Microsoft Build 2017 Day 1: Top 10 Announcements From The Keynote

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the annual developer conference, Build, made several key announcements around its Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge landscape covering Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Services, Internet of Things and Mixed Reality.

With 500 million active Windows 10 monthly average devices and 100 million Commercial Office 365 monthly average users, Microsoft announced that over 90 percent Fortune 500 companies are using Microsoft Cloud with 12 million organisations in Azure Active Directory. Interestingly, Microsoft also announced 141 million Cortana monthly average users with both voice and text interactions.

The new Azure offering will allow developers configure an environment with parameters and run their models against multiple CPUs, multiple GPUs and eventually field-programmable gate arrays. Note that it is available in private preview only.

Developers, currently based in US, can build skills for Cortana by creating a bot and publishing it to the new Cortana channel of the Bot Framework. This is available across Windows 10, Android, iOS and the new Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke speaker.

After Harman Kardon’s Invoke intelligent speaker, Microsoft has announced partnerships with HP on devices and Intel on reference platforms.

This will enable developers to work seamlessly across Windows and Mac environments with full support for mobile, web and cloud workloads, and previews of Docker tools, Azure Functions and Xamarin.IoT support.

New Graph APIs along with the ones from SharePoint and Planner are aimed at offering developers access to Office 365 data and intelligence.

New services include Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service and Video Indexer. A new PowerPoint add-in called Presentation Translator allows real-time translation to multiple languages during any presentation.

Developers can write cards once across multiple apps and platforms. Using the Bot Framework, developers can also now publish to new channels including Bing, Cortana and Skype for Business, and implement Microsoft’s payment request API in their bots.

Any developer can now publish for Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365.

Claimed to be industry’s first globally distributed, multimodal database service.

These services join Azure SQL Database to give developers expanded choice and flexibility on a service platform.

(Disclaimer: The author is in Seattle covering Build 2017 on the invite of Microsoft.)