This morning is the kickoff for Microsoft’s annual developer conference, with keynotes highlighting the next year in Microsoft. In the last several years we’ve seen the Redmond based company highlight upcoming technologies and platforms that it is hoping developers will target, from bots to personal assistants, but 2018 is a different year, and we’re seeing a different Microsoft. With the recent demotion of the EVP for Windows and Devices, Terry Myerson, we’re seeing a push from the company to develop around Windows, rather than for it.

Microsoft’s new mantra is “Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge” which focuses on the emphasis of leveraging cloud computing for much of our needs now, but also with the emphasis on IoT powering the Intelligent Edge. There’s little doubt that Microsoft was too slow to react to the move to smartphone computing, but they are determined to not miss out on IoT, and it’s hard to blame them. Microsoft is quoting the expectation for there to be 20 billion smart devices around the globe by 2020. To put that in perspective, Microsoft stated today that they’ve reached the 700 million level for Windows 10 active devices, which is below their original targets, but still a huge number, but it’s dwarfed by what’s coming with IoT.

Microsoft announced today that they will be open sourcing their Azure IoT Edge Runtime allowing their customers to “modify, debug, and have more transparency and control for edge applications”. They’ve been a big supporter of open source in the last several years, so at this point it shouldn’t be as big of a surprise as it is, but they clearly see the future of this market and want to ensure they leave no barriers to uptake.

They’ve also announced that Custom Vision will run on Azure IoT edge, bringing the Azure Cognitive Service for vision to the edge, so that devices on the edge will be able to use vision to make decisions and take action without a cloud connection. They’re expecting to bring more Azure Cognitive Services to IoT in the next several months.

Microsoft is also partnering with Qualcomm to create a developer kit for Vision AI running on Azure IoT Edge, to make it easier to develop IoT products which rely on the camera. They are also partnering with DJI, which is the world’s largest drone company, to create a new SDK for Windows 10 PCs.

The other side of the coin is the Intelligent Cloud side, where Microsoft is promoting new features coming to Azure, such as Project Kinect for Azure, which packages several sensors, including their new depth camera, with onboard compute. There’s a new Speech Devices SDK which builds on what you’d see in Cortana for speech recognition, and they are showing off a preview to Project Brainwave, which is an architecture for deep neural net processing which is now available on Azure and on the edge.

While much of what they are talking about has little to do with lowly PC, there are still a few nuggets of interesting information for Windows 10 and the PC. Microsoft is developing a “Your Phone” experience which will allow you to access data on your phone from your PC, so you’ll be able to access your text messages, or quickly drag a photo from your phone to your PC as well. This is something they tried to achieve with Windows Phone, but with the limited uptake of that, it never made it very far.

Microsoft Launcher, which is an Android launcher, will now support Enterprise customers for access to LOB applications via Intune, and users of Microsoft Launcher on Android will be able to leverage the new Windows 10 Timeline feature to access your recently used data from your phone on your PC. This will also be coming in a more limited form to iOS if you use Microsoft Edge on iOS, which I would assume is a pretty small percentage of iOS users.

Windows 10 is also getting an official name for the new tabbed applications we’ve seen in the Windows Insider Program. Sets will allow you to open multiple instances of your apps in tabs, just like you would use your browser. This seems like a great idea and it’s amazing it’s not come already, but in theory it will be in the next update for Windows 10 due this fall.

This is the new Microsoft. They have seen great success with their cloud products, and are not so subtly transitioning away from their legacy products, and as such, there’s less to talk about on the PC side than there used to be. It’s definitely helped their share price.

Source: Microsoft Build

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • mr_tawan - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - link

    You know, not everyone gets "BYOD" or something. I'm still using 2 19", 1280*720 at work. The screen space is very precious.

    Also, I think the taskbar might not be very appreciated if everything is in its own window :-/.

    PS. btw. I think it's more about *size* than *resolution*.
  • NXTwoThou - Monday, May 7, 2018 - link

    "This is something they tried to achieve with Windows Phone" You mean, what they started, then a month later dumped it on the Skype team, which ran it into the ground. Skype has released one horrible release after another. The -only- reason I use Skype is for this SMS from my PC ability. I hope to hell this new Your Phone feature is available for W10M users. UWP Messaging has had several updates recently and I just checked and it is showing my SMSs from my phone. Skype is currently the only way for me to reply to any(without digging out my phone)
  • eva02langley - Monday, May 7, 2018 - link

    I don't understand how microsoft could be attracting investors with a big pile of nothing.

    Windows is losing more and more influence and customers. If it was not for DX, I really wonder how Windows would still be something.

    Their office software is where they make their money.

    IoT is going to be huge, however without any vision it is nothing more than words... and right now it is Microsoft words...
  • Ket_MANIAC - Monday, May 7, 2018 - link

    I don't know how it is losing influence and customers. Please give citations and proof before making such silly comments.
  • eva02langley - Monday, May 7, 2018 - link

    Windows is not the only software running your device anymore (do I really need to draw the picture for you?). We are not in a world of desktop like it was in the 90s, people nowadays are going online on their android (or else) device.

    Let me put it into the perspective of little me, little investor...

    1. Microsoft is developing apps for Windows
    2. Their Xbox division suffer
    3. Their phones are dead
    4. Their surface products are...
    5. Their stock is at its highest price ever...

    A lot of people are going to have a rough awakening at some point. The only interesting aspect of Microsoft is their Office suites and their project software... however, even there, the competition is getting really hot in projects when it came to software.

    I don`t see growth... you do? You seems to know to know everything. I could easily just mirror your question at you honestly, just to see if you can come up with anything at all...
  • deepblue08 - Monday, May 7, 2018 - link

    - Xbox division is doing just fine
    - Surface products don't have much market-share, but are consistently growing in popularity
    - Azure is the fastest growing cloud platform (2nd largest by marketshare)
    - Office 365 is doing very well
    - SQL Server was database of the year in 2016...

    Do I need to go on?
  • baka_toroi - Monday, May 7, 2018 - link

    Eva02langley, the thing you seem not to realize is that the overall market has grown. Even if MS loses in market share it's a bigger pie so they are still growing.

    Xbox is non-existent in the rest of the world but the US is a big market.
  • mr_tawan - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - link

    Hmm in the personal computer space (laptop, desktop), Windows is still dominating the market. While OSX is growing, ... I don't see it comes very near at least in the foreseeable future.

    In other spaces like server and mobile, yes they are losing. They are still strong in the server market though.
  • Speedfriend - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - link


    Did Microsoft turn down your job application?

    Let me quote some recent year-on-year revenue growth numbers for Microsoft products....
    Productivity and Business Processes up 14%
    Office Commercial up 12%
    365 commercial up 40%
    Office Consumer up 9%
    LinkedIn up 33%
    Dynamics up 14%
    Azure public cloud up 93%.
    Search up 14%
    Surface up 27%.
    Gaming up 16%.

    You are right, what a worthless company, those idiot investors that have bid up its price to all-time highs should be paying you for your expert investing insights......
  • A5 - Monday, May 7, 2018 - link

    Azure and O365 make them a ton of money. XBox is doing alright. PC makers still have to buy W10 licenses.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now