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Microsoft Build 2018 Day 2 Highlights

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While Microsoft’s biggest developer’s conference, Microsoft Build 2018 embarked on its core Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud computing ideas and extension. However, Day 2 was all about its new version of Android Launcher, Microsoft Launcher.

On the second day of the event, Microsoft announced the modifications that will be implemented in Windows 10 by introducing the Sets features. With addition to the Your Phone app that was introduced on Day 1, the company introduced its add ons. Alongside, the focus was toward the Microsoft’s Office suite, Microsoft Outlook and Windows Store.

However, the ultimate spotlight of the developer’s conference was Microsoft 365.

Joe Belfiore, the Vice President of Microsoft explained to the crowd present at the conference that Microsoft 365 is equivalent to Windows + Office + Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS.) He brought to light that the company has two platforms as of now, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365. He stressed on the fact that there are around 135 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365 and more than 200,000 organizations are using Microsoft Teams.

Another fascinating update here is Outlook and its teams will be getting Adaptive Cards. These cards will appear in Outlook message. It will reflect changes in your organization’s Microsoft Graph data  that will all be actionable. The example Microsoft gives is that a manager could approve an expense report in a card. You’ll also be able to pay bills in a card using Microsoft Pay.

You can now make your Grammar Nazi friends shut up! Here’s how!

Emphasizing on AI and Machine Learning to improvise its existing products, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Developer Platform Kevin Gallo used Microsoft Word as an example, stating the company’s objective is to make a writer’s duty more convenient.

Kevin Gallo further added, “Some areas are very, very hard to detect with traditional algorithms.” Nevertheless, this could be achieved through grammar checking powered by Windows ML and artificial intelligence. Microsoft is taking autocorrect to a whole new level.

He also added, this problem is personal as his daughter, Anna struggled with grammar her whole life and felt that she would never be a good writer. The English language is complex, with words having different meanings depending on the subject. He put up a demonstration where the older version of Word and Word powered by Machine Learning was displayed. The ML personified Word displayed the errors such as the nouns that were missing were highlighted. How cool is that? A writer’s job is sure as hell going to get easier with this improvisation!

A whole bunch of Your Phone app features were also introduced at the event. Your Phone app will display all the user’s photos, videos, notifications and messages on their Personal Computer (PC) directly from their Android or iOS devices.  The app has the ability to drag and drop phone camera photos to the Windows 10 operating system. You could also copy and paste different kinds of information between the devices. This app will be available to Windows Insiders first and Windows 10 users in a later build.

Microsoft introduced the latest version of its Android launcher, Microsoft Launcher. Launcher is a very popular app in the Google Play Store and brings a host of Microsoft centric features to Android. The new Microsoft Launcher for Enterprise version brings customization and security to organizations. Not only that but also allows administrators to create desktops for specific users with feeds into specific business systems.

The much talked about feature “Sets”  in Windows 10 is the latest announcement from the event. This new feature makes your tasks easier by allowing you to set all the elements of a task together. You can keep apps, web pages, documents or files all at one place. When you resume work after a period of time, all the relevant task elements can be restored. You can also search through all the significant information. The customer applications can be restored as well if they incorporate Sets into their application. According to Belfiore, the release time of this feature is not specified yet as the company is still working on it.

Ultimately, Microsoft wants to make the life of its users pretty easier by making the best use of AI and machine learning. These were the highlights from the Day 2 of Microsoft Build 2018. Yet, there is a lot more to come from the 3 day event.

Let us know in the comments section below what you think of the new features! For more updates follow us on www.startupstories.in

 

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Paul Allen: Remembering This Tech Genius Through His Journey

Smruthi Kishore

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When you think Microsoft, you invariably think of Bill Gates. However, how many times have you stopped to think about Paul Allen, the other man behind one of the most successful tech companies in recent history? While not many know Allen was the reason Microsoft came to be, the history of Allen’s life journey is just as enriching and exciting.

The first seeds of invention

Paul Allen and Bill Gates were friends since they were really young. Growing up, they discussed their dreams and hopes, but never thought they would ever work together as adults. When the time came for them to branch into the world of innovation, invention and creation, it was Allen who came up with the genius idea of him and Gates working together.

Their first ever venture together was way back when they were in school, in the year 1972, when Allen and Gates launched Traf o Data, a software company which analyzed and tracked traffic patterns. Although this project didn’t do as well as the two hoped, it definitely sowed the seeds of a new line of thought for both Paul Allen and Bill Gates. Both of them grew up and went to different colleges, with Allen landing up in Washington State University and Gates going to Harvard.

While Gates lasted a little longer at university, Allen dropped out after the first two years, realising college was not his cup of tea. When Allen found out Gates was looking at creating new software for computers, he suggested they work together and this is how their first successful project, BASIC, came to being. Allen also played an integral role in naming the company Micro-Soft. In fact, he was the one who suggested the name!

