Build 2014: Microsoft shows off the future of Windows


At this year's Build event in San Francisco, Microsoft detailed its vision for the future of Windows, and it covers a wide range of devices and features. There's Cortana, a new voice controlled assistant for Windows Phone; universal apps that run on every Microsoft device, including your Xbox One; and even a free version of the operating system for devices under 9-inches. You can keep up with all of the latest right here.

90 Seconds of The Verge: Microsoft Build 2014

9 updates and 1824 comments below.

Apr 07 1:30p

Microsoft is finally catching up to the future

"We started out as a company that was focused on developers…we’re again in that era now," proclaimed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage at the company’s Build conference last week. The stakes are high: long renowned for its great relationship with developers, Microsoft is now watching them slip away. Last week’s dev-focused event was Nadella’s chance to prove that he would fight to win them back. In this moment of crisis, he stands poised to radically alter Redmond’s future.

Take free...

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Apr 05 2:53p

Microsoft unveils Windows in the car, battles Apple CarPlay

Microsoft has been powering a lot of different car entertainment systems over the years. Ford, Kia, BMW, Nissan, and Fiat have all used special versions of Windows to create their own interfaces and systems, but Microsoft is also focusing on its own "Metro" user interface for its Windows in the car future. At the company's Build developer conference this week, Microsoft's Steve Teixeira revealed what that future will look like. It's actually a lot like Apple's idea of CarPlay, a method to...

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Apr 02 8:35p

Skype for Windows Phone 8.1 has FaceTime-like calling and Cortana control

Skype will soon release an app for Windows Phone 8.1 that will allow users to upgrade their regular calls to video calls and use personal assistant Cortana to start Skype calls using voice control. The app will integrate into Windows Phone 8.1, adding a video button to the phone's standard dialer menu that will activate its camera, turning a cellular call to a Skype video call.

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Watch this: Microsoft's three-hour Build keynote in seven minutes

Microsoft spent three hours today showing developers where it's going in the next few months, and beyond. As usual, its annual Build conference was chock full of code demos, but the company also spent its time showing off the next update to Windows Phone, which features a voice assistant named Cortana. The new tool shares the same name and voice of the AI character from Bungie's Halo series, and lets you search Bing and do things on your phone with your voice. It's playing catchup to voice...

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Nokia announces Lumia 930, a flagship for Windows Phone 8.1

Nokia has unveiled the Lumia 930, a new flagship smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1. The new phone has a 5-inch, 1080p display housed inside of a rectangular body with metallic sides and a colored back, either orange, green, white, or black. It bears a strong resemblance to the Lumia Icon too, which was introduced for Verizon earlier this year. "The 930 is just a beautifully crafted device," Stephen Elop, Microsoft's upcoming device chief, said while introducing the phone.


Microsoft is bringing the Start Menu back

Millions asked for it, and Microsoft is providing it: the old Start Menu is coming back. Kind of. At its Build conference today, Microsoft announced a new Start Menu that looks like a hybrid of the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8. It's around the same size as the Windows 7 menu, but also features miniature Live Tiles along one side.

In the same demonstration, Microsoft also showed a new mode that allows modern Windows 8 apps to run in the desktop environment inside their own windows. It's a...

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Microsoft making Windows free on devices with screens under 9 inches

Microsoft today said it will make Windows free of charge for phones and tablets with screens smaller than 9 inches, a move designed to help boost the company's market share. The announcement comes alongside plans to let developers make universal applications that work on all devices running Microsoft's software — both Windows Phone and Windows. That feature is headed to Windows 8.1 as well as Windows Phone 8.1, which was also detailed on stage and is arriving on mobile devices in the next few...

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Microsoft unveils redesigned Office for Windows touchscreens

Using Office on a touch screen will get a whole lot easier soon. Microsoft has unveiled a new version of Office that gives each of its apps a mode built around use on a touchscreen — a feature that their predecessors quite noticeably lacked.

The new version, which Microsoft calls "a preview of a work in progress," looks quite a bit like the Office that was unveiled for the iPad just last week: apps have a simple bar on top, leaving most of the screen below for viewing documents. Most...

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Microsoft's new universal Windows apps run everywhere, from phones to the Xbox One

Microsoft is introducing universal Windows apps, a way for developers to create a single app that works across Windows phones, tablets, PCs, and the Xbox One. "All of us want the same app experiences across all devices," David Treadwell, a Microsoft operating system executive said while introducing the new type of apps. "Yet today there’s no easy way to create apps that work across all form factors."


Windows Phone 8.1 brings a new look and a Siri rival named Cortana

"I'm thrilled for you all to now meet our truly personal digital assistant for Windows Phone," says Joe Belfiore as he introduces the Bing-powered Cortana voice assistant. Belfiore is demonstrating all the new features in Windows Phone 8.1 at Microsoft's Build conference, with Cortana being the major highlight.

Cortana is very much Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri, Samsung's S Voice, and all the other voice assists software suites out there. It lets you manage basic phone functions, set...

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