As Microsoft had slept through the mobile revolution, wants to beat Apple and Google
In Seattle completed the Microsoft Build conference for developers. After first two presentations it became clear how the company is going to compete with the ecosystems of Apple and Google in a situation when they lost their own mobile ecosystem. Edition of the Daily Afisha reported on the latest announcements and plans of Microsoft.
Applications for competing platforms
While Apple and Google were engaged in smartphones, the former CEO Steve Ballmer laughed at them: Android called “unmanaged”, and the iPhone is not a very good device for e-mail, which nobody will buy for $ 500. Meanwhile, in may last year, the share of Windows Phone fell below 1%. Instead of developing its ecosystem, Microsoft has decided to migrate their products to strangers. Turned out pretty good. Word and Excel on phones free and convenient, Outlook is one of the best mail apps, thanks to developers Acompli and Sunrise Lens — a great document scanner. For iOS keyboard released Flow for Android — sheath Arrow. At the Build conference three years ago talking about plans for Windows Phone on this Build was thinking about her in the least. All new products showed on the iPhone 7, Pixel or Galaxy S8.
Hub for iOS devices and Android
Fall will release a Windows update with new interface design. It makes laptop hub associated with smartphones on iOS and Android. For this is the Microsoft Graph data system that remembers what was open on the laptop so you can continue from the same place on the iPhone or “Google phone”. You edited the document in Word, it’s not finished and went on business. Cortana will remember it and open the document on the unfinished paragraph. Read the news, shut down the laptop and went to work in the subway Cortana will open nedochitannaya note.
In Windows will appear in the chronicle of open programs, files and websites. She works as a news feed on Facebook, where instead of posts — links to programs and files. You can not run yesterday’s document from the folder, and to rewind the timeline and open the document in one click (maybe it will be useless if all the work happens in the browser).
Has a similar system from Apple, but it only works with MacBook, iPhone and iPad. Microsoft Graph is open to developers, so move your work from one platform to another can not only Word and Excel.
Bet on the voice assistant
The main element of a workflow on multiple platforms — assistant Cortana. It connects devices to each other, remembers the place where they stopped work, and forwards notifications from your phone to your laptop. The assistant has big plans. For developers opened a set of tools to understand new commands (for example, asking Skyscanner price of flights to Madrid), turned to the bots and recognize the commands that were written to Alexa.
Apple also has a set of tools to create new commands, but Siri works in one ecosystem and Cortana three. If it will connect the workflow between them, it might be useful for those who have a laptop on Windows and iPhone. Cortana still not available in Russian.
The relationship between competitive devices
To work on multiple devices not only helps Cortana. First, there are cloud clipboard. It works the same as Apple, but between several ecosystems: for example, you can copy the text to the address on the laptop and insert it into Google Maps on your iPhone. While this only works with the keyboard SwiftKey, but the API is open to developers, so perhaps the buffer will appear in other applications. Secondly, Cortana will download the file from the OneDrive cloud only when when it receives requests from the application. This is an important part of the work with timeline and interaction between devices. Therefore, the file is not stored on the device permanently and does not take place.
New ecosystem for bots and applications
The Microsoft ecosystem on other platforms began to Supplement last year when introduced the framework to work with bots. The company missed the mobile revolution, so is trying to occupy a niche in the promising topic, most text-bots. Using framework create bots for Messenger, Telegram, Slack and other platforms. Last fall tools for the Microsoft bots were more popular tools Facebook: Microsoft created 45 000 people, the program Facebook — 34 000. Now the program involved 130 000 developers. The development of bot investment in the future. While they are not very useful and not understand so many questions. With the development of neural networks and natural language recognition bots will become better and more useful in areas where application is not so good (e.g. customer support).
Binding users to their services
Microsoft’s plan may sound like this: the company invested in the development of competing ecosystems, produces applications, makes them better, and then communicates with Windows using your cloud storage and Cortana. For people with a laptop on Windows and iPhone is convenient — they get this communication between the devices, if they are in the same ecosystem. If they like it, they will begin to use Cortana, OneDrive, and other products. Maybe then they will subscribe to them and begin to make money. It is unknown whether the developers of the new tools and whether the advantages of communication between devices so useful that people will use them.