Microsoft Build 2017
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Microsoft’s annual Build Conference 2017 in Seattle is aimed at developers and these announcements from Microsoft affect consumers. Some of the new features are really important for you to know about if you use Windows. So what is in this for you?

Windows 10 Fall 2017 Update
This fall the Windows 10 update has some good news for you to consider and Connectech has broken this down to what you should know. The Verge has an informative video giving you the highlights of all the announcements in the keynote speech in eight minutes and we have notes of the details of the main points for you if you want to delve further into this.

Story Remix
A new app has been announced that will be included with a Windows update this fall which is still in beta (available to Insiders) and is actually a function of the Windows 10 Microsoft Photos app allowing you to make your boring vacation photos and videos into something that is entertaining and relevant.  Microsoft has worked hard to allow you to blend text, video, graphics, and 3D images with mixed reality and the ability of sharing videos from multiple sources. The whole idea is for you to use this app for all your videos and photos to upload to YouTube or Facebook. PC World says this app is ‘awesome.’  You can see how it works with a demo shown at Microsoft Build:

Microsoft Fluent Design System
This new design system includes more prominent use of light, depth, motion, material and scale into applications for developers improving ease of use for you and improved look, just using a pen.

One Drive Files on Demand
With Files On-Demand, you can access all your files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on your device. You don’t have to change the way you work, because all your files—even online files—can be seen in File Explorer and work just like every other file on your device. Files On-Demand also allows you to open online files from within desktop or Windows store apps using the Windows file picker. Simply select the file you want to open in the file picker, and the file will automatically download and open in your app. For more info.

Windows Timeline
This is a feature that is designed to allow Windows 10 users to switch between multiple devices, including Android and iOS phones. Microsoft has built a Timeline view straight into the existing Task View feature for Windows 10 that includes an overview of currently running apps across Windows 10 machines and iOS and Android devices. Timeline will let you effectively pick up where you left off if you’re switching between Windows 10 devices. Thanks to Cortana integration, this will even extend to some Microsoft apps on iOS and Android. It’s really designed to be a quick way to move from one machine to another, much like Apple’s continuity feature in iOS and macOS. This is called “Pick up where you left off.” For more info.

iTunes Coming to the Windows Store
This is good news for iOS users who also use Windows on their PCs. The fact is there are a significant number of Windows users who own iOS devices so Microsoft wants those users to be happy in the Windows Store. That means anyone who buys a Windows 10 S PC, which is restricted to running apps from the Windows Store, will still be able to access Apple’s full iTunes experience. For more info.

New mixed reality hardware
Microsoft also revealed more details about the affordable “mixed reality” Windows VR headsets releasing later this year. Acer’s been showing off its Mixed Reality Developers Edition headset for a while, and now it has a price: $299 for the headset alone, or $399 for the headset bundled with new “6 degrees of freedom” (6DOF) motion controllers also announced at Build. For more info.

Windows VR controllers
Microsoft has announced a new set of motion controllers for its Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets. The controllers will be fully tracked by sensors in the headset, instead of by external cameras or markers. They’re supposed to go on sale this holiday season, with Acer selling a $399 headset bundle that includes them. For more info.

Harman Kardon Invoke
Microsoft has announced it will enter the ambient personal assistant market along with Echo and Google Home with this new device to be released later this year. With this announcement comes the Cortana Skills Kit for developers to create cool apps for this new device. For more info.

Arccos Caddie
Arccos has integrated the Microsoft Azure cloud platform into the about-to-launch Caddie. The utility uses advanced analytics to help golfers make better, data-driven decisions during their rounds. Microsoft’s Azure cloud allows you to quantify your actual golfing history and capabilities, then correlates that information with more than 386 million geotagged points across 40,000 courses, plus weather info, to offer you strategy suggestions in real-time when you’re cruising around the back nine. For more info.

Windows Band Watch for Industrial
The Windows Band for consumers has now been upgraded to an industrial version which may be useful for those who need a Windows Industrial Band Watch for their employees. Just watch this video that explains how the industrial band watch works:

Visual Studio for Mac
Visual Studio is now released for Mac with a free download for developers. This will now encourage more apps for developers who use Macs to create apps easily for iOS and macOS, as well as Android. The new version also allows developers to work better with their fellow developers who use Visual Studio with Windows.

Reviews
“with its aggressive work in mixed-reality and computing-related hardware, Microsoft looks like Windows is turning into the go-to platform for creative work and cross-device productivity.”
11 reasons why Apple and Adobe should fear the new Microsoft, by Lori Grunin, c/net