SAN FRANCISCO–Microsoft has taken over the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco today for its annual Build developer conference. At the Office for iPad launch last week, Satya Nadella said that the conference will focus on developments with Windows.
I’ll be live blogging the event along with GeekWire’s Todd Bishop.
To watch the event, check out Microsoft’s live stream here.
That’s all for now, folks! Stay tuned to GeekWire for more news and analysis from today’s event, including first looks at Cortana and Nokia’s new hardware.
And Cortana sends us off with a reminder to watch Scott Guthrie’s keynote tomorrow.
Goal is to build great platforms for consumer experiences, developer opportunity, and IT experiences.
More interactions are going to be digitized.
More new form factors.
Our vision, simply put is to thrive in this world of mobile-first, cloud-first going forward.
Q: What’s your vision for Microsoft?
Microsoft Ventures is also working to provide funding, support, outreach and accelerators.
BizSpark has reached 75,000 startups, with its package of benefits for startups.
Q: How can Microsoft better support startups?
Microsoft is focused on ensuring that applications work well when geo-distributed over worldwide data centers.
Microsoft is putting in significant capital investments to minimize latency, including 18 data center regions for Azure.
Developer: How do we deal with cloud latency?
Microsoft is working to make things more consistent across platforms as well.
As of right now, 90% of APIs are consistent across Windows and Windows Phone.
Developer: What’s Microsoft doing to simplify APIs?
But Microsoft is heavily investing in the cloud. See Titanfall, which is running on Azure.
More to come tomorrow.
Developer from GE: How will Microsoft support people developing for the cloud?
But it’s about finding the right context for each paradigm.
Nadella says there’s a broad agenda when it comes to user interface design. Touch, keyboard and mouse, voice, and gestures are all going to be a part of the future.
UX designer asks: what do you see as the future of user interfaces?
Nadella sees tablets as a part of a Windows family of devices, not as a standalone device.
Microsoft will continue to innovate on Surface, which Nadella thinks is the most productive tablet on the market.
Nadella: It starts with great software, great apps, great hardware and great pricing.
Stanford CS major asks: What is Microsoft doing to compete against Google and Apple in the tablet space?
They’re also working with partners like Unity to take developer code across platforms.
Nadella emphasizes that it’s possible to build libraries for Windows, and then take them cross-platform.
Hackathon organizer asks: will Microsoft make it easy for developers to make their apps available for all platforms?
Microsoft is betting on its platform itself, as well: they’re using the same tools they’re giving developers to develop their applications, like Office.
Bringing together end users, developers and IT professionals, and building a broad opportunity for developers.
There are a couple unique things about Windows:
“You want to build for Windows because we’re going to innovate with a challenger mindset.”
First up: an Android developer asks why build for Windows.
He’s going to be taking pre-recorded questions from developers.
He’s talking about how he hasn’t missed a developer conference.
And here’s Satya Nadella!
Elop now talking about how much he’s looking forward to being a part of Microsoft.
I wonder how that stacks up against iOS and Android?
Elop thanking developers for launching 500 apps in the Windows Phone store every day.
The single-SIM 630 will sell for $159 without subsidies, while the dual-SIM version will sell for $169. The 635 will sell for $189, again, without subsidies.
The 630 and 635 will be available in May, and will be the first devices to ship with Windows Phone 8.1.
The new Lumia devices will have a Sensor Core to track their movements, and use their device like a fitness tracker.
It’s also possible for users to specify which SIM to use with what contacts so users can call their family members with one SIM, and business contacts with another SIM.
With dual-SIM devices, it’s possible to keep the two SIMs separate, for one personal number and one work number, or unify them.
The 635 is a 4G, single SIM device.
The Lumia 630 comes in 2 variants: 3G single SIM, and 3G dual SIM.
They have 4.5 inch screens.
Now for the budget phones: The Nokia Lumia 630 and 635.
In the U.S., Nokia will focus on the Icon, which is very similar.
The 930 will be available in June internationally for about $599.
It’s possible to record surround sound, or use directional recording to use a particular mic.
For video fiends, the phone includes four microphones for high-quality audio recording.
Nokia’s Creative Studio app will be updated for Windows Phone 8.1, with high-resolution filter and a bunch of other goodies.
It features a 20 megapixel camera, with optical image stabilization.
Has wireless charging built in.
Features a 5 inch, full HD display.
And here’s the Nokia Lumia 930, a new flagship device.
Including the Lumia 525 at the low end.
Windows Phone 8.1 will be coming to a wide swath of Nokia’s devices.
And now, here’s Stephen Elop from Nokia.
Here’s the new Start menu, which will be coming later.
Attendees are also getting a $500 gift card to the Microsoft Store to buy a new device.
