Build 2015

Build 2016 sold out: here’s your only hope

Build 2016 sold out: here’s your only hope

In what very well may be record timing, Microsoft's developer conference BUILD 2016 has sold out. No more tickets are available. If you want a ticket to Build 2016, you're going to be out of luck. Without some immense luck or a force of will the likes of which include intense clicking beyond comprehension. The other possibility for you is getting invited. That's not going to be easy, and you're probably not going to be able to get to this year's event either way.

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Understanding HoloLens in 5 steps

Understanding HoloLens in 5 steps

Microsoft's most impressive and strange project right this minute is the augmented reality headset "HoloLens." This headset was first introduced back in January at the big Windows 10 event. We've had the opportunity this week to go hands-on and eyes-on with the newest iteration of this once-tethered headset at BUILD 2015, Microsoft's developer conference, and have produced one massive hands-on feature. For those of you wish a slightly shorter attention span, there's the article you're reading right now. This is Understanding HoloLens in 5 steps.

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HoloLens hands-on: Building for Windows Holographic

HoloLens hands-on: Building for Windows Holographic

Back in January, HoloLens was a Frankenstein’s monster of a headset. In fact, the eyepiece itself was only part of the test rig: the rest was conspicuously tethered to it with a physical cable hooked up to a Windows 10 PC. To say there’s been a dramatic shift in hardware in the ninety days or so since then is an understatement. Microsoft brought a fleet of HoloLens prototypes to BUILD 2015, each of them a standalone computer, eyepiece, sensor rig, and spatial sound system all integrated into a single headset, and offered me the opportunity to see what creating a Windows Holographic experience was like.

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Windows 10 Build 10074: Aero Glass, more Cortana, Spotlight

Windows 10 Build 10074: Aero Glass, more Cortana, Spotlight

If you hadn't had your fill of Windows 10 news yet, then maybe you have room to spare for word of Microsoft's latest build now going out to Windows Insiders. Number 10074 pretty much sums up all the leaks, improvements, and announcements that have been accumulating over the past weeks, finally culminating in the massive round of revelations at BUILD this week. The changes for this latest iteration of Windows 10 is quite massive, but there are, of course, a few highlights to be mentioned.

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Microsoft BUILD 2015 Day 1 Wrap-up: Windows 10 cross-device functionality

Microsoft BUILD 2015 Day 1 Wrap-up: Windows 10 cross-device functionality

This morning Microsoft revealed a new hand of cards at BUILD 2015, a set of announcements that place Windows 10 squarely at the center of their play for all screens. All screens, that is to say, and all connections between screens. One major example of this connectivity is in Continuum, a system that allows your Windows 10 operating system to convert its user interface for all manner of different devices. Your phone is now your desktop, and your display is now just that - the place where your Windows 10 is shown in a large space.

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Microsoft HoloLens hardware: No Connections Required

Microsoft HoloLens hardware: No Connections Required

This week at BUILD 2015, Microsoft is running down what may very well be the final hardware for their holographic headset, Microsoft HoloLens. This device, they reiterate and assure us, needs no wires, no external cameras, no smartphones, and no connectivity to a PC. "People used to say computers today can do enough," said Microsoft's Alex Kipman, "[but] what are we going to do with all this extra computing power? We are going to start using this power specifically to help us understand humans and the world around us."

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Microsoft shows how augmented, real spaces interact with cute robot

Microsoft shows how augmented, real spaces interact with cute robot

Microsoft’s Hololens is an interesting take on augmented reality, and now comes with robotic friends. At Build 2015, Microsoft announced B15, a robot that was also a holographic representation of something more. With core hardware meant for navigating, Microsoft showed how Hololens could be used to navigate B15 around a room, and be used to complete tasks. It’s also a learning machine, based on Hololens technology, and can reroute itself based on obstacles that may come up, and is always controllable by you.

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This is Windows Holographic on HoloLens (and it looks insane)

This is Windows Holographic on HoloLens (and it looks insane)

Microsoft dropped jaws when it revealed HoloLens back in January, but today it showed how Windows Holographic will embed the augmented reality headset into homes, offices, and schools. HoloLens will run universal Windows 10 and project them into the real world around people, whether that be a virtual picture frame on the wall next to a virtual TV screen for video, or even a digital dog. Meanwhile, businesses are already looking at how to bring HoloLens holograms into their workflow.

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Project Spartan is now ‘Edge’, and will have Chrome extensions

Project Spartan is now ‘Edge’, and will have Chrome extensions

Spartan was a cool working title for Microsoft’s browser. I really enjoyed it, but they’re not keeping it. Instead, they’ve come up with a new, ‘edgy’ title (pun intended). Instead of Spartan, they’re going with ‘Edge’. That’s right, Edge. Like from U2. The browser brings all the cool stuff we already knew about, like reader mode and notations, but is also sniping a bit of energy from another great browser. According to Microsoft, a bit more work on Edge will bring Chrome extensions.

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Windows 10 Continuum turns your phone into a PC

Windows 10 Continuum turns your phone into a PC

When you plug your Windows 10 smartphone into a large display in the near future, you'll have a full desktop in front of you. This system goes by the name Windows 10 Continuum - for phones. This system connects your phone to a display larger than your phone's built-in display and has you connect to devices like wireless keyboards and mice to control a desktop user interface just like you would any far larger PC. It almost seems to good to be true.

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Windows Spotlight could pester you to dig into Windows 10

Windows Spotlight could pester you to dig into Windows 10

Getting users to figure out exactly what their computers, tablets, and smartphones are capable of is easier said than done, but Microsoft is hoping a more engaging lock screen will help on Windows 10. Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of Microsoft's operating systems group, introduced Windows Spotlight at BUILD 2015 today, a way for little-used features to highlight themselves, along with Cortana and even third-party applications.

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Cortana’s new Windows 10 features at BUILD 2015

Cortana’s new Windows 10 features at BUILD 2015

This week Microsoft is bringing light to a number of new features for Cortana in Windows 10. We're at BUILD 2015 and hearing all about what this new system will deliver to desktop systems, tablets, and phones as well. "Our goal is to make Windows 10 the most attractive development platform ever," said Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Windows Chief, going on to suggest that developers can "integrate Cortana into [their] apps ... add natural user interactions to your apps like pen or speech, and turn your apps into holograms."

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