Build 2016

Xbox chief says he’s ‘not a fan’ of partial console upgrades

Xbox chief says he’s ‘not a fan’ of partial console upgrades

Most of the news regarding the Xbox One at Microsoft's Build 2016 developer event has focused on the universal use of the Windows 10 operating system, as well as the ability to easily turn any consumer model of the console into a dev kit. However, Microsoft's Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, took a little time to speak to the press about the future of the Xbox One, and how he's not in favor of a modular or partial upgrade to the existing console, such as a "Xbox One and a half."

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Microsoft snubs its own Windows Phones users again this year

Microsoft snubs its own Windows Phones users again this year

"Windows phones are not our focus this year." That's one statement you will most likely dread to hear if you have, in any way, invested in the promise of Microsoft's mobile platforms, whether as a user or as a developer. And no, it isn't an April Fools joke either. That was more or less the message that Windows chief Terry Myerson left The Verge, unambiguously saying that the company's developer focus is anywhere but on Windows Phone. Then again, if you're a long-time Windows Phone follower, you might already be used to the second rate citizen treatment.

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BMW Connected seamless digital future built on Azure

BMW Connected seamless digital future built on Azure

This week at Microsoft BUILD 2016, BMW presented their vision for the future of smart, connected cars. Their vision has been built on Azure. This is the future of BMW Connected, and it's made to create a smart car experience that integrates seamlessly with your smartphone, your contacts, your calendar, and every other part of your cloud-connected life. "The car will become the ultimate device, perfectly integrated into your digital lifestyle."

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Microsoft’s new tool converts old win32 apps to Universal Windows apps

Microsoft’s new tool converts old win32 apps to Universal Windows apps

The initial launch of Microsoft's own app store was practically laughable because of the dearth of apps available for it, whether on tablets but especially on smartphones. The situation with Windows 10 is relatively better but there's still a lot of work to be done. Microsoft created a number of Projects, formally "bridges" to help convince developers to also support its new Universal Windows Platform or UWP, like the "Project Islandwood" iOS bridge and the now defunct "Project Astoria" Android bridge. "Project Centennial", which bridges win32 and .NET programs with UWP, is far from dead and Microsoft just released a new tool for that very purpose.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update in summer: Hello, Ink, Gaming, more Cortana

Windows 10 Anniversary Update in summer: Hello, Ink, Gaming, more Cortana

270 million. That's how many devices are now running Windows 10 already, according to Microsoft, at least. Considering the OS was launched just eight months ago, that might indeed be a world record, thanks to Microsoft rather aggressive, almost contentious, push. Unlike other Windows versions, however, Windows 10 isn't meant to be a completely finished product with minor "service pack" updates down the road. Instead, the "Windows as a Service" entails continuous updates, some of them quite major, during its lifetime. The Anniversary Update slated for summer this year is one such update and it will indeed be quite a big one.

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Skype Video Bots join Cortana as true live assistants

Skype Video Bots join Cortana as true live assistants

In the very near future, Skype users will be able to use Cortana to be more of an everyday assistant than it ever has been before. Cortona will be able to be spoken to and asked to schedule calendar appointments from within Skype. Cortona will work within Skype to provide you with links to subjects, bring up information cards, and - if you need it - Cortana will even send private messages to you so as to not interrupt the conversation you're currently in the middle of.

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HoloLens Dev Edition ships today with a tiny Buzz Aldrin

HoloLens Dev Edition ships today with a tiny Buzz Aldrin

This week the folks at Microsoft have announced the release of the first edition of HoloLens. This version of the headset will be sent to developers only - it'll be a HoloLens Developer Edition as such. The shipping on this developer edition will begin today, and Microsoft suggests that developers will begin to be able to develop apps immediately. They've also given a single example of development time for a standard HoloLens app - six weeks. They first app they've developed will have its code posted to GitHub soon.

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Phil Spencer tries to shut down Sweeny’s Open Windows comments

Phil Spencer tries to shut down Sweeny’s Open Windows comments

Both Microsoft's Phil Spencer and Terry Myerson have taken to the stage this week at BUILT 2016 to assure the public: they're open. Not just open for more developers - not just open for development - but an open ecosystem. Their comments ring particularly important after a recent comment by Epic Games' Tim Sweeney about how the Universal Windows Platform must die. Obviously Microsoft does not want that to happen. At BUILD 2016 this week, Microsoft representatives on stage have made that clear.

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Microsoft Ink puts stylus front and center

Microsoft Ink puts stylus front and center

Those of you that reach for a pen and pad when you want to write yourself a note will soon be welcomed into the fold with Windows 10. Microsoft has introduced a number of features that'll make you find writing with a stylus on a Windows 10 device easier, more interesting, and worth the hassle - now more than ever before. This is Microsoft Ink - perhaps not the first time you've ever heard that term if you're a hardcore Microsoft Word user - but now it's prepped to envelop the world of hardcore pen-users too.

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Windows 10 might soon run Ubuntu, Linux utilities natively

Windows 10 might soon run Ubuntu, Linux utilities natively

2015 and 2016 might be remembered as the years when hell froze over repeatedly, in no small part thanks to Microsoft. The company whose CEO once described Linux as a cancer is seemingly now going through hoops to proclaim its love for the open source OS, and not without some amount of suspicion from the other side. Adding to its Visual Studio Code IDE for Linux and SQL Server for Linux, Microsoft might soon be revealing how it partnered with Canonical to let Ubuntu run on Windows 10 natively, without the use of a virtual machine.

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Windows 10 to get “Handoff” feature of OS X’s Continuity

Windows 10 to get “Handoff” feature of OS X’s Continuity

Windows 10's Continuum and OS X's Continuity may share the same first seven letters, but that's where their similarities end. Continuity lets users of multiple Apple devices switch seamlessly between them, continuing their workflow or taking their calls with them. Continuum, on the other hand, lets users use apps on their phone like a desktop app when connected to a bigger screen. The gap between the two might soon get narrower, at least from the Microsoft side, with Windows 10's next version rumored to get a feature similar to Continuity's Handoff.

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Microsoft demos ‘Holoportation’ with real-time holograms straight out of Star Wars

Microsoft demos ‘Holoportation’ with real-time holograms straight out of Star Wars

Microsoft has shown off a lot of concept projects in the last year related to HoloLens, its $3,000 augmented reality headset, but this one just might be the crown jewel of them all. Dubbed "Holoportation," Microsoft Research's latest demonstration is the ability to view a live hologram of a person in another location. There's an impressive video of the tech in action below, but trust us when we say it's like something straight out of Star Wars.

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