All the important announcements from Microsoft Build 2017

Microsoft held the annual Build conference last night amidst a lot of speculation and hype. As expected, the company had a handful of attractive products to show off during the course of the event. While some of them were enterprise driven or focused on the developers, there were a few announcements meant for the regular users as well. So let’s have a look at some of these features.

Cortana powered speaker by HP and Intel

Microsoft announced that it has struck partnerships with HP and Intel to launch Cortana powered Bluetooth speakers to compete with the likes of Google Home and Amazon Echo. Further, Microsoft has previously announced a deal with Harman Kardon for a similar speaker, suggesting that there could be multiple Cortana powered speakers by the end of the year.

Visual Studio for Mac

Microsoft’s popular app development tool, Visual Studio was announced for Macs. This was available as a preview before, and much to the joy of the developers, the full version was announced yesterday. This will encourage Visual Studio developers to get more work done on their Macs, rather than having to rely on a Windows machine.

Read: Microsoft Build 2017: the biggest highlights and news (opens in new tab)

Translation plugin for PowerPoint

You will now be able to translate your PowerPoint presentations in real time using this new translation tool. You will also be able to add subtitles below your presentations. Content can be translated in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. One of the key features of this plugin is that it doesn’t change the original formatting of the text while translating.

Azure mobile apps

Microsoft took the opportunity to announce a dedicated Azure app for Android and iOS devices, letting users control MS’s cloud services through mobile. The app will come with support for Azure Cloud Shell as well. Further, the company also talked about a Windows 10 app that’s currently in the making.

Also Read: Microsoft is successful because it gives back to communities: Nadella

Cortana Skills

This is a pretty exciting feature as it allows users and developers to make Cortana smarter by teaching the virtual assistant some new skills. This step has been taken keeping the ever growing competition in mind. By allowing the users to be in charge of what Cortana learns, the service is always going to be smarter.

Windows 10 now powering half a billion machines

Microsoft also had a major landmark to announce during the Build 2017 conference. As of now, there are over 500 million devices running Windows 10, which is a big feat for the company.