Microsoft Build 2014: A Quick Rundown Of Day 1

Microsoft‘s Build conferences are considered important news because the company makes many major announcements at these events. Here are the key announcement made by Microsoft on day 1 of Build 2014 conference.

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1:
We have been waiting for this for some time now. Windows 8.1 Update 1 will arrive on April 8, packing a number of new features. The new features include a better way of switching between tasks and an improved Taskbar which will also feature Metro apps. The Start Screen has also been improved to offer a better experience for desktop users.

Windows Phone 8.1 and Cortana:
Microsoft is finally rolling out its voice-based virtual assistant, Cortana. It will be a part of the Windows Phone 8.1 which will become available in May. Other features of the update include the ability to customize lockscreens and backgrounds as well as a new Action Center.

Windows Phone 8.1

Another big announcement by the company was that it is making Windows Phone available for free on such phones and tablets which are less than 9 inches in size.

Office for touchscreen devices:
Over the past year or so, Microsoft has been hard at work with its Office suite. The company recently made available the instantly popular Office for iPad. At the Build 2014 event, Microsoft has now shown off another version of the Office suite, designed specifically for touchscreen devices. This version is still in works and there’s no definite date stamp on the ambitious venture.

Office for touchscreen devices

An ‘Internet of Things’ version of Windows:
We are finally inching towards the realization of the ‘Internet of Things’ concept, it would seem. Microsoft has announced that it will soon unveil an ‘Internet of Things’ version of Windows. Again, this is a very ambitious undertaking as such a platform will be required to run an endless bevy of devices.

Windows IoT

Nokia Lumia 930:
As expected, Microsoft’s official Windows Phone partner was ready to pitch a new flagship smartphone at Build 2014. Nokia unveiled Lumia 930, packing a 5-inch display, a 20 megapixel camera and running Windows Phone 8.1.

Nokia Lumia 930

Under the hood, a 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core will power up the handset. Lumia 930 will also come with wireless charging and a price tag of $599.

Universal Windows apps:
The developer community must be rejoiced to hear that Microsoft has finally announced universal Windows apps. These apps will run perfectly across a number of platforms and devices including Xbox One, tablets, smartphones and PCs. For the developers, this would mean that a single unified app they create will be able to reach far more devices and machines.

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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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