By the time Gates and Allen had reached the point of success that propelled Microsoft to the number one position, Allen was already looking at how to market Microsoft’s patent software. When Gates promised the world IBM would change the way personal computers functioned, it was Allen who completed the successful purchase of the software (Quick and Dirty Operating System) which changed the world!

The beginning of the end 

Three years after one of the most historically turning points in the journey of Microsoft took place, Allen left Microsoft to focus on his health. He was fighting with Hodgkin’s lymphoma for and his deteriorating health was making it difficult for him to keep with the day to day going ons of Microsoft. Three years after he left Microsoft, Allen started Vulcan, named after the Roman god of fire, making sure personal investments were in order.

Despite struggling with cancer for this long in his life, Allen loved to live life king size. From owning a magnificent yacht to owning more than one prominent sports team, Paul Allen made sure he lived a life where every moment was lived to the fullest. In October 2018, Allen announced he was diagnosed with cancer that came back after a long period of remission and nothing he was doing was really helping him get better.

With Vulcan growing into one of the largest investment firms, Allen has been able to fund several prominent places in Seattle including the city’s Museum of Pop Culture, Washington State University and University of Washington. Also known for being a lover of rock music, Allen also founded a band called The Underthinkers and wrote or co wrote EVERY single song in the 2013 album!

An inspirational man, a dreamer and creator like never before, the day the world lost this tech genius (October 15, 2018,) was a truly sad day. Forever labelled as the day the world lost a brilliant genius, recovering from Paul Allen’s death is not going to be an easy feat. Despite officially leaving Microsoft in the year 1983, Allen stayed on the board of directors till 2000 and when he passed away, he stood as the 44th wealthiest man in the world. Just like Bill Gates mourns the loss of one of his oldest and closest friends, so does the rest of the world.

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All You Need To Know About Anil Kumble’s AI Enabled Power Bat

Smruthi Kishore

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Anil Kumble’s Spektacom Technologies, in partnership with Microsoft, has just developed a brand new Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled Power Bat. With the ability to collect data required for every shot hit and the details displayed both to the audience and the players, the new bat is aimed at making cricket an increasingly interesting sport! The basic aim of the new Power Bat is to increase engagement between both the audience and the coaches, giving players the chance to improve their game by leaps and bounds!

A unique concept, the Power Bat has a Microsoft Azure Sphere sticker on its shoulder, whereby as soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on a wide range of parameters like speed on impact, twist on impact and quality of the shot are recorded, captured and processed. This processing and capturing is enabled with the help of a new measurement called Power Speks. The date derived from the Power Bat can be recorded during coaching and practice matches, giving the players a chance to improve their performance during the actual game.

“Our vision is to bring sports closer to fans through interesting ways of engagement using real time sports analytics. At the same time, it is important that the technologies used are seamless and do not disrupt the game or obstruct the players,” Anil Kumble said while talking about the new Power Bat. He further added, “With Microsoft, we have been able to create a secure and effective solution, and with Star India, we have a partner that can stimulate and excite fan engagement.”

Anil Kumble and Microsoft came together to redefine the way people played this much loved sport with this game changing bat! The Power Bat was revealed a couple of days ago and it is already touted to be the game changer for cricket as a sport by 2019!

Speaking about the collaboration, Anil Kumble tweeted,

The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella also replied to Anil Kumble in a tweet

 

 

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Google Shuts Down Google Plus

Smruthi Kishore

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Google Plus, Google’s social networking arm, is going to be shut down moments after the company announced a major data breach happened, wherein the private information of around 500,000 users was made public over a period of three years, ranging approximately from March 2015 to March 2018. What is really surprising about this data reveal is that when the breach happened last spring, Google decided to cover up the issue, rather than address it like the mature company it was expected to be.

The glitch happened when Google allowed close to 500 external apps (438 apps, to be precise,) to obtain users’ full names, email addresses, occupations, relationship statuses, genders and ages, even for accounts which were made private. While these tools require the permission of the users for access, the information is more often than not made publicly available to these apps through third party users. Google said it could not identify the users whose data was leaked and therefore, it did not want to send out a mass memo regarding the issue.

Post the reveal of the data breach, Google said it did release an internal memo about the bug, but did not tell its users because it wanted to avoid dealing with the immediate regulations that would have been certainly imposed. Incidentally, this was when Facebook was in the spotlight for the Cambridge Analytica scam and if Google came under the radar for this, the repercussions would be massive, to say the least.

Repenting its decision to not do anything about the breach earlier, Google has finally decided to do something now. Not only is Google going to shut down Google Plus, its initiative, Project Strobe, is going to conduct a root and branch initiative of the third party developer access to Google accounts and Android data.

After this breach was brought to the public’s notice, Google has now decided to shut down Google Plus for a period of 10 months. However, people will still be able to use this networking platform for enterprise purposes and not for personal purposes. To improve the experience of the users using the G Suite, Google is going to notify customers the moment a data breach happens. Further initiatives on how Google is going to protect users’ data are going to be announced soon.

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