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March 29, 2016

Build 2016: What to expect from Microsoft’s developer conference and how to watch the keynote

by John_A

Microsoft Build is the company’s software developer conference that is held every year and gives developers and consumers a chance to see what Microsoft is planning for the future.

Apple has WWDC in June, Google has Google I/O in May, and Microsoft has Build in March.

It’s not a launch event per se, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect plenty of announcements from Microsoft across its ever growing line-up of products and services ranging from Windows 10 to Xbox to HoloLens.  

Pocket-lint will be covering all the latest news from San Francisco this week. We are also hosting the live stream (right here) of the keynote event that starts at 8:30am Pacific Time in the US or 5:30pm in the UK.

What can we expect from the keynote and conference at this year’s Build 2016? Here are some of the rumours and rumblings that we are expecting to hear from the company in San Francisco this week.

Windows 10 announcements at BUILD 2016

Windows 10 launched last year and Microsoft is likely to use the developer conference to push forward with any new incremental features and services it wants to add to the operating system. 

Microsoft has already teased a number of highly requested features for its Windows 10 Live Tiles, so we can expect to see something on this front.

That might be, as many hope, the introduction of interactive Live Tiles that will make it easier to respond to notifications within apps, and the possible inclusion of allowing you to answer and send text messages on the desktop with your phone. It’s a feature similar to Handoff in Apple’s Mac OS X and will be welcomed. 

There is also chatter that Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual personal assistant will be getting more advancements and a continued strengthening of the company’s cloud and office offerings. 

Windows 10 mobile announcements at BUILD 2016

With Microsoft’s Lumia phones struggling to capture consumer imagination and market share falling rapidly over the last couple of months, Windows 10 mobile is going to be the elephant in the room. 

The company will have to do something at the developer conference to woo developers to create the amazing apps the platform still needs, and Build 2016 might be the place to do that.

So far Microsoft’s plans has involved a “universal” approach, so we might see more about how the company plans to continue that cross over from desktop to tablet to mobile.

Xbox announcements at BUILD 2016

Having just had the Xbox Spring showcase where Microsoft’s gaming division showcased a number of new games and features for the console, and GDC quickly after that, Xbox at Build is likely to be focused on cross platform support and getting universal apps on your TV. 

This could be a chance to show Xbox fans that Microsoft’s efforts aren’t just about games, but much more. 

HoloLens announcements at BUILD 2016

With the first consumer units of Oculus Rift shipping this week and HTC Vive coming through people’s letter boxes in April, Microsoft will want to make sure that people know about Augmented Reality and the Microsoft HoloLens.

We are expecting plenty of announcements surrounding HoloLens at Build 2016. We are unlikely to see a price and shipping date, but with the promise of a huge HoloLens demo area at the event and the first dev kits shipping this week, it is a great chance for developers to experience it up close, and consumers to get a real understanding of how they should expect to use it when it does eventually come out.

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