily create a dynamic reporting solution with PowerBI.

I introduced David Treadwell and Kevin Gallo, who walked us through the process of building a Universal Windows Platform app that spans Windows 10 devices, including phones, tablets, PCs and Xbox. The Universal Windows Platform’s UX controls automatically adapt to different screen sizes, and developers can tailor applications to the unique capabilities of each device. David shared more details about how we will enable developers to use their Web, .NET and Win32, Android Java and C++ code, and Objective-C code to build new Windows applications.

Kevin showed the process of taking an application from Win32 to the Windows Store, as well as how to take a website and build a Windows app out of it. Also launched today was a showcase of some of the new rendering engine improvements for the Microsoft Edge browser (formerly Project Spartan). Kevin showed an app called Flight Arcade to demonstrate how Microsoft Edge pushes the boundaries of the Web platform using WebGL, Audio and Gamepad APIs. We demonstrated re-using this cloud-based, Web app code and bridging to Windows with full access to the Universal Windows Platform (with new “bridge” toolkits). Finally, he demonstrated the steps for bridging both Android and iOS apps to Windows.

Adding to the app titles announced Wednesday, we showed that Windows 10 momentum is building, with additional support via new apps from top brands including FitBit, Shazam and rdio. We also highlighted great partner stories, including our partnership with Box in developing a new universal app for Windows.

While many developers are looking to reuse existing non-Microsoft code to build Windows apps, we also know that there are developers who are looking to start with Windows and then move to other platforms. For these scenarios, people typically look to Xamarin and Unity as mainstays. Today John Shewchuk added another option in announcing a new technology called ManifoldJS, which is an open source JavaScript library for creating hosted apps across Android, iOS and Windows using the Web experience you’ve already made. John explains it in greater detail on his blog. One of the companies that is already building on this kind of infrastructure is SalesForce, which demonstrated their SalesForce One solution that combines the best of the Web with the best of Windows.

We aren’t done talking JavaScript quite yet. We also dove into asm.js, a strict subset of JavaScript usable as a low-level, efficient target language for compilers – simply. Think native-like performance using JavaScript. Then there’s Vorlon.js, a remote debugging and testing tool for JavaScript that helps you remotely load inspect, test and debug JavaScript code, running on any device with a Web browser only.

Microsoft and GitHub also announced the availability of GitHub Enterprise on Azure, enabling companies to develop and build enterprise-grade software by creating their own instance of the collaborative code platform already used by millions of developers. In addition, by using the GitHub extension for Visual Studio, developers can more easily connect and work directly with public or private GitHub projects from within Visual Studio 2015. With Developer Assistant powered by Bing, developers can find and retrieve code samples and projects from GitHub, the largest code host in the world. To learn more about these extensions for Visual Studio, check out our blogs: Announcing the GitHub Extension for Visual Studio and GitHub Integration in Developer Assistant.

We also introduced Pompeii, or more accurately, a 3D map of the city of Pompeii, created from 50 hours of drone scanning that generated 30,000 pictures, 30GB of data and 1,200 hours of data computation. Using an A7 Azure VM to produce 3D meshes, with 720 billion pixels and tens of millions of polygons generated from Azure, an in-browser application was created with Babylon.js that allows users to navigate Pompeii using a gaming controller.

Joseph Sirosh came on stage to talk about data, focusing on four areas: Analysis and Reporting, Real-time Operations, Predictive Analytics and Reinventing Industries. Joseph demoed an app called How Old Do I Look where he used an intelligent face analysis API in the Azure Marketplace to demonstrate PowerBI and Azure Stream Analytics. He then talked about using Azure Machine Learning to predict the future by featuring Microsoft employee Adam Garland, who beat Satya, Bing and Google in predicting March Madness – with no prior experience using Azure Machine Learning. Joseph also used Machine Learning and his own mapped Genome to demonstrate how to understand risk profiles for disease. Finally, Joseph brought out Erik Åsberg from eSmart Systems, a Norwegian startup that is using Azure services and the power of machine learning and data to reinvent the industry of power management.

We also introduced Project Oxford, beta versions of a portfolio of REST APIs and SDKs, which enable developers to easily add machine learning-powered services into their solutions to interpret and understand multimedia-like audio, text, image and video.

