It’s time to look at Microsoft’s Build conference. This is where the company announces upcoming changes and new features for existing products such as Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Windows 10. CEO Satya Nadella kicked off the 2019 conference on 6th May and a lot has been announced since.
New Features For Chromium Edge
IE was Microsoft’s standard browser for a long time and it didn’t improve much over the years. Competitors like Chrome were able to woo users offering a better experience. Microsoft realized their mistake and built Edge from the ground up, it was a great browser but many features present in Chrome were missing, especially extensions. Finally, the company decided to build a new Edge browser on the Chromium engine.
Edge Chromium is still in beta but a lot has been announced for it in the build conference. First up are privacy features and Edge will start blocking website trackers. You can choose the extent of the blocker from the “Privacy and Security” tab above. The balanced setting will be ideal for most users as Strict blocking can cause some sites to malfunction.
Edge Chromium will also have an IE mode built in for businesses still using very old websites for work. This way businesses wouldn’t be forced to use the old IE browsers and the IE rendering engine build in Edge Chromium should provide a seamless experience.
Cortana Will Get Better At Conversations
Cortana was Microsoft’s take on a Digital Assistant and it worked well for the most part. Although Windows phones didn’t really take off and hardly anyone uses a digital assistant on their computer. This led Microsoft to reposition Cortana as a skill on existing assistant platforms like Google Assistant and Alexa. This can give Cortana a meaningful existence due to its strong integration with Office 365 apps.
This year Microsoft will improve Cortana’s conversational abilities and the assistant will be better at answering follow up questions. Microsoft bought Semantic Machines last year and it seems this has helped the company improve Cortana on a functional basis.
New Customizable Command Line
Microsoft will finally include a fully featured command line interface on their OS, something which was missing all these years. The new program will be called Windows Terminal and will include GPU-accelerated text rendering along with tabs and themes.
This will definitely developers happy, who as a community have asked for this for a long time. Powershell already provides a decent scripting environment, but Windows Terminal will be a big step up.
Build conference 2019 had a host of other announcements like a new Edge browser for MacOS and native react support. You can catch up on all the announcements here. We will also be updating the article with new announcements as they come by.