Microsoft’s Nadella Hints At Significant Windows Update

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Major update is coming for the veteran Windows 10 operating system, CEO Satya Nadella teases at Microsoft Build conference

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella teases significant Windows update is on the way, when he opened Redmond’s Build conference for software developers this week.

In his keynote speech, Nadella said the Windows operating system will be getting better for developers, and soon it would share “one of the most significant updates of Windows of the past decade.”

This could be another major development for the veteran Windows 10 operating system, since it was launched way back in 2015, replacing Windows 8.1.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella
Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella

Windows 10

In October 2020, Microsoft sources had indicated the software giant wanted to ‘reinvigorate’ the Windows 10 user interface, with a significant design refresh to the Windows UI.

And then last week Microsoft confirmed that it no longer plans to release Windows 10X, designed for lightweight devices.

Indeed, Wndows 10X was originally supposed to arrive alongside new dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo, with a more lightweight and simplified interface and features.

But Windows 10X is now officially dead, and Microsoft is expected to incorporate its best bits into the Windows 10 OS.

Satya Nadella used his keynote speech to software developers on Tuesday to give them a bit of insight into the road ahead, and also made a number of cloud product announcements.

“Soon we will share one of the most significant updates of Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators,” Nadella was quoted by CNBC as saying during his keynote. “I’ve been self-hosting it over the past several months, and I’m incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows.”

“Our promise to you is this: We will create more opportunities for every Windows developer today and welcome every creator who is looking for the most innovative, new, open platform to build and distribute and monetize applications,” he added.

New developments

Microsoft also opened up about upcoming new developments and new products.

According to CNBC, this included:

  • Windows on ARM developer kit: Microsoft is to start selling an affordable Windows PC running ARM that’s meant to make it easier for developers to get their Windows apps running well on 64-bit ARM devices, not just traditional Intel or AMD-based systems.
  • Tools for cloud calling: Next month Microsoft will start a preview of recording of calls in audio and video format, just like in Teams. Plus, there are new open-source user-interface components developers can plug into applications when working with Azure Communication Services.
  • More Azure Arc support: Microsoft is previewing Arc support for more of its cloud services, including the Azure App Services, Azure Functions, Azure Logic Apps and Azure API Management.
  • Blockchain data storage: Microsoft announced the preview of Azure Confidential Ledger, a tool for storing critical data. Microsoft said the service runs on special hardware-secure enclaves and is tamper-proof – data cannot be erased or modified.
  • Teams customisation: Microsoft in the summer will permit developers to customise scenes for Together mode. Developers will also get access to audio and video feeds, with which they can build new features into Teams, such as translations and notes.
  • Artificial intelligence for writing code: Microsoft shows off a new way to harness the GPT-3 artificial-intelligence model from San Francisco start-up OpenAI. Inside the Power Apps Studio application for writing software, non-technical people will be able to type in words describing what they want to add to an app, and GPT-3 will generate candidates for the necessary underlying code in Microsoft’s Power Fx programming language.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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