Microsoft’s Steve “Guggs” Guggenheimer, the Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform & Evangelism, opened the keynote up alongside John Shewchuk a Technical Fellow and the CTO for the Microsoft Developer Platform.
You could tell immediately that this keynote was going to be all about the code and code junkies would not have been disappointed. I mean Build is a developer conference and while it is nice to see the cool visual stuff it is the nitty gritty that excites all of the folks who build apps for the platform and Microsoft knows this very well.
Common themes for both keynotes was Universal Windows Apps and building bridges, both literally in the form of tools to re-use current code from web; .Net/Win32; Java/C+ and Objective-C apps and figuratively to encourage developers on Android/iOS to come over to the Universal Windows Apps platform for Windows 10.
Among the demos today we learned how easily those bridges can help a developer re-purpose their current app code and develop Universal Windows Apps which take full advantage of the features that are being made available in Windows 10 as well as other Microsoft services such as OneDrive, Xbox Live and Bing.
Surface Hub was also on stage today and it was involved in multiple demos to show how easily you can move from one system to it for working and collaborating on work.
Here are the key service related announcements from this morning:
Face APIs (Beta): Microsoft’s state-of-the-art cloud-based face algorithms to detect and recognize human faces in images. Your mobile and PC Apps will be powered with face capabilities. You can try this out already in a fun way by trying Microsoft’s How Old site and see how well machine learning and data can do in determining your age.
Speech APIs (Requires sign-up): Speech APIs provide state-of-the-art algorithms to process spoken language. With these APIs, developers can easily include the ability to add speech driven actions to their applications. In certain cases, the APIs also allow for real-time interaction with the user as well.
Vision APIs (Requires sign-up): The Vision APIs are a collection of state-of-the-art image processing algorithms designed to return information based on the visual content, and to generate your ideal thumbnail. With this API, you can choose which visual features you want to extract that best suit your needs.
Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS): Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) offers a fast and effective way of adding language understanding to applications. With LUIS, you can use pre-existing, world-class, pre-built models whenever they suit your purposes -and when you need specialized models, LUIS guides you through the process of quickly building them.
Multi-device: Remotely connect up to 50 devices simultaneously. Run your code on each or all of them with a single click.
GitHub Enterprise 2.2.0
This release will help developers who work with the Microsoft stack make GitHub Enterprise a seamless part of their existing workflow.
- Connect to your GitHub repositories in Visual Studio 2015.
- Deploy GitHub Enterprise on Azure, Hyper-V and XenServer.
- LDAP Sync now auto-suspends when users are removed from all restricted groups, shows a team error indicator when a LDAP Group isn't found and syncs new users to teams at first login.
- Version large files with Git LFS.
- Commit and propose changes faster with quick pull requests.
- View PDFs in your repositories.
- View notifications on your mobile device.
- Navigate branches from your mobile device.
- Communicate with your users using a site-wide banner.
- Determine repository licenses using the Repository licensing API
- Snapshot and rollback
Microsoft’s Joseph Sirosh from the companies Machine Learning team provided several demos on how data has grown and how machine learning and that big data can help improve everything including having a more efficient dairy farm. He also showed how Microsoft uses this large stack of data to run programs such as its Bing Predicts. Other demos included analysis of his own genome and a mobile app that provided him his own predilection for certain diseases and medical conditions.
Of courses, one fun interactive demo is the How Old website that learns from faces that have been uploaded to the service and using data it attempts to predict your age. Many found it quite accurate and others were off track. My own use included trying several different images and the age determinations ranged from 46 to 67.
Minecraft Mods in Visual Studio
The last announcement of the morning was a new add in for Visual Studio that allows Minecraft Modder’s to build those mods directly in the development tool.
You can read more about the add-in over at the Visual Studio blog but for me what was most impressive was the young man who had the opportunity to help announce this on the keynote stage.
Aidan Brady is a very popular modder for Minecraft and has been coding since he was 10 years old. The 17 year old was impressive on stage in front of a few thousand developers as well as a worldwide audience watching on the Build livestream.
The confidence and composure was impressive for such a young man. He someday hopes to work for his favorite company, Microsoft, and they would be wise to hire him at the earliest opportunity.
Be sure to check out the Day 2 Build 2015 Keynote gallery to see some images from the event.