You can’t talk app scenarios without talking gaming – the segment that typically drives the most app revenue. Today there were some amazing examples of game developers who are pushing the envelope, like Witch from Square Enix, the first photorealistic real-time rendering on PCs with DirectX 12. We also announced a new open source project enabling Minecraft modding (modifications to the game) in the Java language from within Visual Studio. High school student Aidan Brady, a Minecraft modding celebrity and creator of the Mekanism Mod, and Briana Roberts from Microsoft, gave a demo and showed off building a simple mod in Java.

We are constantly working with developer communities and companies to host hackfests as we partner across the industry to help developers. Today I announced Reactor, the code name for the new Microsoft workspaces that we’re opening up in San Francisco. These spaces will provide expert mentorship and technical advice, meeting and co-working incubation space for early-stage startups and a central location for developer communities to come together.

We covered a ton of content in two hours and words alone can’t do it all justice. The good news is that you can see it all yourself on Channel 9, 24 hours after each presentation.

Remember that our story doesn’t end today. We are running sessions through end-of-day Friday and posting the videos online as well. Next month we kick off our Build Tour to bring the best of Build’s technical content to 25 cities around the world.

Build 2015 marks an important step in our journey with developers, but it’s just the beginning. I encourage everyone to check out the technical content, download the tools and let us know what you think.

Looking forward to building with you in the future!

-Guggs

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New services for intelligent apps + tools and runtimes for any platform & every device

Cloud computing started as a cost-effective, flexible way to consume storage and compute, but over the last few years it has become so much more. Higher-level services are taking center stage, ushering in a new era of “intelligence” – powered by automation and driven by data insights – that is transforming how business is done. Enterprises, startups, hobbyists and developers of all types are helping to fuel this transformation.

Today at Build 2015, we announced new tools and services to help developers of all types advance this transformation and create more intelligent apps that easily leverage massive amounts of data. With Microsoft Azure, these developers are able to take advantage of previously unimaginable levels of flexibility, productivity and data insights to build the world’s applications.

New services to power big data insights

Most businesses make decisions on a fraction of the data available to them, and this often leads to incorrect conclusions that can cost companies billions. But we believe that businesses should be able to derive insights from all of their data, no matter where it is stored, what format it is in and not matter how big that data is. To realize that vision, today we announced new services that will help developers build more intelligent apps to power more intelligent business decisions.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse takes data analytics to new levels of scale and efficiency. It offers developers the industry’s first enterprise-grade data warehouse that supports petabytes of data and scales compute separately from storage to bring the pay-per-use economics of cloud to data warehousing – ultimately offering 75 percent savings over other cloud data warehouse offerings.

In addition, we introduced the new Azure Data Lake service, a nearly infinite data repository that supports petabyte-size files and all types of data. Machine learning and big data services from Microsoft, and partners like Cloudera and Hortonworks, are integrated into Data Lake to give developers high-performance ways to store, process and reason over exabytes of structured and unstructured data to quickly deliver insights to power more intelligent apps.

Runtimes and tools with increased flexibility

Development teams build for multiple platforms, using a wide variety of languages and tools – and we understand their needs. With Azure, we support one of the broadest sets of operating systems, languages and services of any public cloud, from Windows, SQL and .NET to Python, Ruby, Node.js, Java, Hadoop, Linux and more. Today we are taking that support one step further with preview releases of .NET Core runtimes for Linux, Windows and Mac OSX and a demonstration of Docker support for both Linux and Windows Server. We also introduced Visual Studio Code, a free, lightweight, code-focused editor that runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. Visual Studio Code integrates key Visual Studio features like Intellisense and in-line debugging for a fast, streamlined experience on any platform.

Productivity solutions for developers and ISVs

In order to deliver maximum business value, it’s critical that apps support devices of all types and easily integrate with on-premise and SaaS assets. The Azure SQL Database enhancements we previewed today take productivity to a new level with our new elastic database pool technology. Developers and ISVs can now manage the performance, scale and cost across a larger number of databases as a single pool of capacity. This first-of-its-kind offering in the big data space lets developers easily manage hundreds to thousands of separate databases per client as a single scalable service, taking advantage of cloud scale, automation and economics.

