Microsoft's annual Build developer conference brings together thousands of people from around the world to showcase new development tools and services for use in updating and creating new apps that run across all of Microsoft's ecosystem, from desktop, to mobile, to the cloud, and now, even "holograms". And in the five years that it has been running, Build also gives us a glimpse at what's to come in future versions of Windows. Here's all the important stuff from this year's event.
Windows, Xbox, and UWP
Unlike Google I/O or Apple's WWDC, Build didn't bring with it a developer preview of the next version of Windows with tons of new features. That's because ever since Windows 10 was released in preview form in October 2014, you can always be running the latest and greatest, bugs and all, by enrolling in Microsoft's Insider Program. However, that doesn't mean Microsoft didn't show off some cool new things that are still to come.
This summer, Microsoft will begin rolling out the Windows Anniversary Update. Previously known as the Redstone 1 update available right now via the Fast Ring of the Insider Program, this free update will bring new features to all devices running Windows 10, including Xbox and Hololens.
The way Windows handles stylus and pen input will see huge improvements through a new platform aptly called Windows Ink. Pen input is a prominent feature of Microsoft's own Surface devices. One feature of the Surface Pen is the ability to open OneNote with a single click of the top button. Well with the Anniversary Update and Windows Ink, clicking the Surface Pen's button will now open Ink Workspace. It comes out from the right side of the screen, similar to the Action Center, and it's essentially a dashboard for all things Pen related. It's unclear if you can change the button to still instantly launch OneNote, but you'll still be able to quickly access apps like OneNote and Sticky Notes via the Ink Workspace.