Microsoft’s annual Build Conference isn’t an event dedicated solely to coders, Build is always brimming with consumer-friendly news about the future of Windows, Office, and more. This year was no exception—and it even managed to squeeze in a few eye-opening surprises for the future of Windows 10.
Noting that Build is a developer conference, most of the changes which were announced are behind-the-scenes items you won’t ever see. However consumers will eventually see the results in future applications and features. We are going to cover the changes you will notice the most with the upcoming Windows 10 “Anniversary Update” this summer.
Windows Hello is a more personal way to sign in to your Windows 10 devices with just a look or a touch. Microsoft’s new biometric security system built into Windows 10 will allow you to log into your computer and some participating websites and applications with facial recognition. Windows Hello will also add support for fingerprint scanners.
No company has tried to make the stylus the Next Big Thing as much as Microsoft, and it’s pushing harder than ever with the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update. This extension of Microsoft’s pen technology makes it easier to use your device like you would pen and paper and includes a number of related apps for note taking and sketching. Windows Ink will also integrate with other applications such as Windows Map and Microsoft Office; from drawing a point between two locations and getting directions to natural text editing Windows Ink allows for a more user friendly experience in existing applications.
In the near future, Microsoft hopes that most interaction with the digital personal assistant, Cortana, to be done through voice and for these interactions to be as conversational as possible. This means better artificial intelligence and “bots” handling tasks for you. Until then, Cortana is getting an upgrade for better language processing and application integration. You will also be able to access Cortana from the lock screen; this will allow you to ask a question without having to log in to your device.
While not HoloLens is not ready for consumers, Microsoft announced at Build that the developer edition is shipping out to those who preordered the device. Microsoft has a number of partners including NASA, Volvo, Airbus, Lowes, and plenty more who are making applications for HoloLen and Microsoft has a HoloLens Academy Program which lets medical students virtually examine inside the human body. At $3,000, HoloLens is out of reach for the average user, but as it trickles into corporate environments, expect prices to fall.