Microsoft’s Build 2022 announcements, in one handy list

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Microsoft has announced a lot of updates at its Build developer conference. The updates come to Windows 11, Microsoft Edge and Teams and bring new feature. Here’s all you need to know about the new Microsoft product updates introduced at Build 2022.

Windows 11: What’s changing?

Windows Search: Microsoft will soon allow Windows 11 users to see Microsoft Store apps directly from Windows Search in Windows 11. The feature will only be available to insiders early on, and will help developers improve the discoverability of their apps on the operating system.

The listings that users search for will get a new ‘Get from Store’ button below them, which will provide a one-touch solution to find and install apps without going to the Microsoft Store.

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Automatic restore: Further, Windows 11 is also bringing a new feature in that will let users restore their apps automatically when they move to a new PC or reset their own machines.

Similar to how the feature works on Android phones, users will then be spared from remembering all their individual apps and downloading them one-by-one while apps themselves will not have to push users every time for a reinstall. This feature too, will initially only come to insiders.

Also Read |Windows 11 gets new features for enterprise and hybrid work users

Ads on Microsoft Store: The Microsoft Store will now host ads for apps. Helping developers run their own campaigns for more visibility on their apps. These ads will begin appearing through a pilot based on Microsoft Advertising.

Android apps on Windows  Microsoft enabled access to Android apps on Windows 11 earlier this year in select regions via the Amazon Appstore. Now the company is expanding the feature, bringing it to new regions like France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. These countries will get the update to access Amazon Appstore by the end of the year.

OneNote: Microsoft is bringing a visual refresh to OneNote, its note-taking application. Changes include modern visuals, AI capabilities to help with handwriting inputs, voice inputs and even inputs directly taken from the device’s camera.

Win32 apps and widgets: Support for Win32 apps will also soon be open to all developers, and will help increase the number of Windows 11 apps available on the store. Developers will also now be able to make companion widgets for their apps that will run on the desktop to provide quick insights and a shortcut to various aspects of the app.

Microsoft Edge: What’s new?

Microsoft is bringing new features to its Edge browser and throwing in new feature to make the platform more competitive against rivals like Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Changes include availability of WebView2 for WinUI 2 and Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which the company claims will offer 85 per cent reduced render time, 33 per cent lower CPU utilisation and 32 per cent less memory utilisation compared to Internet Explorer, which is set to be discontinued next month.

Also Read |Explained: Why is Microsoft killing Internet Explorer, and what will be its future Edge?

Microsoft is also enabling new APIs on Edge that will improve notifications on the browser. Improvements are also coming for PWAs, or progressive web apps which will soon be able to display notifications similar to those of a native app. Users will also soon be able to use the share UI with these web apps and they will also be seen alongside native apps in the Microsoft Store.

The dedicated Apps page in Edge also gets a visual revamp, along with a new Apps Hub experience that enables app sync across devices in the Edge browser. Lastly, a new, simplified DevTools interface also brings a more compact Activity Bar that ads over 30 tools for developers.

Microsoft Teams: Live Share, freemium apps and more

Microsoft Teams will soon get a new feature called Live Share that will let users share their apps within Teams meetings. This will be handy for teams that need to collectively edit or create a project. Developers will also get new preview extensions via the Teams SDK that let them create Live Share experiences for their applications.

The Teams SDK will also allow developers to build a single app across Teams, Outlook and Office. Developers making apps for Microsoft Teams will also be able to offer freemium versions of their offerings, as users who want more capabilities will now also be able to make in-app purchases.

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