Microsoft Build 2015 Day 1: Android and iOS apps support, HoloLens demo, Carrier billing and more!

As the first day for Microsoft's ambitious Build conference 2015 comes to an end, we take a look at some of the major announcements which made headlines.

From adding support for Android and iOS apps on Windows 10 to Hololens demo, Microsoft made some big announcements at its ongoing developers conference. As the first day of Build 2015 comes to an end, let's take a quick look at some of the highlights of the conference.

1. Microsoft showcases HoloLens running native Windows 10 apps

At the Build conference, Microsoft demonstrated some more details of its virtual reality device, HoloLens. It shows us how the device is capable of running Windows 10 apps, at least some of them. According to a report by TheNextWeb, Hololens can run and project universal Windows apps. Universal apps are the ones optimised to run on any type of device. Microsoft also demoed some other uses of the HoloLens, for instance, a medical education showcase where a student is able to study the human anatomy through virtual reality. It should be known that a hologram is an object like any other object in the real world, with only one difference – instead of being made of physical matter, a hologram is made entirely of light.

The company hasn't announced the availability or price of the device.

2. Goodbye Internet Explorer; Hello Microsoft Edge

Microsoft unveiled the new name of its latest browser that will be seen from Windows 10 OS onwards. So far known as Project Spartan, the new browser will be called Microsoft Edge. The idea behind naming it as Edge is the fact that the new rendering engine that Microsoft is using for the Windows 10 browser is called EdgeHTML. The browser will have a new layout for new tabs which seem to have a flat design approach, favourites folder built into the browser, thumbnails of frequently visited websites, web apps and personalised information from Cortana.

As we had seen at the Windows 10 event in January, most of the features such as annotating, distraction free reading, Cortana support will be provided as default. “With the new browser you can write directly on Web pages (and share them), read online articles free from distraction or use the offline reading feature for greater convenience,” says the Microsoft blog.

If you want to try the browser, you will need a system running the latest build of Windows 10 Technical Preview (Build 10105)

3. Microsoft announces Carrier billing across all Windows 10 devices

Carrier billing lets you pay for all your digital purchases on Windows Marketplace in your phone’s monthly bill, as long your carrier allows it. Microsoft has partnered with around 90 carriers and plans to add on more.

With carrier billing, all the apps and in-app purchases show up in your smartphone bill. Microsoft claims that as soon as it made carrier billing live for its smartphones, the sales of digital content in the developing markets rose by almost 8 times.

4. Microsoft adds support for Android and iOS apps on Windows 10

In a major strategy shift, a top executive told an audience of several thousand software developers Wednesday that Microsoft will release new tools to help them quickly adapt the apps they’ve built for Apple or Android gadgets, so they will work on smartphones, PCs and other devices that use the new Windows 10 operating system coming later this year.

Microsoft hopes to get more people using the next version of its Windows software on all kinds of devices by giving them access to many of the same apps they’re already using on Apple or Android phones.

5. Office Graph API to support cross-platform integration for Office 2016

Microsoft showed off its latest Office Graph Integration APIs which will let developers to build apps that integrate with Microsoft Office 2016. Microsoft showed off some demos involving ‘add-ins’ which let you add stuff from external apps within your Office environment. In another demo, Microsoft showed how you can add in high quality pictures to a Power Point presentation using an image service add-in. In yet another demo - integration from SAP that worked in Excel on both desktop and iPad.

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