Microsoft Build 2019: 5 key highlights of Seattle event

Microsoft Build 2019: 5 key highlights of Seattle event

Microsoft is hosting Build 2019 in Seattle, Washington

American technology giant Microsoft kicked off the annual developers' conclave Build 2019 edition in Seattle, Washington on May 6.

Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella opened the event with insightful keynote presentation outlining company's strides made in various divisions such Azure, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered Cortana, Office 365, Xbox, Edge browser, innovative Election Guard and also the plans to develop cross-platform gaming and software that can be used on a phone, a console, a computer and other smart gadgets seamlessly.

Here are highlights of Microsoft Build 2019

Microsoft Edge: The company has been working with Chromium open source to improve the user experience of the proprietary Edge browser and now, it plans to bring Internet Explorer mode, but via a new tab. Most importantly, Microsoft improving the security to protect user privacy in three levels--Unrestricted, Balanced, and Strict. Depending on which option the user picks, Microsoft Edge adjusts how third parties can track you across the web, giving customers more choice and transparency for a more personalized experience. It also brings new feature--Collections--to Edge. With this, user can collect, organize, share and export content more efficiently and with Office integration.

AI in Microsoft 365: The company launched Microsoft 365 around two years ago and it integrating Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security into a single solution. Now, it plans to go to the next level with AI. For instance, Microsoft will bring new intelligent features in Microsoft Word that help the user design the documents for maximum readability, along with other features in Microsoft Search and Microsoft Edge that aim to make the effort put in for the work is more productive in nature. 

The company also plans to improve the Cortana assistant's user-experience. In the future, users need not have to remember command phrase to perform an action, instead talk naturally to the device like a person. "The next generation of intelligent assistant technologies from Microsoft will be able to do this by leveraging breakthroughs in conversational artificial intelligence and machine learning pioneered by Semantic Machines," Microsoft said.

Autonomous robots: Microsoft plans to open developer platform specifically for autonomous robots that can help save lives. For instance, a snake-like robot with a camera can be used to look for an injured person under building debris aftermath an earthquake. Or even in inspect remote equipment or systems that can autonomously calibrate factory equipment. 

Picture credit: Microsoft

Azure AI for business: Microsoft in collaboration with Starbucks plans to bring personalized beverage recommendations like a barista would give to the customer via the mobile app of the latter. 

"Within the app, customers receive tailor-made order suggestions generated via a reinforcement learning platform that is built and hosted in Microsoft Azure. Through this technology and the work of Starbucks data scientists, 16 million active Starbucks  Rewards members now receive thoughtful recommendations from the app for food and drinks based on local store inventory, popular selections, weather, time of day, community preferences and previous orders," the company said.

Election Guard: With US Presidential Elections slated for 2020, Microsoft announced a partnership with the election technology suppliers who are exploring the integration of ElectionGuard into their voting systems. The company plans to make Software Development Kit (SDK) available to the public later this year and it assured that once the system in place, citizens will be able to verify who they voted and yet the results are encrypted so that it cannot be manipulated at any point in time or place.

Microsoft also teased Minecraft game and going by the video, it looks like patrons can expect Pokemon Go-like AR gaming feature. 

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