Microsoft's annual developer conference, Build 2016

Microsoft’s annual developer conference, Build 2016 gets underway this week at San Francisco, an event that is keenly watched by tech enthusiasts around the world as to what the company plans to offer the year ahead.

How to watch Microsoft Build 2016 event live stream

Starting at 8:30am PDT today, Microsoft will broadcast the live stream of keynotes and select sessions for everyone on its News Center website. The sessions will also be available on-demand approximately 24 hours after the session concludes. While the show itself runs from March 30 until April 1.

Starting time: San Francisco: 08:30AM / New York: 11:30AM / London: 4:30PM / Berlin: 5:30PM / Moscow: 6:30PM / New Delhi: 8:30 PM / Beijing: 11:30PM / Tokyo: 12:30AM (March 31st) / Sydney: 2:30AM (March 31st).

What to expect from Microsoft Build 2016

Interestingly, Microsoft has been pretty much successful in keeping the rumor mills quiet on its developments though there are a few obvious segments that are almost certain to find mention at the event.

There is the Windows 10 ecosystem that no doubt will be swaying over the entire event. Specifically, it’s Redstone release that would be garnering all the attention. Slated for launch in early July, Redstone 1 is expected to come with a lot of new features and improvements to the OS that itself has evolved over the almost one year since it has been launched.

Microsoft has already stated there will be ‘two highly requested surprises’ awaiting us at the event, and analysts are hoping it is the Live Tiles that might have been hinted upon here. Live Tiles is touted to allow users to respond to notifications within apps.

That is not all as the Cortana too is poised to get a heavy dose of enhancement which no doubt will make it more capable on not only Windows but across rival platforms Android and iOS as well.

Similarly, Microsoft is also expected to spare significant time discussing the Edge browser and what new features are to be added to it.

Microsoft has also been keen to have more developers attracted to the Windows Universal Platform (UWP), a key aspect that will determine the future of the OS. Another aspect Microsoft has been working really hard is to ensure compatibility of apps across a range of devices, be it PCs, tablets, phones, or the Xbox One. Developers too will no doubt be keen to know how to achieve the goal, that of developing apps and games that will work on both PC and the Xbox One. Plus an app store for the gaming console too might be announced at the show.

Among the apps that are likely to find mention at the event, if not the actual launch include new Skype UWP app, Instagram, and Facebook. Windows Photos too is expected to be spruced up as well. The Action Center too is slated to receive a card style design makeover.

Windows 10 Mobile is another area where Microsoft for sure will be bending over backwards to set things right. The segment is in a mess, and while the OS has been bearing all the brunt of the blame, things remain equally unimpressive with the hardware as well. All of it is unlikely to change anytime soon though it’s good to see Microsoft going all out to address issues that have been holding back mass acceptance of the platform so far.

Microsoft has been spending considerable resources towards porting Android and iOS apps to Windows 10, and new developments on this are expected to be announced at the event. While Project Astoria has since been killed, Project Islandwood has survived. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s acquisition of the Xamarin platform too is expected to be discussed along with the opportunities it presents to developers.

Further, the focus has also shifted more towards making the Windows 10 ecosystem more appealing rather than launching new hardware based on it. That may not be a bad idea though Microsoft will have to start all over again in the segment which again is a highly undesirable scenario in a segment where competition is only getting intense each day.

HoloLens is already shipping out which means it already is the time we get to know more about games and apps that will be accompanying it. The augmented reality headset is already super exciting, and developers as well as users no doubt will be keen see what additional opportunities it opens up.

Then, of course, there is the Cloud, which happens to be the priority areas of CEO Satya Nadella. As such, new advancements to the Azure cloud platform too should find mention at the event, along with how developers can tap into its resources to create more exciting apps.

Overall, plenty of things to look forward to at the upcoming Build 2016 conference.


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