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Build 2016 as it happened: Windows 10, Hololens, Cortana & more

Microsoft‘s Satya Nadella opened the Build 2016 conference earlier today in San Francisco. He talked about how apps are about to become a whole lot more intelligent – the highlight was an app that could describe exactly what was going on in an area to the blind, but we also saw Cortana able to book a hotel room in Skype, and bots able to place a Domino’s Pizza order, among other uses.

Windows 10 is getting a huge Anniversary update, which will be free to all Windows 10 users. It is to become more secure, with biometric security now available to apps. Ink is being brought to the front and centre – writing with a pen and paper is still the fastest way to jot down notes, but Windows 10 makes the experience seamless.

And, of course, we heard more details about HoloLens, which is shipping to developers today. Microsoft demonstrated how NASA will use Hololens to let everyday people explore Mars, and how medical students are able to learn about anatomy much faster.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. For the full run down of the Build 2016 keynote read our Build 2016 live blog below or re-watch the Build 2016 live stream at the top of this page. Also see: Windows 10 review and Windows 10 Mobile review.

Microsoft Build 2016 Live Blog: As it happened

Build 2016 Live Blog

Microsoft Build 2016 live stream: Build 2016 keynote video stream

A video stream of Build 2016 can be found at the top of this page.

The Build 2016 opening keynote took place in San Francisco on Wednesday 30 March at 4.30pm UK time (8.30am PT). Build 2016 itself runs from 30 March until 1 April 2016. Also read: Should I upgrade to Windows 10? Or how to stay on Windows 7 or 8 forever.

What we thought might happen at Build 2016 

Below you can read our thoughts on what we could see at this year’s Build conference before the event took place.

There’s a lot of interest in Build 2016 if ticket sales are anything to go by – the event sold out in just one minute! (By comparison, Build 2015 sold out in 20 minutes.) But what exactly is all the fuss about, and what is going to happen at Build 2016?

According to the Build live site: “Microsoft continues to focus on enabling developers to do amazing work as businesses and industries transform in support of the shift to a cloud-first, mobile-first world. At Build 2016 we will present the latest tools and technologies and how they can help today’s developers be their most creative and productive. 

“As always, Build is filled with strong technical sessions as well as opportunities to meet and learn from others in the industry. We’ll make sure the schedule is filled with solid content, and will strive to deliver some fun surprises along the way.”

Build 2016: Windows Redstone – When is Windows 11 coming out?

Usually at Microsoft’s Build conference we’d hear details about the next Windows operating system, but Windows 10 is the last Windows operating system Microsoft will produce. Rather than creating a Windows 11, Microsoft will continue to refine Windows 10 through lifetime updates. So while we will almost certainly hear operating system news, it will be about Windows 10 for PCs, laptops, phones and tablets, and not Windows 11.

‘Redstone’ is the next iteration of Windows 10, and it will come as a major update later this year. We don’t know exactly what Redstone will include just yet, but it’s likely to feature major facelifts to apps such as Maps and potentially a smarter Cortana.

According to our sister site PC World, Rich Turner, a product manager for Windows, tweeted (then deleted) that Build attendees are going to “freak out” over Redstone’s new capabilities. Also see: Funny things to ask Cortana.

Build 2016: New Windows phones, and potentially a Surface Phone

Windows on mobile has been pretty quiet since the launch of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL and now has around only 1 percent of the total market share. Microsoft’s best bet is to go down the productivity route, which is arguably what it does best, and produce something similar to its Surface tablet – perhaps the rumoured Surface Phone?

Build 2016: Apps ported from iOS and Android

Apps still hold back Windows on mobile devices, and Microsoft is expected to address this at Build 2016, perhaps with an update on the tools it intends to allow developers to use to port their apps from iOS and Android to Windows.

Build 2016: Latest Hololens news

Another thing we’ll likely hear more details on is HoloLens, the Developer edition of which is shipping imminently. (Click here to pre-order HoloLens.) Also see: Microsoft HoloLens is good for only two things (and they’re not holograms).

Build 2016: Will Microsoft announce Xbox VR?

Although Microsoft may one day create an Xbox VR to rival the PlayStation VR, it’s unlikely that it would work in the same way as the PlayStation VR and it’s not something the company is interested in right now.

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, was recently quoted as saying: “Would we ever do our own VR device? We could, if we thought we had something unique to add. I don’t think the unique add is to plug into the Xbox One console. That’s not the magic unlock to me.”

Read next: Best Windows tablets and best Windows phones 2016.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

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