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Developers, download these apps to see if Microsoft is on the right track

Mikael Ricknäs | May 4, 2015
At Build this week Microsoft did its best to woo developers of all kinds, offering cross-platform tools and software upgrades to improve productivity, and above all clarifying its vision for universal apps.

Windows 10 IoT Core preview for Raspberry Pi 2

With a preview release of Windows 10 IoT Core, Microsoft is making it possible to install the operating system on the recently released Raspberry Pi 2. Microsoft is hoping the community behind the board computer will eventually use its OS to power robots, weather stations and other sensor-based systems and devices. At Build, the Microsoft also demonstrated how the Pi 2 could be combined with the HoloLens.

Microsoft now wants feedback to find out "what's working well and what we can do better," it said. The Win 10 IoT Core preview version can also run on the Minnowboard Max.

Not all announcements at Build were potential game-changers — some are simply meant to make developers more productive.

Application Insights preview

After building an application, developers can monitor its performance, availability and usage with the Azure-based Visual Studio Application Insights. One of the goals of the service is to analyze user activity and adoption, so developers can prioritize future upgrade work.

A public preview was made available on Wednesday, and a full commercial release should be ready within a few weeks, according to Microsoft. It's compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Android and iOS, and programming languages such as C++, PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, Python.

GitHub Integration in Developer Assistant

On a bad day, even the most seasoned coders get stuck and need a little advice. Enter Developer Assistant, a plugin for Visual Studio that combines Bing Code Search capabilities and contextual information to help untangle tricky programming problems.

The latest version of the tool was announced on Thursday and has taken a big leap thanks to the integration of GitHub, according to Anuj Jain, program manager at Microsoft's Bing Tech Experiences. The number of repositories of code samples, API samples, and projects that developers can search for and view from within Visual Studio has shot up to 21 million, he said in a blog post.


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