Microsoft targets developers with new tools and features
- 08 May, 2018 05:30
Joe Belfiore (Microsoft)
Microsoft is pushing more of its Microsoft 365 services across multiple platforms, through launching a raft of new tools for developers to tap into.
Unveiled during Build 2018 developers conference, the tech giant is introducing a set of features and updates across a variety of devices and platforms, designed to "blend" web and application environments for end-users and developers.
"Last year at Build, you heard us talk about our commitment to meeting our customers where they are – across platforms," Microsoft Windows corporate vice president, Joe Belfiore, said.
"We’re expanding this work to not only bring more Microsoft 365 services across platforms and into applications, but to better connect customers’ existing PC experiences with their phones, helping to increase engagement for developers."
Specifically, Microsoft has introduced a set of technology experiences aimed at addressing a more mobile workforce, including streamlining mobile Windows experiences across a variety of devices and platforms while blending web and app experiences.
Among these new “experiences” is the new Your Phone app, which enables a window into a user’s phone from that user’s PC, designed for "seamless transition" of content such as messages, photos and notifications across shared customers devices.
According to Belfiore, the Your Phone app will begin to roll out to the Windows Insider Program this week.
At the same time, the Microsoft Launcher app on Android is designed to support enterprise customers by providing an easy point of access to line of business applications via Microsoft Intune.
Additionally, Microsoft Edge browsing sessions from an iPhone or iPad are now included in the Timeline experience on a Windows 10 PC.
Along with fresh updates to Microsoft’s Sets Windows management feature, Adaptive Cards are now supported within Microsoft 365, providing developers with the capability to create "rich interactive content" in messages coming from apps, bots, or services into Teams and Outlook.
Belfiore also flagged new opportunities with Microsoft Graph and new tools within Microsoft 365, designed to give developers the flexibility to design and create in preferred languages and frameworks.
These include new and updated Microsoft Teams APIs in the Microsoft Graph and support for organisation-specific applications in Teams, aimed at seeing developers create tailored, intelligent experiences based on the unique needs of a business or industry.
Also announced was deeper SharePoint integration into Microsoft Teams, enabling users to pin a SharePoint page directly into channels to enable deeper collaboration.
Developers can use modern script-based frameworks like React within their projects to add more pieces that can be organised within SharePoint pages, the vendor added.
Delving deeper, new support for Power BI Visualisations in Excel is aimed at making it possible for developers to extend the custom visuals created for Power BI to Excel, giving them an opportunity to reach more users.
Additionally, fresh tweaks to Microsoft’s Fluent Design System have been released help developers create immersive, deeply engaging experiences with Microsoft’s updated design language.
The fresh round of new solutions come as the company talks up its artificial intelligence (AI) offering, which was also given a boost of new tools and features during the Build 2018 event, along with a pledge to invest $25 million in a program to use AI to create solutions for people with disabilities.