And Microsoft is giving a free Xbox One to everyone in the audience.
For phones and tablets with screens smaller than 9 inches, Windows will be available for free, right now.
Also, when Windows for the Internet of Things, like that piano, becomes available, it will be available for free.
And the Start Menu will be coming back! With live tiles!
But Microsoft will enable users to run metro-style apps in a window.
Terry isn’t here to announce the next version of Windows. Cue the collective “aww.”
Now, it’s time to talk about the Windows desktop.
“What’s so great about the internet of things is that it’s not just about the thing, it’s a device that’s connected to the Internet.”
This is the first time I’ve heard “so I’m going to attach the debugger to the piano.”
Using Intel’s Galileo chip, Microsoft built an electric piano that runs Windows.
Now, on to the Internet of Things.
And now, there’s a demo of a PC running Forza 5 at 60 FPS.
Speaking of the Xbox, Microsoft will be unifying Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox’s graphics platform in DirectX 12.
Terry thinks Kinect for Windows is going to be a big way for users to control their PC in the future.
They’re launching Kinect v2 for Windows, built on the new Kinect for Xbox One.
Now, we’re talking about Kinect for Windows.
Terry just added a feature to one project, hit build, and had it show up across Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone.
Microsoft is working with Khan Academy to develop their app for the Xbox.
And developers will be able to build universal Windows apps that target the Xbox One.
The average Xbox One user is using it 5 hours per day.
“There’s no better TV experience out there than Xbox.”
This is going to be a glimpse at Microsoft’s technical roadmap going forward.
Terry’s back to talk about the “good stuff.”
Visual Studio 2013 update 2 RC, which provides tools for building universal apps, is also available today.
The Windows 8.1 Update is available for developers today.
It’ll be available on GitHub under the Apache 2.0 license.
David just showed a 3D graphics Web GL demo running at 60 frames per second on a Windows Phone.
Now, it’s time for a Web GL demo on Windows Phone.
First off, Windows Phone 8.1 brings IE 11 to the phone, which means web developers can use Web GL, in-line video playback, and other features on the phone.
And David’s back to talk about what Windows can do for cross-platform development.
Using a new feature with Windows 8.1 Update, developers only have to re-write the user interface code to get it working on a x86 tablet.
Enterprises often have old applications that they don’t want to give up, because they work, but they don’t provide great user experiences on a tablet.
Here’s Harry Pierson to talk about what the Windows 8.1 Update does for enterprises.
Using Cortana, developers will be able to rely on the system’s natural language processing, and can simplify voice command code. “It’s like a natural command line for the future.”
Windows Phone 8.1 will support Bluetooth Low Energy, new video APIs and hundreds of other changes.
And David’s back, to talk about a bunch of new innovations.
Users can expect that their files will open the same way in the touch app across a number of platforms.
There’s unlimited undo, and unlimited redo, because the docs save automatically to OneDrive.
Much like Office for iPad, it’s designed to feel intuitive for users coming from Win32 Office.
And here’s Kirk Koenigsbauer to talk about touch versions of Office.
The same thing goes for in-app purchases.
The Windows Store and Windows Phone store has been updated with shared app identities: users can buy one app, and have it work for Windows Phone and Windows.
If the switch from a Windows or Windows Phone app is as easy as this seems, it could be a major boon for both Windows and Windows Phone: developers can build one app and target multiple platforms, which could be huge for app selection.
While this is obviously a demo, the process seems pretty smooth.
If you start with a Windows 8.1 project and add a Windows Phone 8.1 target, Visual Studio will create a shared node inside the project, so it’s possible to move all of the common code for a single project into a shared codebase.
Now, it’s time for a code demo.
Visual Studio has been updated to make it easier to build one codebase and then create a variety of views.
It’s also possible to create different views for different form factors, but leave the same backend in place.
The tools include the ability to adapt one design across all devices, no matter the screen size.
Windows Phone 8.1 includes the Windows runtime, so devs can use common code to reach phones, tablets and PCs.
So they’re now announcing universal Windows apps.
“All of us want the same app experiences across all of our devices.”
Three major areas he’s going to be talking about today: Reaching customers across different devices, innovations that support existing development investments, as well as cross-platform support.
And here’s David Treadwell to talk about what Microsoft is doing for developers.
Here’s the new Start screen:
Windows 8.1 Update will be free, and available to consumers April 8.
It’s clearly designed to encourage users to start buying software from the Windows Store, and to get developers to build apps for it.
Search from the start screen also pulls in results from the Windows Store.
The Windows Store is going to be pre-pinned to the task bar, along with an update to become more friendly for mouse and keyboard users.
Users can also right-click on a tile to get a context menu. Lots of applause for that.
