Today was quite the day if you follow our feeds. Microsoft took the stage on day one at its Build 2013 conference to show off some products running Windows 8, as well as presenting Windows 8.1 and talking about the ecosystem in general. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer leaped on to the stage to kick the show off, but we were also blessed with the presence of Julie Larson-Green and co.
Don't worry if you somehow missed the keynote as we've got a summary right here for you.
The Windows 8.1 preview is available for everyone to check out. We covered the announcement, so be sure to head on over to check out the download link. Speaking of upgrades, we've got some new apps on the way to Windows, including Facebook, Flipboard and NFL.
Developers can further enhance their apps by utilising the redesigned Windows Store. Monetisation opportunities and more flexible design options are now available. Internet Explorer 11 is included in the Windows 8.1 preview.
The next version of Microsoft's web browser builds on IE10 and is further optimised for touch input. The new release delivers rebuilt F12 developer tools, more options for favourites and tabs, performance improvements, as well as the ability to synchornise browsing history, favourite sites, tabs and settings across all Windows 8.1 hardware.
This is a neat new feature that will be welcomed by those who use a combination of desktops, laptops and tablets. But that's not all as the audience and viewers were also treated to a sneak peek at the new Xbox Music app and Powerpoint for RT. We'll look at the new features and updated system apps soon.
Bing was also touched on during the keynote. Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate VP of the online services division, outlined how Bing has crafted a platform that allows the technology behind Bing to be embedded as intelligent services into Microsoft hardware, services and third-party apps. This provides more information, which is easily accessible by consumers when searching and browsing. Microsoft is essentially attempting to make Bing more human.
The new platform was presented to deliver three broad categories of capabilities of which third-party applications can take advantage of:
- Services to bring entities and world knowledge to apps
- Services to enable apps to deliver a more natural and intuitive user experience
- Servers that bring an awareness of the physical world into apps
Highlighted services included: The Bing Entity API, Bing Optical Character Recognition Control, Bing Translator Control, Bing Speech Control and Bing Maps 2D/3D Control. As well as developers, Microsoft also unveiled two new Bing apps for the Windows 8.1 Preview during the keynote today.
The first was Food & Drink, which as the name suggests enables users to check out videos, recipies and other content. The app sports a hands-free mode that utilises the camera to detect a gesture. The second new app was Health & Fitness, more on these new apps and anything else in Windows 8.1 / Bing later.
The Extra Stuff
As well as the main highlights, Microsoft had a number of small thing to show off. Visual Studio 2013 Preview and .NET Framework 4.5.1 Preview are both available for download right now. 3D printing was endorsed by the team with native support and partnerships formed with top companies in the industry, including MakerBot, 3D Systems, Netfab and more. This will help make it easier for folk to get cracking with said hardware.
The Kinect for Windows team announced version 1.8 of the platform's SDK, which is set to be released in September later this year. A developer kit program will also be kicking off in November 2013 for the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor (hello, Xbox One). Sign-ups have already started and the new developer kits for qualifying developers will include an early version of the next-gen Kinect sensor, access to pre-release versions of the SDK and a second sesor when the final version is released to the public.
On a lighter note, Windows Phone developers can rejoice with Microsoft slashing the registration fee to just $19.
PS5 games prices are higher than Xbox — but is that a good thing?
Sony's PlayStation 5 reveal came with some big caveats, and one of the most overlooked ones is the fact that games will be more expensive, seemingly across the board. Should Microsoft and Xbox jump on that train as well?
Review: Gigabyte's Z490 AORUS ULTRA is a gorgeous Intel motherboard
Gigabyte's Z490 AORUS ULTRA is a motherboard you should consider for a 10th or 11th Gen Intel-powered PC. On paper, it has plenty going for it, including amazing power design and cooling, passively cooled M.2 slots and good overclocking support.
You can get the Windows 10 October 2020 update early – here's how
In this guide, we'll show you the steps to upgrade your computer to the final release of the Windows 10 October 2020 Update before it's officially available to everyone.
These Surface Studio 2 alternatives are all WAY more affordable
Looking for alternatives to the Surface Studio 2? Perhaps we can help.