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Microsoft Build 2017 lowdown: Cortana, Office AI, Custom Vision & more

Microsoft has announced that its Windows 10 Operating System (OS) is now present on 500 million devices across like PCs, tablets and smartphones during yesterday’s Microsoft Build Developer conference. The company was able to reach this milestone after almost two years after the Windows 10 launch.

Here is a detailed list of updates that Microsoft had announced during yesterday’s developer conference:

Microsoft Custom Vision

Developers can now create customized computer vision apps and APIs that can be used to identifying objects, food, humans or even landmarks in a given image, reports TheNextWeb. This is done using image processing, deep learning and other AI processing methods. A developer can create Custom Vision APIs by first loading sample images. Image processing will be employed on these samples to find patterns, properties, colour codes, etc. that can be extracted.  Custom Vision is a part of Microsoft Cognitive Services, which was released in last year’s Build Conference. Cognitive Services include a set 22 APIs categorized across Vision, Speech, Language, Knowledge, and Search.

Note that Google had released a similar app last month: Auto Draw, a web-based drawing tool, combines machine learning with drawings from artists to help suggest lines, shapes, etc. that can be used to complete an image.

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Microsoft Office now has AI features

The company said that it is now integrating AI processing into its products like Xbox, Windows, and even Office. On the Microsoft Office segment, it unveiled Office Researcher—a search and discovery tool which uses AI to quickly retrieve documents and help users to research and outline documents in seconds. New visual tools will be available under PowerPoint Designer which will broadly allow users to interpret language and create new visual design properties in their PowerPoint slides.

PowerPoint will also come inbuilt with a default ‘Presentation Translator’ that uses certain APIs to perform real-time translation as a user skips through slides. Microsoft said that the translator feature can also display live transcripts in different languages by generating a unique URL code for audience members. Each URL will have translations/transcripts in a preferred language in real time.

Cortana is now open for developers

As promised in last year’s Build Conference, Microsoft’s AI assistant Cortana is now open for developers. The newly launched Cortana Skills Kit allows developers to create different ‘skills’ or tasks that can be performed by Cortana. Microsoft said that developers can lift an existing skill set (or code) created for Alexa or and “re-purpose” it for Cortana. Code created using Microsoft Bot Framework which allows developers to create AI bots can also be integrated into Cortana. The new Skills Kit can also be used to learn user experiences, preferences, etc. to suggest new products or services. For e.g. Cortana will learn your lunch and dinner timings and suggest you restaurants, cuisines, etc. on the basis of your earlier food choices. Microsoft claims that Cortana now has 145 million monthly users on Windows 10, iOS and Android.

Linux Bash Shell is now on Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure, the cloud computing platform owned and managed by the company now supports Linux Bash Shell programming, reports TechCrunch. The addition of bash will now allow developers to use GNU’s editors including emacs, vim, etc., as well as various Linux-only libraries straight from Windows. The Linux integration was announced at last year’s Build Conference but this is the first time that Microsoft is bringing Linux programming on its cloud platform and. The company also launched Azure on mobile by launching it on iOS and Android platforms. The mobile app can be used to check real-time analytics, manage processes and for error reporting or troubleshooting.

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Visual Studio launched for Mac users

Microsoft Visual Studio, which allows developers to build mobile and PC apps using .NET Core and ASP.NET programming languages are now open for Mac users. Visual Studio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like  NetBeans (Java) but it’s mostly used for developing apps that run on Windows systems. This is an important launch for Microsoft since it comes after the native Linux integration and it signifies that the company wants more developers using its tools for creating software, no matter which platform the developer is on.

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© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