Noah J Nelson on Wednesday, Apr. 2nd
Microsoft is holding their developer conference, Build, in San Francisco this week and today was the kickoff keynote.
All the major buzz is around the Halo-themed personal assistant coming to Windows Mobile 8.1: Cortana. Billed as a more personable answer to Siri and Google Now, Cortana will feature the voice of Jen Taylor who lends her talents to the game series.
While digital assistants are flashy, the piece of news that might be as important for Microsoft is a change in the way apps are developed. The company is making it possible for software makers to construct one Windows app that can be deployed across the entire family of Windows devices: phones, laptops, desktops and the Xbox One.
Just how easy it will be to create a single app with multiple instances will determine if this is a winning play for the Redmond-based tech giant. Microsoft has lost a lot of ground to both its old rival Apple and upstarts like Google and Amazon in the past decade. A consistent development framework that both the successful branches of the company (Xbox, Windows desktops) and the struggling parts (Windows Mobile) share might be the shot in the arm they need.