Man oh man has Microsoft changed recently. With Nadella at the helm, this streamtrain of a company has turned itself into near bullet train in a couple of months. So much so that Endgadget found it fitting to write, "When did Apple become the boring one?"
When did Apple become the boring one?
Anyhow, let's dive into some things that Microsoft covered today.
No, this is not a curved screen Samsung-esque phone. Rather, it's the official name for Microsoft's up-and-coming browser (formerly dubbed Project Spartan).
Image Courtsey of Betanews
Short of all the super cool annotation features, Cortana appears to be hugely useful in providing contextual data for webpages you visit. Now if only this could be integrated with Apple-like force touch...
The new tab page has been completely revamped to show your news feed and other relevant information similar to how Google Now operates. If Microsoft manages to execute this right, it would be hugely useful to many users out there.
Remember when Apple launched continuity? How they said you could seamlessly switch between devices? With Continuum, you don't need to switch devices anymore as it is all one device. Wirelessly connect your future Windows Phone to a display, keyboard, and mouse, and bingbadaboom you have a full desktop capable of running all the new universal apps. The below video by Microsoft explains it pretty well.
Visual Studio & Universal Apps
VS on Linux and OSX
Image from BetaNews.
**Holy. Ducking. Git.** (Yay or nay for the euphemism?)
Visual Studio Code (free) is now available on Linux and OSX, and man is it awesome. Featuring native Git integration, you can now compile and run C# on basically every platform. Well, almost every platform. Nobody uses Solaris right? I've personally taken it for a test run in Ubuntu 14.04, and damn. It appears to be based off of Node.JS and Web technologies like Atom and Brackets, but it sure doesn't feel like it. This is the snappiest html based editor I've ever used. Period.
I think this is more than just a beefed-up cross platform IDE from Microsoft. With .NET going cross platform, Microsoft is on the verge of killing Java by introducing the same cross-platform interoperability with many, many times the performance.
iOS, Android, and Web integration.
All your base are belong to us.
I'm gonna cut to the chase. Put simply, Microsoft has made available SDK's to easily convert iOS and Android apps into Windows apps with little to no code changes. Microsoft API's have been opened up to replace the API's on iOS and Android. This is huge. A lack of app selection has plagued the universal apps ecosystem, and this could be the boost that Microsoft was looking for. If the proposition of a 5 minute app port is not enough to save them, then nothing will.
In terms of Web integration, developers can now convert web apps into Windows app with very little code and take advantage of native Windows integrations such as notifications and in-app purchases.
One more thing: Win32 Integration!?!
Microsoft has taken advantage of their Hyper-V virtualization technology to bring Win32 apps to the universal app store. Example Case 1: Microsoft has worked with Adobe to port Photoshop Elements into an universal app.
Microsoft showed off some more HoloLens. If you don't know what HoloLens is, just watch the below. It's self explanatory.
Conclusion: Gurl u crazy
I'm not crazy, but Microsoft sure is. It's almost ironic how Microsoft has done exactly what Apple said over a decade ago; think different. Endgadget was right, Apple is the boring one now. With every single announcement, Microsoft is making everyone more excited about the future of Windows and the future of tech in general.