Microsoft's Build Tour focuses on bots, AI and interoperability

Microsoft today hosted the India chapter of its ‘Build Tour’ in Pune for over 600 developers as a follow-up to Build 2016. Build is the company’s annual conference focused on software and web developers using Windows, Windows Phone, Microsoft Azure and other Microsoft technologies.

This year at the Build Tour conference, Microsoft showcased new tools and also flew in their best international speakers to address developer query. 

Senior executives from the company also updated developers on the progress that Windows10 has made so far. Since its release last year, Windows10 has more than 300 million devices running on it, with users spending more than 75 billion hours on the platform. 

The company said that at present more than 500 new devices were designed on Windows10. Cortana, the personal assistant created by Microsoft so far has answered over 6 billion questions.  This is not all, the company also stated that over 5 billion people have visited their stores. 

“We want Windows to be home for developers. We want to be able to give the right tools to developers. Since the launch of Windows10 we are now seeing interest coming back to the platform,” said Narendra Bhandari, general manager, DX developer experience & Evangalism.

Microsoft also laid down the focus of its Build conference to developers in India. The company is focusing on conversation as platform, use of cognitive technology, bots and artificial intelligence. 

“One of the biggest takeaway for us during this conference was the shift towards mobility,” added Bhandari. 

The company also showcased how some of the start-ups have started using its tools and make use of bots for better customer experience. This startup from Bengaluru is using Microsoft’s bot framework and cognitive services, which allows users to chat as they shop. Yellow Messenger is a marketplace on chat. 

Jeffrey Burtoft – Senior Program Manager (Developer Experience, Microsoft, U.S.) also updated on Microsoft Azure platform. In India 50 per cent of the top 100 companies are using Microsoft cloud platform. Globally Azure has set up 30 data centre with three in India. Azure is adding almost 120,000 subscribers every month, with about 5 million organisations using it globally.

From an application and user perspective, Burtoft said, “language is the next big frontier. I think it will be everywhere and we want to be the backend of that application.”

Microsoft also showcased how developers can now have the power to transcend a single device with Universal Windows Platform and how Universal Windows Platform coupled with Continnum can help realize the full potential of a phone.  The top highlight included the demos on how XBOX now is a Universal Windows Program device.

Microsoft demonstrated progress towards its ambition of supporting “any developer, any app, any platform” by announcing the integration of Xamarin’s core cross-platform technologies into Microsoft’s product lineup – at no additional cost.

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