Half-Billion Windows 10 Devices, But PC Slump Stunts Growth

The annual Microsoft Build developer conference is upon us, so here's everything you need to know about the event, including the keynote start time and how to watch it live.

Microsoft executives used demonstrations to depict a near future in which artificial intelligence hosted online works with internet linked devices such as construction site cameras to alert workers of dangers, available tools, or unauthorized activities. "It is a pretty fantastic world you can create using intelligent cloud and intelligent edge". While the company is hardly announcing a new hardware at the Build conference - the focus will be entirely to solidify its position in the enterprise segment through various tools and services. Apart from this, the company also released the new MySQL and PostgreSQL managed services to further increase the options and flexibility with minimum downtime and data retention and recovery. They'll be available in preview form and will allow developers to collect more data, for instance, on the most widely shared documents on OneDrive. While at the conference, the company typically also announces updates for its services and platforms - whether that be Windows 10, Office 365, or the Azure cloud computing platform.

Microsoft also made new Microsoft Graph APIs available to developers, including APIs from SharePoint and Planner.

He noted how together Windows, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Azure offer developers more than a billion opportunities to connect their innovations with customers. The change now affects Microsoft's enterprise and education customers.

In regard to artificial intelligence (AI), the company added new cognitive services bringing the total to 29 services for developers. "Let's amplify their capabilities", he said.

The new services include Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service and Video Indexer. Each URL will have translations/transcripts in a preferred language in real time. Code created using Microsoft Bot Framework which allows developers to create AI bots can also be integrated into Cortana.

This essentially means that, even if Google did repackage its Chromium-based browser in a way that would allow it to be installed via the Windows Store, its non-EdgeHTML architecture would see it rejected by Microsoft.

Back in the cloud arena, Azure Batch AI Training is a new Azure offering, now available in private preview only, that will allow developers and data scientists to configure an environment with parameters and run their models against multiple CPUs, multiple GPUs and eventually field-programmable gate arrays. Microsoft has always owned the market. The Cortana Skills Kit has also been launched which basically gives developers the ability to create skills - or borrow them from other devices - and train Cortana to use them.

It still remains unknown, however, whether Redmond actually intends to roll out the new name for the Windows Store to regular users.

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