500M Windows 10 devices, half of 2018 goal

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella showcases better AI at Build 2017 but no new Surface devices

On Thursday, the company unveiled a series of apps and services, including one that's created to let Windows-based developers test iOS apps from their PCs.

"Microsoft is trying to use AI for businesses to solve business problems and app developers to make applications better", said Moor Insights and Strategy principal analyst Patrick Moorhead.

In another concession to the popularity of Apple's products, iTunes software will be added to the Windows Store - an announcement that evoked some of the loudest cheers in Thursday's crowd. And the popularity of iTunes is a fact.so this is great news, no matter how you slice it. Pardon the (Apple) pun. At the time, it was a critical move for Apple. iTunes was the dominant force for legal music downloads, but it was nowhere on the Windows PCs, which basically were the computing market at the time.

With all the other new and exciting news announced at Microsoft Build 2017 today, Microsoft released Windows 10 SDK Preview build 16190.


Microsoft's vision of artificial intelligence is to make those capabilities "available to everyone, from developers and data scientists to tech enthusiasts and students", Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft's AI and research group, said yesterday in a blog post. One app won't do it all, but with Apple on board, many developers may finally jump on the UWP platform. Microsoft is working on an all-encompassing upgrade of the Windows 10 look and feel that should finally give the Store app a lick of paint. At the very least, iTunes users will be able to get automatic updates, assuming they've enabled that functionality. Craftily, Microsoft is enabling devs to convert their existing Alexa Skills for the Windows platform. Meaning if users want to take advantage of the OS they will have to update it to the latest version of Windows 10.

The other big question is if this really matters.

Can you watch Build 2017 online? Many people don't even bother to dock and sync with a PC or Mac anymore.

At the 2015 Build developer conference, Microsoft's Windows chief Terry Myerson said the company wanted to see Windows 10 running on 1 billion devices.

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