Microsoft has already shown a lot of his hand with the April 10, 2018 update this week. The update is already in widespread use, but is now automatically delivered to the 700 million Windows 10 users, which is also the first day of Redmond's Build 2018 developer conference.
The updated Windows 10 includes many new features, including the highly anticipated timeline feature, Nearby sharing, and Focus Assist to suppress endless notifications.
But the massive tech company will surely have a lot more in stock. Microsoft has emphasized the cloud and artificial intelligence, which CEO Satya Nadella has repeatedly emphasized at the conference. His strength has been the cloud service lately, a profitable direction for the company.
Windows and Xbox fans can expect to put a few bones in their shoes. Here is a summary of the possible announcements on build 201
Microsoft's cloud AI game Azure will certainly be discussed by this year's panelists and keynote speeches, and we're likely to hear new Microsoft Cloud user numbers. Azure includes a large group of services, including databases, containers, AI services, and APIs. At Build 2017, Microsoft Edge Computing – where AI computing can take place on the local device when the cloud is down – propagated as a complement to cloud services. We will probably hear more about this week.
More Open Source
During last year's build, Microsoft opened its Azure Cosmos database, Visual Studio for Mac, and added support for Linux Bash in Windows 10 A quick look at github.com/microsoft shows a tremendous amount of code the company has written into the open source world, and this trend is likely to continue.
New names for things
Microsoft loves to rename things. We recently heard that Windows Defender will be Windows Security in future versions of its operating system. Previously, the Windows Store became the Microsoft Store, Xbox Music became Groove Music, and I could not even find out about Sync, SkyDrive, and finally OneDrive. It would not surprise me to hear new names for existing products at Build 2018.
More Android, iOS Integration with Windows
A big issue at Build over the past year was the use of cloud services from Windows and Microsoft to create synergies with mobile devices. Key results for this purpose include the PC Resume function, which allows you to continue to view a webpage or use specific apps from a mobile device to the PC. The Edge and Cortana apps for Android and iOS and the Microsoft Launcher for Android provide a good deal of cross-platform functionality. We might also see the use of the Microsoft Authenticator app, which allows users to pass passwords for authenticating apps and services.
Another recent pre-release release was the Office 2019 preview. According to Jared Spataro, General Manager for Office, "The updates include new and improved features for coloring apps, such as the roaming pencil case, pressure sensitivity, and bias effects, more powerful data analysis in Excel, such as new formulas, new charts, and Power BI integration and sophisticated presentation features in PowerPoint such as Morph and Zoom. "
For a complete list of new features, visit this Office FAQ page. It will only be available to commercial customers from this point in time, but may be accessible to a more general audience during build. We'll continue to learn about Microsoft Graph, a big topic from last year's conference, and Office 365 and Bing data.
The April 10 update of Windows 10 extended the Fluent Design language to the Start menu, App settings, the Edge web browser, and more. There is no reason not to expect more Fluent Design announcements. A fluid aspect of which I have not seen much yet is the blurring of background objects that can be used to focus on the task at hand. It's a great development that makes the OS a lot easier on the eyes and makes tasks clearer.
More about Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web apps combine mobile apps and website functionality. For Microsoft, progressive web app support is one way to get more apps in the Microsoft Store, and we'll probably learn more about them from Build. For example, in the past week Twitter announced that the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app is now a progressive web app. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the concept, which has already been tested with mixed success in Chrome apps. they are really just websites with things like persistent storage.
Xbox and PC Gaming
Continuing our theme, Microsoft has already updated some gaming features in the Windows 10 April 2018 update, particularly in the redesigned Game Bar and Focus Assist when playing option. Hopefully we will see more Play Anywhere games in the Microsoft Store, as the number has not moved for some time. We're also likely to see more mixed-reality headset development.
New hardware? Not likely
If anything, we may see a movement in HoloLens space. The device has been used successfully in industry, medicine and education. And consumers can use lower-cost mixed-reality headsets such as Dell, Lenovo and Samsung. If we're lucky, maybe we'll hear more and better MR devices.
Of course you have noticed that most of these elements are "more". But it would not be a big surprise if Microsoft did not surprise us with something cool and unexpected. At least some fun new app or skills. More than once, the company has surprised everyone, with something completely unexpected. Think HoloLens or the original Surface Pro. To find out, keep an eye on PCMag.com and watch how things unfold on Microsoft's Build 2018 livestream.