Microsoft BUILD announcements

This week Microsoft had several interesting announcements at this year’s BUILD conference keynote.

1.  All retail Xbox One consoles can become development kits free of charge.

a.  Xbox Dev Mode is available starting today as a preview and will be finalized as a full release this summer.

2.  The Hololens development kits started shipping this week, still cost $3,000 though.

a.  Showed off Holoportation- Full 3D Holographic video capture and transition. Princess Leia Star Wars scene.


3.  The cornerstone of the keynote was the Microsoft Bot Framework.

a.  This tool in preview lets developers build their own chatbots into apps.

b.  Chatbot- Programs that chat-based conversations between a user and an automated response system. Can be so realistic some users don’t realize they’re talking/texting with a chatbots.

c.   Skype will get chatbots built in for desktop, iOS and Android and its own Skype Bot platform. Examples included booking a hotel room and arranging delivery of cupcakes. 

The Microsoft-Sony Crossover

Microsoft announced it is opening up network gaming to allow players of games on Windows and Xbox to compete against players on other platforms. Rocket League will take advantage of the feature with Xbox One/PC network play allowed later this spring. This means that PlayStation players could in the future face off against Xbox One players online.

Sony responded that they’d be open to a conversation ‘with anyone’ about cross platform online play. Please note that Sony has allowed online play between PC and PlayStation since it first came out.

Microsoft 84 inch Surface Hub $19,999

Microsoft’s recently announced Surface Hub will go on pre-sale starting July 1st and ship in September.  The Surface Hub is a wall mounted computer with an integrated touch screen coming in 84 or 55 inches. The 84 inch version will cost $19,999. The smaller, 55 inch option is a $6,999.