Thurrott Daily: March 30 Build 2016 Special Edition

Thurrott Daily: March 30 Build 2016 Special Edition

I’m in full-bore Build 2016 mode today, so here’s a rundown of some information I’ve not had a chance to get to personally.

3/30/2016 2:41:41 PM

Visual Studio “15” Preview is now available for download

For you hardy souls that want to check out the next Visual Studio and its new “Willow” installer, here you go.

The next version of Visual Studio is available for preview! Check out some of the new features we’re sharing with you.

Now you can:

  • Open and edit any code from any folder
  • Use pattern matching and local functions with new C# language features
  • Use XAML “Edit and Continue” for Universal Windows 10 and WPF apps

…and more!

Hey, I was right: Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be version 1607

I guessed earlier that the Windows 10 “Redstone” update—now called the Anniversary Update, would be version 1607 in keeping its expected July 2016 release date. WinBetasays this is correct.

Official developer documents appear to reference version 1607.

Spotted in a recent document regarding the Universal Windows Platform and Xbox, Microsoft references Windows 10 “Version 1607”, which follows the same versioning scheme as the last two Windows 10 releases, version 1511 and version 1507.

Action Center and Cortana to use cards in upcoming Windows 10 Redstone builds

WinBeta also reports on the addition of cards (as in Android’s Material design) to the Windows 10 design language in the Anniversary Update.

Microsoft is about to bring interactive cards to the Action Center and Cortana in Windows 10 Redstone, sources familiar with the matter say. No longer will the Action Center or Cortana offer static information, instead there will be a new Card UI that will portray information and share said information between both areas of the system.

Internal concept art showcase what Microsoft has in mind for these new Card designs, bringing a sleek and modern interface to the Action Center. It is understood that these new Card user-interfaces will appear in Cortana too, creating a sense of familiarity between both the Action Center and Cortana.

The Skype Bots preview is available now to consumers and developers

Microsoft reports:

Today we are introducing Skype Bots—a new way to bring expertise, products, services and entertainment into your daily messaging on Skype.

Skype Bots will come to life through messaging today, and in the future will be available for audio and video calling as well.

Each Bot will enhance your Skype experience in its own way, bringing a new dimension into your everyday Skype chats by helping turn your ideas and plans into actions.

Today, we are releasing a variety of previews:

  • A new Skype client, available on Windows, Android, iPhone and iPad brings the Skype Bot experience to all of our customers.
  • A preview of Skype Bots for you to experience and to provide us with feedback.
  • A new Skype developer program at to get started building Bots right away, and we also hope you will join us at a May hackathon to create innovative bots on the Skype Bot platform.

Preview Bots are available in the latest versions of Skype for Windows Desktop, Android,iPhone and iPad.

Xbox controller support and beaming to a PC are coming to Continuum for Windows 10 Mobile

Windows Central has the story:

During a session on Continuum for phone, Microsoft Program Manager Liz Threlkeld revealed three new features for Windows 10 Mobile, including:

  • Xbox One controller + Docks support
  • Ability to beam Windows 10 Mobile to any Windows 10 PC
  • Run Win32 apps like Visual Studio remotely

Xbox One controller support was shown on stage playing the unreleased sequel Shadow Fight 3. Users will be able to plug the Xbox One controller into the Dock to play the video game and any other UWP game made for Windows 10.

Presumably, you can also use an adapter to plug the controller directly into the phone as well.

Additionally, with the Anniversary update users will be able to beam their Windows 10 Mobile phone to any Windows 10 PC through Continuum.

That seems very similar to what you can do with Surface Hub, by the way.

Microsoft: Windows Phone isn’t our focus this year

The Verge’s Tom Warren got an interesting comment from Terry Myerson today:

I got the chance to speak to Windows chief Terry Myerson briefly after today’s keynote, and it’s clear Microsoft focus isn’t on phones this year.

“We’re fully committed to that 4-inch screen, there will be a time for it to be our focus, but right now it’s part of the family but it’s not the core of where I hope to generate developer interest over the next year,” explains Myerson. “There’s no lack of recognition to realize how important that form factor is, but for Microsoft with Windows and for our platform it’s the wrong place for us to lead.”

I pushed Myerson on his focus for Windows growth, and he was refreshingly honest about Microsoft’s own mobile share. “If you wanted to reach a lot of phone customers, Windows Phone isn’t the way to do it,” admits Myerson. “If you want to reach a lot of Windows customers, then this is the largest install base of 9 to 30-inch screens. If you wanted to do new and exciting things, then the Xbox and HoloLens is the place to have a discussion.”


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