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In addition to the all the Azure news and Continue on PC updates, Microsoft naturally announced a slew of developer tools at Build 2018. The updates encompassed Visual Studio, .NET, Sets in Windows 10, Fluent Design, Microsoft Teams, Power BI, Excel, and Outlook, among others.
Separately, Microsoft committed to more revenue to developers for consumer apps in the Microsoft Store, excluding games. Apps sold in Microsoft Store will give developers 95 percent of the revenue earned purchasing the app or any in-app purchases, while the revenue share will be 85 percent for cases where Microsoft delivers a customer to the developer. Previously, developers received 70 percent of the revenue. This new fee structure is applicable to purchases made on Windows 10 PCs, Windows Mixed Reality, Windows Phone, and Surface Hub devices, but excludes purchases on Xbox consoles.
Unlike last year, where the big headline story was Visual Studio for Mac, Microsoft doesn’t have a major unveiling across all its various developer tools. The company did, however, highlight a Stack Overflow survey that found Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code are the top two most popular developer tools. It really wouldn’t be a Build conference without something to say about Visual Studio.
Visual Studio previews
Microsoft launched two Visual Studio previews today: IntelliCode and Live Share. Both are optional, though they are likely to be integrated into Visual Studio once they launch out of preview.
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Visual Studio IntelliCode is an extension that uses AI to help with everyday software development. The IntelliCode preview offers intelligent suggestions to improve code quality and productivity, Microsoft says.
Visual Studio Live Share lets developers collaborate in real time with team members who can edit and debug directly from Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code. Live Share works with any language for any scenario, including serverless, cloud-native, and IoT development.
The Visual Studio App Center will be natively available on the GitHub Marketplace. As a result, any GitHub developer building mobile apps for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows can automate DevOps processes from within the GitHub experience.
Sets, which isn’t necessarily its final name, is an upcoming Windows 10 feature that lets you run multiple apps in a single window, using tabs. You can open new tabs in a given window for whatever you’re working on: relevant research documents, files, websites, and so on. This completely flips the idea of “windows” in Windows on its head, as a single app’s window can have tabs for a variety of apps.
Microsoft wants to let developers reach and engage new audiences with Sets. Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps will work with Sets from the start, while Win32 and web apps will require a few “simple changes,” but should work within Sets as well.
Microsoft unveiled its Fluent Design System at Build 2017 last year as a set of guidelines for software running on Windows 10. Think of it as the successor to the company’s Metro/Modern UI design language.
Fluent Design got a few updates today in the form of UWP XAML Islands. The new addition gives developers more capable, flexible, and powerful XAML controls, regardless of which UI stack they use — whether it’s Windows Forms, WPF, or native Win32.
Microsoft Teams, the company’s chat-based collaboration tool that’s part of Office 365, competes with Facebook’s Workplace, Google’s Hangouts Chat, and Slack. It’s used by 200,000 organizations, as of two months ago.
Microsoft is giving developers more access to these potential users with new and updated Microsoft Teams APIs in the Microsoft Graph. Support for organization-specific applications in Teams will now allow developers to create experiences based on the needs of a specific business or industry and to publish them to the Microsoft Teams app store.
Microsoft Teams is also getting deeper SharePoint integration. This means being able to insert a SharePoint page directly into channels and using script-based frameworks like React to manipulate content within SharePoint pages.
Finally, Microsoft shared that Adaptive Cards are now supported within Microsoft 365 so developers can create rich interactive content in messages coming from their apps, bots, or services to Teams and Outlook. Users will thus be able comment on an issue in GitHub directly within a Teams chat or pay bills using Microsoft Pay directly in an email.