Microsoft is all set to launch its annual Build Developer Conference, wherein the company lays out its software plans for the rest of the year.
While Build 2015 was highly focused on the Windows 10 operating system, Build 2016, which runs from March 30 to April 1 in San Francisco, is expected to focus on augmented reality with Microsoft's HoloLens in the spotlight.
For those that are interested in the event but are not able to attend, Microsoft will show a live stream of Build 2016 in the event's official website. Here is what to expect from the three-day event.
The augmented reality headset will be front and center in Build 2016, with attendees to be allowed to demo the device during the conference.
The $3,000 HoloLens will also start to ship to developers on the first day of Build 2016, with developers expected to create apps for the device despite it not planned to be released to consumers for at least another year.
Real apps and games for the HoloLens could be displayed at Build 2016, which would provide a preview of what consumers can expect from the breakthrough device.
While not the major focus of the conference, Windows 10 will still have a large presence, primarily due to Microsoft's plan to unveil the next big update for the operating system.
Codenamed "Redstone," the update will introduce new features and improvements to Windows 10 including Edge browser extensions, better Photos app functionality, a smarter Cortana, a card-based user interface for the Windows 10 Action Center and Cortana, and radial menus which were first seen in Windows 8.
Microsoft has not found much success with the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL, which were released last year as the first smartphones to be powered by Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft could take Build 2016 as the opportunity to reveal its plans for the mobile operating system, which would likely focus on its major selling point of Windows 10 Mobile apps working seamlessly with Windows 10 PCs.
Microsoft has been hinting that Windows 10 apps will soon be made available to the Xbox One, with the company now ready to reveal new apps and a store for the gaming console. Through the feature, developers will be able to create apps and games that could run on both the Xbox One and Windows Phones, for example, which would further boost the Xbox One's longevity and improve the offerings of Windows Phones.
Microsoft is also expected to talk a lot about Azure, its cloud computing platform and service, including the improvements coming to tools and cloud services. The advantages of Azure will also likely be reiterated, including how developers can utilize the cloud for that apps that they are creating.
Microsoft has made several acquisitions over the previous year, including Sunrise, Wunderlist, SwiftKey and Talko. The company has previously said that Sunrise will begin to appear as Outlook mobile's calendar, but as for the rest of the acquired apps, how they would be folded into current Office apps could be revealed in Build 2016.
"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," Microsoft wrote in the event's official page. The expectations that the company would fulfill at the event would soon be revealed.