To help developers build apps that reinvent productivity we also announced the Office Graph API. This API exposes connections and data from the Office Graph, an intelligent fabric that applies machine learning to map the connections between people, content and interactions across Office. Developers can use the API to surface information in Office 365 services like Delve – for instance showing Salesforce information when someone is searching for data, or connect to it from the Azure App Service using the Logic App. Developers have the ability to create a Logic App that is triggered, for example, by a document with matching keywords. In this case, a user can be alerted when a particular opportunity from Salesforce starts trending around their sales team members.

To hear more about these new technologies – from the people who helped build them – and how they can help you build your next intelligent app, follow these links: Azure Data Lake, Azure SQL Data elastic database pools, Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Visual Studio Code. Visit the Office Graph API website to learn more.

The cross-platform tools, runtimes and data services we announced today reinforce our commitment to be the platform for every developer, and to make Microsoft Azure the best backend for the world’s apps. Download our new tools now and start building the Azure-based apps and services that will take your business to the next level.

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Silk Road Judge Says No New Trial Despite Agents’ Alleged Corruption

Silk Road Judge Says No New Trial Despite Agents’ Alleged Corruption

The judge in Ulbricht’s case has made clear that neither the new corruption charges against two federal agents nor a pile of other complaints from Ulbricht’s defense is going to win Silk Road’s creator a second chance at freedom.

The post Silk Road Judge Says No New Trial Despite Agents’ Alleged Corruption appeared first on WIRED.

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Researchers Plan to Demonstrate a Wireless Car Hack This Summer

Researchers Plan to Demonstrate a Wireless Car Hack This Summer

A note of caution to anyone who works on the security team of a major automobile manufacturer: Don’t plan your summer vacation just yet.

The post Researchers Plan to Demonstrate a Wireless Car Hack This Summer appeared first on WIRED.

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DoD’s New ‘Transparent’ Policy on Cybersecurity Is Still Opaque

DoD’s New ‘Transparent’ Policy on Cybersecurity Is Still Opaque

When the U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter laid out the Pentagon’s new cybersecurity strategy this week, few were expecting it to break news. And, indeed, his talk at Stanford’s Hoover Institution on Thursday offered no surprises. But the secretary did set up an expectation during his speech on which he ultimately failed to deliver. […]

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Microsoft support for veterans, data collaboration with NOAA and Microsoft Band update for cyclists – Weekend Reading: April 24 edition

From supporting veterans to helping kids learn to code, it was a busy week for Microsoft news, so let’s get started with today’s edition of Weekend Reading.

Obama Joining Forces

Microsoft joined Michelle Obama Thursday to celebrate the four-year anniversary of the Joining Forces initiative, a White House project that supports service members, veterans and their families in education, work and wellness.

The company helps veterans through the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy, a 16-week program that teaches tech skills to active-duty service members to help them transition into high-paying IT careers.

“We will continue to do our part and welcome others in the IT industry to join us on this journey, as we renew our commitment to honoring the service of those who sacrificed so much by helping them make that leap from one great career in the military to another — in the exciting world of technology,” wrote Janell Toppen, Microsoft senior program manager for Military Affairs. Toppen joined the first lady for the celebration at Micron Technology in Manassas, Virginia.

In other federal news, Microsoft will host weather, climate, ocean and water data on the Microsoft Azure Government cloud platform as part of a new collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The development is a significant step toward open data.

Microsoft will be an anchor collaborator with NOAA, which wants to make its vast amount of data more accessible. The collaboration will allow government and private groups to use Azure Government to improve and create solutions, from better tracking of infectious diseases to faster weather forecasts.

Microsoft health band

Data-loving health and fitness buffs (you know who you are) can now track even more stats with new updates to Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health. Microsoft Band now works with two popular bike apps, Strava and MapMyRide, letting cyclists compare ride performances and share bike routes with each other.

Microsoft Health now has an expanded dashboard that compares your daily steps and calories burned with those of other Microsoft Health users. The dashboard can also help you analyze your sleep efficiency and progress in cardiovascular fitness.

Outlook for Android

Microsoft launched Outlook for Android out of preview Wednesday, making it available in all markets supported by the Google Play Store. The launch came after 17 updates to January’s preview release and is an example of Office’s new development model of turning user feedback into great mobile apps.

