We live in an interconnected world and the digital transformation that companies are going through are as unique as the companies themselves. The opportunity to explore new approaches and new technology has never been greater than it is today. With that in mind, I’m privileged to share with you key advancements available in the SDK for the next Windows 10 Update. At the Windows Developer Day event, we focused on three specific areas:
- Making it easier for desktop developers to modernize their applications
- Introducing AI for Windows
- Windows IoT will help you expand into the Intelligent Edge
Modern applications for a modern workplace
For those of you building new applications for the modern workplace, UWP continues to be our modern native platform and the best path forward. At the same time, we understand that developers want to reuse and preserve code investments too. For those of you who are maintaining Windows desktop applications, you can now add modern experiences into your existing Win32, WPF, or Windows Forms applications incrementally.
- Modern WebView using the Microsoft Edge rendering engine is now available to all Win32, WPF, and Windows Forms applications – providing the latest improvements from our Web Platform. Developers will also have access to the latest web technologies such as Grid and Flexbox layouts, HTTP intercepting and WebRTC.
- MSIX is our vision for a complete containerization solution and it inherits all the great features in UWP and most importantly, it applies to all Win32, WPF, Windows Forms, and UWP applications. The MSIX packaging format was open sourced today.
- Adaptive cards gives you a flexible way to present your content and data to enable you to connect with your users. Examples of high value engagement surfaces are notifications, activities in Timeline, and bots in Skype and Teams. The 1.0 release is available today.
Additionally, it’s exciting to see community development tools come to market. Advanced Installer announced their Advanced Installer Express Edition, a free tool to modernize existing Windows desktop applications and create an .appx package. We are also working with other 3rd party installers.
Artificial Intelligence for Modern Experiences
With the SDK for the next Windows 10 Update, developers can use AI to deliver more powerful and engaging experiences. Developers can use pre-trained machine learning models in their apps, to deliver AI experiences with the following benefits.
- Low latency, real-time results. Windows can perform AI evaluation tasks using the local processing capabilities of the PC, and results can be delivered quickly and efficiently.
- Reduced operational costs. Together with Microsoft’s Cloud AI platform, developers can build affordable, end-to-end AI solutions that combine training models in Azure with deployment to Windows devices for evaluation. Significant savings can be realized by reducing or eliminating costs associated with bandwidth due to ingestion of large data sets, such as camera footage or sensor telemetry. Complex workloads can be processed in real-time on the edge, with minimal sample data sent to the cloud for improved training on observations.
- Flexibility. Developers can choose to perform AI tasks on a device or in the cloud based on what their customers and scenarios needs are. AI processing can happen on the device if it becomes disconnected, or in scenarios where data cannot be sent to the cloud due to cost, size, policy, or customer preference.
Windows supports ONNX, an industry standard format for ML models that is driven by Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon Web Services, and supported by Windows IHVs including NVIDIA, Intel, Qualcomm and AMD. With the update, developers can use the AI platform across the Windows 10 devices family, including IoT edge devices, HoloLens, 2-in-1s and desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and in data centers. To learn more, read AI Platform for Windows Developers.
Windows Internet of Things in the Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge
We’ve noticed a fundamental change in the way applications are being built and the shift from being a mobile device-centric world to a world that’s more interconnected with all our devices.
Today, we shared two editions of Windows 10 IoT to help your applications excel in our interconnected world.
- Windows 10 IoT Core for small footprint smart edge devices. With NXP modules available below $50/unit, you can build great low-cost solutions on Windows 10.
- Windows 10 IoT Enterprise on powerful PC or Server-class hardware. Windows IoT Enterprise will be great for larger devices such as ATMs, medical devices, or industrial scales to name a few.
Whichever edition you choose, you can use the same tools and workflow, using Visual Studio, NuGet, remote debugging, and others that you are familiar with.
The Intelligent Edge is the interface between the cloud and the real world. It is the layer of devices that we use to access the data in the cloud onto your device. Below are some great partners we featured earlier today.
- VW’s MQB platform is a great metaphor for what you get from Windows 10 when you build a device on a more complete platform. We allow developers to be the fastest from concept to market.
- The Misty One from Misty Robotics, benefitted from the Windows 10 “chassis” and they were able to get a complete product together much faster than pulling everything together themselves.
- Xogo chose Windows 10 IoT Core on their Xogo Mini for the low-cost silicon and the ability to use the same app as on PCs.
Earlier today, we described how using Azure Cognitive Services on the Intelligent Edge could be used to inject even more capability into a digital sign—to create a sign that sees you, listens to you, talks to you, and gets to know you.
The Intelligent Cloud gives you the ability to process all the data coming from the world around you, react to events, and work in a serverless environment. Practically speaking, you can quickly and easily bring cloud microservices to Windows using Azure IoT Edge. This component of Azure is in public preview today.
This next update to Windows 10 provides you with the building blocks we have available today. With Windows machine learning and Azure IoT Edge Public Preview you can experiment on your Windows PC or pick up a low-cost Windows IoT device.
Community and Thanks
I would like to thank the MVPs and RDs who joined us in Redmond today – the Windows community is crucial to the Windows developer platform. I’d also like to thank all developers who are participating in the Windows Insiders Program and have been using the Windows Insider Preview SDK. We value your insights, suggestions, and your feedback.
I look forward to seeing what you create with the next Windows 10 Update. For more details, go to dev.windows.com. We also look forward to continuing this conversation with you at Build, so I hope you can join us there. Thank you!
Updated March 23, 2018 11:52 am