Microsoft’s Build keynote is ongoing, and there’s so much news coming out for Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One, that it’s hard to keep up. The biggest announcement? Universal Windows applications – a single application that runs on phones, tablets, PCs, and yes, even the Xbox One. Of course, developers can still optimise the user interface per device, but it will be one single application binary.
Another piece of news is that several versions of Windows will be available for free: Windows for smartphones, tablets smaller than 9″, and the new Windows for the internet of things will all be free. This is, of course, an inevitable consequence of Android’s dominance.
Microsoft also shed some light on the future of Windows 8 – and the biggest announcement here is that a future update will allow Metro applications to run in windows on the desktop. In addition, Microsoft has unveiled a new Start menu, that looks like the Windows 7 Start menu with a section for live tiles. These two changes further the merger of desktop and Metro that already started with the Windows 8.1 Update.
In addition, Microsoft also gave a small preview of Office for Metro – about time – built as a universal application.
This is just a selection of things that stood out to me during the keynote, and I have to admit this is some seriously cool stuff. It might be too late – I don’t know – but that doesn’t make it any less cool.