Earlier this month, Microsoft held its annual Build developer conference. This conference boasts several big announcements from Microsoft, and this year was no different. This year, these announcements included advancements in artificial intelligence and mobile development.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic in development right now. Microsoft itself is infusing AI into all their products and services, from Azure to Windows to Xbox. Additionally, Microsoft has seen the interest in AI from developers, and is working to make the capabilities more accessible and available to everyone, no matter their level of investment or expertise. In fact, Harry Shum, Microsoft’s vice president of Microsoft’s AI and research group, stated that the tech giant now offers 29 different cognitive services to developers. This means that it is now possible to incorporate AI capabilities in new apps with only a few additional lines of code.

Another cool artificial intelligence reveal during the Build conference is the Presentation Translator. This add-in enables real-time translations in a multitude of languages during PowerPoint presentation. Imagine being able to give a presentation to an audience that speaks a completely different language and not needing a translator for everyone to understand the talk. The official release date for this Microsoft Garage project is yet unknown.

For more on Microsoft’s AI announcements, check out this news article.

Mobile Development

The Build conference was also full of announcements concerning Microsoft’s Visual Studio Mobile Center. For instance, support for git repositories from Visual Studio Team Services and Bitbucket was announced. All repositories and services with have the same capabilities and features. Microsoft is also giving developers more flexibility and choice when it comes to their mobile automated tests. Support for XCUITest and Espresso, the native test frameworks for iOS and Android, was announced. Furthermore, developers are also able to port existing tests to Mobile Center Test.

Additionally, Mobile Center now allows a developer to promote the latest build of their app directly to an app store or company portal. This feature is currently available with Google Play, with coming support for Intune, the App Store, and the Windows Store.

Speaking of mobile, the Azure app is making its way to iOS and Android devices. In fact, I just found the Azure app in the App Store from my iPhone just now. Microsoft is clearly moving toward other platforms rather than leaning toward vendor lock in.

For further information on the Mobile Center announcements, visit the Visual Studio Blog.


It is a very exciting time to be a developer. It is important to note that this technology, as sated by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella during the Day 1 keynote, is meant to empower people to do more. Artificial intelligence is beginning to make its way into the mainstream, and we are here to pave the way.
For the Azure app, visit your mobile app store.

To view the Build keynotes and sessions in full, visit Channel 9.