By Rich W Woods
Today was the first day of Microsoft’s annual developer conference, Microsoft Build and boy, was it amazing. the keynote was a whopping three hours long and it was just jam-packed with great stuff. So what did they talk about? A lot. Have a look.
.NET Framework on Mac OS and Linux
Last year, we heard that Microsoft was going to make the .NET Framework open source. Today, we found out that they’re officially making the .NET Framework available on Mac OS and Linux.
So what does this mean? Think of it like Java. Java was designed to be the first cross-platform programming language. This is possible because the Java compiler compiles the code in a proprietary way and the user has a Java Runtime Environment on his computer, which interprets that compiled code into native machine language.
In other words, it turns .NET apps into cross-platform apps.
Visual Studio Code Available on Mac OS and Linux
Remember Visual Studio Online? It’s Visual Studio as a web app, allowing developers to create apps from any platform; however, until now, there has never been a code editor for Visual Studio on these platforms. Visual Studio Code does include what many developers consider to be the most powerful tool available, Intellisense.
Four New Types of Apps Can be Submitted to Windows 10 Store
This is big. The Windows 8.1 Store is terrible. The reason for this is because all apps submitted to the Store needed to be full screen apps, which could only be used on Windows 8/8.1. Why would a developer develop those, which 14% of Windows users can use, when they could make a desktop app which 100% of Windows users can use?
This was pretty cool. You can submit your web site to the Store and a user will be able to download the web site as an app and it will run as an app, rather than in a browser. It can use in-app purchases and send push notifications.
.NET and Win32 Apps
This is huge. Windows 8.1 didn’t support so-called desktop apps in the Store, which was a bit ridiculous because even Microsoft’s own apps, such as Office and Visual Studio, couldn’t be purchased through the Store. How are we supposed to take a Store seriously when you can’t even get Microsoft’s own apps?
Java/C++ Android Apps
I was worried about this yesterday when I heard the rumors. If they ported Android apps over, it would ultimately mean the end of Windows Phone, since no one in their right mind would develop a Windows Phone app after that. Luckily, they only said that you can reuse most of your code from Android apps, which, like the rest, is a huge improvement.
This was the real shocker. Objective-C is the language that iOS apps are written in, so iPhone developers will be able to easily port their apps over to Windows Phone.
Project Spartan will be Called Microsoft Edge
It’s funny. Project Spartan has become a brand in its own right over the last few months since it was officially announced back in January; however, we knew that it wasn’t going to be called Project Spartan, and now we know it will be called Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft Edge will also support extensions, which is a huge deal, as Google Chrome has become an entire platform due to extensions.
Continuum Mode for Phones
We’ve seen continuum mode for tablets. It allows the user to seamlessly switch between desktop mode and tablet mode with the click of a button. Cool stuff.
Continuum mode for phones allows the user to plug a Windows 10 phone into a monitor and turn it into a PC. The PC will run universal apps from the phone, but it will show the desktop version of the universal app.
HoloLens! HoloLens! HoloLens!
Today, we learned more about HoloLens. There was nothing so exciting as release date and pricing, but we saw more stuff that we kind of knew.
For one thing, all HoloLens apps are universal apps, which means that one app will not only work on Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox, but it will work on HoloLens as well.
They also showed off a feature where a user says “follow me” and he walked away and the content followed him.