Ever since its pivot into a enterprise-focused company, Microsoft’s Build developer conference has had little to offer mainstream consumers. However, the conference still gives us a glimpse into the company’s future, and how it aims to take its services forward.

It seems most of this year’s announcements will revolve around the company’s Azure Cloud services.

More on the HoloLens

It’s safe to say that no mixed, virtual or augmented reality headset has shown as much promise as Microsoft’s HoloLens device. The company announced the HoloLens 2 at Mobile World Congress this year, and we should hear more about its future at Build this year, along with a HoloLens 2 Development Edition.

We already know it has Spatial 3D audio, eye-tracking and is noticeably more ergonomic, of course.

HoloLens 2 also connects to Microsoft’s Azure services. “We have barely scratched the surface for possibilities with Mixed Reality development," wrote Scott Guthrie, Executive VP, Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft in an official blog post on May 2.

New Azure “innovations"

Guthrie also gave us a glimpse into the new Azure “innovations" we will hear about at Build 2019.

He announced new AI services that “makes it easier for developers to build AI-powered applications", adding AI to Azure Search, and Azure Cognitive Services platform to give “bots and apps the ability to see, hear, respond, translate, reason and more".

It doesn’t end there. Going by Guthrie’s post, it seems Azure will take up most of the time at Build this year. The company is also going to talk about IoT Plug and Play, a new addition to its Azure services. “Previously, software had to be written specifically for the connected device it supported, limiting the scale of IoT deployments. IoT Plug and Play provides developers with a faster way to build IoT devices…" wrote Guthrie.

There will also be more on the Azure Blockchain Service, and Microsoft’s recently announced partnership with JP Morgan’s Ethereum platform, Quorum.

Windows?

Interestingly, Microsoft has kept mum on the future of Windows. While Build usually sees some feature additions, announcements and developments around Windows not much is known this time. Wide expectations are for Microsoft to improve its cross-platform functionalities between Windows and Android/iOS.

Gaming and Xbox

Microsoft recently announced an all-digital version of the Xbox, and with Google Stadia and Apple Arcade making the news, some expect the company to talk about its own cloud gaming platform. Will it? We shall find out.

Microsoft Build 2019 begins at around 9pm IST today, and you can catch the livestream on this website.

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