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Microsoft Build Day 2: AI is Eating the World… and Enabling Neat Developer Tools

Microsoft Build Day 2: AI is Eating the World… and Enabling Neat Developer Tools
Pieces for Developers featured on a slide from MS Build.

Day 2 of Microsoft Build launched Windows Copilot, DevHome, and DevBox. It also highlighted a few partners, including Pieces for Developers!

Let’s get into it 👇

Windows Copilot

During Microsoft's annual developer conference, Build 2023, the software giant revealed an amazing new feature: Windows Copilot. The AI copilot is intended to bolster productivity and stimulate creativity by offering task suggestions and completions as users type and use their Windows operating system-enabled devices.

Windows Copilot leverages a Large Language Model (LLM) that has been trained on extensive datasets of textual data and code. This training empowers Windows Copilot to comprehend the context of user input, and provide highly relevant suggestions.

Windows Copilot demonstrates its versatility across a broad spectrum of activities. It can offer appropriate code snippets to developers, which can save time and decrease the likelihood of errors. Moreover, it's designed to assist in real-time task completions. For instance, if a user is in the process of composing an email, Windows Copilot can step in, suggest suitable phrases and assist in finalizing the email. It becomes an invaluable aid when a user is crafting a research paper by providing relevant information directly from online sources. Thus, Windows Copilot's range of applications extends across coding, task completion, and real-time information gathering.

Windows Copilot is in preview mode and accessible only to a select number of users. However, Microsoft plans a public release in the coming months.

In essence, Windows Copilot stands as an AI-powered feature with the potential to drive user productivity, creativity, and awareness to greater heights. But, there’s still a lot to learn!

While Windows Copilot holds promising potential, it does present a few limitations that users should be aware of. Currently, it is in a preview stage, which means it may not always function perfectly and could potentially make mistakes. Moreover, for some users, the consistent flow of suggestions and automated completions from Windows Copilot might prove to be a distraction, potentially impacting their ability to focus on the immediate task at hand. Despite these hurdles, the feature's potential benefits hold considerable promise.

All things considered, Windows Copilot is potentially a potent new AI-powered feature that is capable of significantly enhancing user experiences. However, understanding its limitations is vital before users fully integrate it into their workflow.

Dev Home & Dev Box

On Day 2 of Build, Microsoft continued to innovate and support its developer community by unveiling two new services: Dev Home and Dev Box. These tools aim to boost productivity by providing consistent and reliable development environments.

Dev Home, a cloud-based service, comes pre-configured, enabling developers to dive straight into coding without the hassle of software installation and configuration. The service offers a broad set of tools and resources, ranging from code editors to debuggers to detailed documentation tools. This approach simplifies the setup process and allows developers to focus on coding.

On the other hand, Dev Box is a tangible device that is tailored for use as a development workstation. Pre-configured with the latest software and hardware, Dev Boxes emphasize usability and maintainability. They’re offered in a variety of configurations, enabling developers to select the option that best suits their needs.

Both Dev Home and Dev Box are designed to enhance developer productivity.

Microsoft Partners: Dev Tools in Teams

During the Day 2 keynote, Rajesh Jha highlighted a handful of Microsoft partners who continued to be shown off during subsequent sessions. Our favorite featured partner? Pieces for Developers! We built a Microsoft Teams Application to enhance developer productivity in Teams and eliminate the cost of context switching when working with code and collaborating there.

A featured slide from the Day 2 keynote at Microsoft Build.

Chats are often one of the most disruptive components to any workflow. They are unpredictable and often pull a user out of their flow. They also require context switching— shifting focus from a work tool to a new message that may or may not be useful, and then working hard to shift back into work mode. Simply put, this sucks, and we all know it too well.

Pieces for Developers integrates LLMs and our own micro-models to enrich code that is sent in Teams with contextual metadata that fills in the blanks around what you’re sharing and why. This makes it easier to save, share, reference, and reuse that code. This also makes code that is saved from Teams accessible directly in your IDE with all of its context.

Closing Remarks

Today is Day 3 of Microsoft Build. We’re just a few hours away from the closing remarks and the end of Build 2023. From launching the Dream Machine and Windows Copilot to discussing responsible, accessible AI, this conference is sure to be fondly remembered.

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