(Reuters) SAN FRANCISCO — March 30, 2016 “As an industry, we are on the cusp of a new frontier that pairs the power of natural human language with advanced machine intelligence,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

 

This morning at Microsoft’s annual Build conference in San Francisco, CEO Satya Nadella and Executive Vice President of Windows and Devices Group, Terry Myerson, shared the work Microsoft is doing to embrace the new era of conversational intelligence and create more personal computing for every customer, industry and business.

Nadella showcased improvements to Cortana and announced previews of new cloud services and toolkits designed to understand the world around us and create intelligent bots. Myerson announced that Windows 10 is now running on more than 270 million active devices and unveiled the free Windows 10 Anniversary Update available to Windows 10 customers this summer, featuring new innovations including Windows Ink, Cortana, Windows Hello and gaming.

“As an industry, we are on the cusp of a new frontier that pairs the power of natural human language with advanced machine intelligence,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we call this Conversations as a Platform, and it builds on and extends the power of the Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Windows platforms to empower developers everywhere.”

Introducing Cloud Services that Understand, Interactive Bots and the Cortana Intelligence Suite

The Cortana Intelligence Suite (CIS) is powered by cutting-edge research into big data, machine learning, perception, analytics and intelligent bots. Built on Microsoft Azure, these capabilities can be used by developers and businesses to create intelligent end-to-end solutions, including new apps that learn about our world, and bots and agents that interact with people in personalized, intelligent ways.

Microsoft announced new additions to the CIS Today, in preview.

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of intelligence APIs that allow systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret our needs using natural methods of communication.

Microsoft Bot Framework can be used by developers — programming in any language — to build intelligent bots that enable customers to chat using natural language on a wide variety of platforms including text/SMS, Office 365, Skype, Slack, the Web and more.

Microsoft demonstrated how developers can use these services to transform people’s lives. Seeing AI, a research project under development, shows how these new capabilities can help people who are visually impaired or blind better understand who and what is around them.

Microsoft also released today the Skype Bot Platform, which includes the SDK, API and Workflows all in the new Skype Bot Portal. With this platform, developers can build bots that leverage Skype’s multiple forms of communication, including text, voice, video and 3-D interactive characters.

New Windows Innovations Deliver More Personal Computing and Opportunities for Developers

Myerson announced that the company will release the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for free to all Windows 10 customers this summer, delivering significant new innovations for consumers and developers on the Universal Windows Platform, including:

An all-new Windows Ink experience allows you to write on your device as you do on paper, create sticky notes, draw on a whiteboard and easily share your analog thoughts in the digital world.

New Cortana features enable you to receive proactive guidance from Cortana throughout the day and speak with Cortana, even while your device is locked1, without logging in.

News Windows Hello features extend the security of Windows 10 to multiple devices and to Microsoft Edge, so you can log into your devices and websites with enterprise-grade security.

Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 is off to the fastest start in Windows history with over 270 million active devices, outpacing Windows 7 by 145 percent. Customers have spent more time in Windows 10 than ever before – over 75 billion hours since its launch.

The company also shipped Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition for the first time, extending the Windows experience to holograms and allowing developers to begin helping build the future of holographic computing. Microsoft highlighted commercial customers in several industries who are using HoloLens today, including Case Western Reserve University and NASA.

Other announcements from today include:

All-new capabilities for the Universal Windows Platform including full access to Cortana’s proactive intelligence and the Windows 10 Anniversary SDK – available today – offering all-new APIs and tools to integrate the latest Windows 10 innovations into apps, including Windows Ink and Windows Hello.

With the Xbox retail dev kit, any Xbox One can be a developer kit, enabling anyone to develop for the living room.