The start screen also has PC settings, search and shut down buttons for people who are used to having those available to them.
A bar with a minimize and close button will also pop up at the top, so mouse and keyboard users who are accustomed to closing and minimizing apps that way can do so.
Users can now pin Windows Store apps to the task bar on the desktop.
First up, there’s an Enterprise Mode that will cause the browser to emulate old features to help it work with intranet sites designed to work with older versions of IE.
First up, IE 11.
One of the big things they’re focusing on is making it better for users with a keyboard and mouse.
Now, it’s time for the Windows 8.1 Update.
Windows Phone 8.1 will get rolled out to consumers “in the next few months.”
IE 11 is also on Windows Phone 8.1, drawing a few cheers from the crowd.
That keyboard is now the world record holder for fastest typing on a smartphone, for whatever that’s worth.
They’ve integrated shape writing into word flow so it’s possible to swipe to create words.
Now for one of Joe’s favorite features: changes to the Word Flow keyboard.
Users can also share their home Wi-Fi network password with contacts and friends through Wi-Fi Sense without having to tell them the password.
Users can automatically accept terms for use, and enter information like a name, email and phone number.
They’re also launching a new application called “Wi-Fi Sense” that makes it easier for users to connect to public wi-fi networks.
Next: new layouts in Calendar, including a week view.
New layout designed to feature new apps, as well as collections of apps that users might be interested in.
First up, big changes to the store.
Now, Joe’s back to talk about enhancements they’ve made to make users smile.
New mobile device management tools allow companies to prevent users from running unauthorized apps, as well as saving files without permission.
New in Windows Phone 8.1: S/MIME. Users can send and receive encrypted and signed emails.
One of the advantages for enterprises is the ability to enroll devices purchased at retail by end users into an enterprise system.
Here’s Nick Hedderman to talk about what Windows Phone 8.1 does for businesses.
“From our point of view, Cortana is the first truly personal digital assistant.”
Cortana can also interact with apps, so it’s possible to say “Facebook, what’s up with Terry Myerson,” and then Facebook will open Terry Myerson’s profile.
Users can ask her to remind them of something the next time they talk to a contact, whether that’s through text message, email, or phone call.
One of the cool new things Cortana can do: people reminders.
And with Windows Phone 8.1, they can search data on the phone as well as on the Internet.
She’ll also take typed queries, for times when users don’t want to talk to their phone.
Users can also search for food calorie content using Cortana, and then log it to the Bing Health and Fitness app.
Is it me, or does that actually not sound like Halo’s Cortana?
She’ll be launched as a beta, beause they’re working on building the service up by collecting new voice data from users.
When scheduling events on a calendar, she’ll notify users if they’re double-booked.
One of the major differences between Cortana and Siri or Google Now is that there’s a barrier between the assistant on the phone and the cloud service.
Users can give Cortana on their phone access to email, and then she’ll ask them if they want her to track a flight for them.
The notebook is all about giving users control over what Cortana can and can’t see.
Users can also set quiet hours to block calls and notifications for people they don’t know, and let through people in their inner circle.
I love this idea of using a Halo character for this feature, leveraging the popularity of the game.
Users can go to the notebook to see what Cortana can learn about them, like their daily routine and news interests.
To get to know a user better, they’ve created a Notebook.
She also supports apps like Facebook, Twitter and Flixter.
Much like how Action Center feels like Notification Center for iOS, Cortana definitely feels like Siri. There’s support for setting alarms, creating notes, etc.
While she’s available as a live tile, she also replaces the search function for Windows Phone.
She’s powered by Bing, and also gets to know the phone’s user.
Big cheers from the Halo fans in the audience.
…it’s Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant tech for Windows Phone.
Now, a video for a new feature…
Also, users can set a new background for the live tiles on their Start screen.
“We think when a phone knows you, you have a better experience with it.”
Users will be able to choose different lock screen themes to change the way information is displayed, and they also animate based on the layout.
Next up: Interactive lock screen APIs.
It’s similar to Notification Center on iOS: Action Center is a clearinghouse for people to take a look at their notifications at a glance.
The action center allows users to pull down a drawer from the top of the screen to see all kinds of information.
First off, here’s how Windows Phone 8.1 gets more personal:
Micromax and Prestigio will be building new phones for Windows Phone 8.1.
We’re going to be talking about major updates for Windows: Windows Phone 8.1, and a Windows 8 update.
Now on stage: Joe Belfiore from the Operating Systems group.
And now, a video.
They’re looking forward to 160 countries tuning in, with the event translated live over the internet using Microsoft’s translation APIs.
And we’re live! Kicking things off is Terry Myerson from Microsoft’s Operating Systems team.