This release of Outlook for Android has an improved look and feel, with updated icon sets and simplified fonts. It also uses common Android design principles like the Navigation Drawer for a natural, integrated experience.

genise_2

Microsoft’s Stories team published “The Ultimate Wingmen,” a terrific, behind-the-scenes profile of four hard-working, get-‘er-done administrative assistants: Genise Dawson (pictured), Scott Roberts, Nancy Malm and Kousy Ramkumar. This is how writer Jennifer Warnick hooks readers into the story:

“They eat chaos for breakfast. They routinely make the impossible possible. They are the steely scaffolding of companies the world over, including Microsoft. They’re the ultimate wingmen. They’re … administrative assistants.”

After you read the story, go thank any admins in your life, and not just because Administrative Professionals Week ends Saturday.

Break Into Code

It’s never too early to be a technology creator, which is why Microsoft Imagine – a Microsoft YouthSpark program – launched the new Break into Code! challenge for kids ages 9 to 18. Kids can use free software and tutorials to create a game in about an hour and then customize and remix it. They can submit the game to the Break into Code! contest to compete for a total of $12,000 in cash prizes.

For inspiration, “Smash Champs,” the App of the Week, should do the trick. From the makers of “Subway Surfers,” the new game delivers exciting, cinematic fight scenes as you become a trainer, prepare for combat and lead your Champs to victory.

Smash-Champs

Finally, this week on our global adventure to find people who #DoMore on the Microsoft Instagram page, we met Emily Moberly. She’s the founder of Traveling Stories, a nonprofit on a quest to outsmart poverty, one book at a time.

DoMore_EmilyM

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading, and we’ll see you next week.

Posted by Vanessa Ho
Microsoft News Center Staff

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House Passes Cybersecurity Bill Despite Privacy Protests

House Passes Cybersecurity Bill Despite Privacy Protests

The House of Representatives passed the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, a bill designed to allow more fluid sharing of cybersecurity threat data between corporations and government agencies.

The post House Passes Cybersecurity Bill Despite Privacy Protests appeared first on WIRED.

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Researchers Uncover Method to Detect NSA ‘Quantum Insert’ Hacks

Researchers Uncover Method to Detect NSA ‘Quantum Insert’ Hacks

Among all of the NSA hacking operations exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden over the last two years, one in particular has stood out for its sophistication and stealthiness. Known as Quantum Insert, the man-on-the-side hacking technique has been used to great effect since 2005 by the NSA and its partner spy agency, Britain’s GCHQ, to […]

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The ultimate wingmen: A day in the life of four Microsoft administrative professionals

They eat chaos for breakfast. They routinely make the impossible possible. They are the steely scaffolding of companies the world over, including Microsoft. They’re the ultimate wingmen. They’re … administrative assistants.

“People don’t realize what all admins do. So much of it goes on behind the scenes, which is as it should be,” said Scott Roberts, executive assistant to Microsoft marketing executive Allison Watson. “The thing is, if people don’t realize it’s being done, then it’s being done right.”

Roberts paused. “Hmm, I like that. If I were running for office, that would be my slogan.”

Scott Roberts

Scott Roberts

The last week of April is Administrative Professionals Week, which presents something of a paradox for those in the profession. Admins are the ones who help some of the busiest people in the world remember important details, meetings, tasks, anniversaries and birthdays – heck, sometimes even remember to eat lunch. But who reminds people about Administrative Professionals Week?

“It’s tricky,” said Nancy Malm, longtime executive assistant to Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi and a “mama duck” to some of the company’s younger administrative workers. “It is kind of a silly Hallmark holiday, like Valentine’s Day, but it’s also nice to give people a chance to think about the meaning of the holiday – to appreciate what we do.”

Nancy Malm

Nancy Malm

Executive assistant Kousy Ramkumar agreed. “Admins work hard every day to support managers and groups in both their day-to-day needs and in the frequent fires they help put out. They don’t only handle the logistics of the business, they offer creative solutions to often difficult problems while making sure the team is in compliance – and all with a smile.”

MS-Stories-Admins-Ramkumar-Koussy-6

Kousy Ramkumar

In honor of Administrative Professionals week, we spent time on the front lines with four administrative assistants including Genise Dawson.

“Take the time. Remember. Make your admin feel like his or her work is appreciated. Let’s be honest, a lot of admins feel like it’s a thankless job,” Dawson said.

Genise Dawson

Genise Dawson

“Think about all those times you’ve gotten to your meetings or traveled without a hitch or gone days without missing a beat. It’s really important to say thank you.”

Read the full story.

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