There is an infamous video that shows a perspiration-laden Steve Ballmer pacing around a stage screaming "Developers!" over and over in what some would describe as a manic display. While the video is amusing to look at now, it certainly raised a few eyebrows at the time. Fortunately, we don't see the CEO of a huge multi-billion-dollar enterprise acting unhinged in public very often.
However, despite his antics in the video, Ballmer was right to highlight the importance of developers to Microsoft's future success. To reap the benefits of IoT, cloud computing, and a mobile work environment, enterprises must be able to develop and deploy useful applications at all levels of the organization quickly and efficiently. Transforming the tremendous amount of data produced by an interconnected business world into useful data is how successful enterprises separate themselves from the unsuccessful.
Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft applies a more introspective approach to developer interaction by periodically hosting a Windows Developer Day. One such event held in March focused on key advancements made available in the SDK for the next Windows 10 Update, which could see a general release as soon as April 2018.
SEE: Hiring kit: IoT developer (Tech Pro Research)
Windows Developer Day
Enterprises developing applications for the next update to Windows 10 will have access to three new technologies designed to take advantage of a modern interconnected business environment.
No matter how modern and forward-looking an enterprise may be, there are typically existing legacy applications that must be maintained. However, with the latest Windows Update SDK, Microsoft has provided developers with tools that can wrap those legacy applications in modern containers. Using tools like the Microsoft Edge rendering engine, MSIX, and adaptive cards, developers can create a modern experience for existing applications.
Artificial intelligence is the latest practical tool for application developers. The new SDK provides access to Windows AI, which is a framework that developers can use to create applications which take advantage of artificial intelligence models. Applications can use these tools to implement AI at the device level, in the intelligent cloud or at the fast-growing intelligent edge of IoT.
SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)
Speaking of developing for the edge, the SDK also introduces two new features for Windows IoT. Out on the very edge, where the development needs are specific, the SDK provides Windows 10 IoT Core for small footprint smart edge devices. For large devices that require more on-site processing capability, there is Windows 10 IoT Enterprise which is designed to run on server-class hardware.
Microsoft's primary business enterprise lineup of products and services (Windows 10, Office 365, and Azure) can only reach their full potential when organizations take advantage of their features to create useful applications. Courting enterprise developers with modern tools and features plays an intricate part in Microsoft overall business strategy.
The latest Windows Developer Day highlights the new tools and features available to developers as they prepare for next Windows Update. Judging by the focus of the SDK, applications developed at the enterprise level in the next few years, for better or worse, will likely have AI and IoT components. Is your enterprise ready for this?
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Is your enterprise ready for an AI business environment? Are you? Share your thoughts and opinions with your peers at TechRepublic in the discussion thread below.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.