At this year’s build conference, Microsoft announced several ‘bridges’ that will enable developers from competing platforms port over their popular apps to Windows without any major changes to their apps. One of those bridges is Project Astoria.

What is “Project Astoria”?
“Project Astoria” (also referred to as “Project A”), is a Universal Windows Platform Bridge toolkit that enables you to build Windows apps for phones by reusing your Android code. With “Project Astoria” you’ll be able to:

  •  Build Windows apps for phones with few code changes
  •  Use a Microsoft interoperability library to integrate Microsoft services into your app with very little effort
  •  Test and debug your app from your preferred IDE
  •  Publish your app and get paid through the Windows Store

windows10 skype

Microsoft is previewing its latest Windows 10 update today, and it comes with some interesting changes. While the software giant has been promising a new Messaging app with Skype integration, it's finally available to test out. It's fairly basic right now, but it does give you access to features like Skype messaging, video, and audio all in integrated lightweight apps for Windows 10.
The new Messaging app is Microsoft's equivalent to Apple's own iMessage system. It's also identical to the Messages app on OS X, with the same two-panel interface and circular UI for contacts. Microsoft has started linking Skype usernames with mobile numbers to make it easier to find friends who are using the service without having to know their user ID. That makes this whole approach a lot more like iMessage, allowing Skype users to chat to friends easily on the service.

skype translator


When Microsoft first revealed its Skype Translator, it was a rather interesting technology, not only allowing Microsoft to flaunt its prowess at machine learning, but also bridging gaps between people and countries. The feature has now been built into the main Skype for desktop application, allowing users everywhere to enjoy its instant translation capabilities.
When making audio and video calls now, the desktop application touts support for instant translation between six languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. Not only that, but you can also converse in as many as fifty languages if using only text messages, making inter-language communication easier than ever before.
To avail the feature, users can press the settings button for each contact to alternate between the translation for calls and text messages, where you can select the language for each. This will turn on the translator icon (represented by a globe) and voila!
Of course, with automated processes like these, it's still a little hit-and-miss at the moment (just look at Cortana's quirks) but, after almost a year since its announcement, the Skype Translator is good enough today that you can easily carry conversations with people in other countries, even though the translations may not always be entirely accurate. Also, the more you use it, the better it gets.
Source: Neowin

project spark

Project Spark is a game creation video game for Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Xbox One. The game was announced during Microsoft's E3 2013 press event, and was launched as a Windows open beta in December 2013, and an Xbox One beta in March 2014.
Project Spark Is a digital canvas which can be used to make games, movies and other experiences. A player can download other user-generated content, remix that content or create content of their own. A player can use the Xbox controller, keyboard and mouse, touch-devices, Kinect and SmartGlass to build experiences. Kinect can be used to animate models and record audio. The created environments can contain mountains, rivers, and towns. The player can also create events, like inter-character battles. Created items and objects are able to be shared with other players.
Recently Microsoft announced that it will be dropping the micro transactions based revenue model for its Project Spark game creation game and will make it completely free starting October 5.
Project Spark has been quite a popular game world creation video game for Windows 8.1 and Xbox One. Although the game itself is free, users were required to purchase DLC such as tools and enhancements for new experiences. Now, the company has announced that all such content will also be given for free.
The downloadable content will be made available to new and existing gamers from October 5. Additionally, the game is set to receive a major update on the same day that will bring new assets and the restrictions on terrain and props will be removed. Changes to the achievements system will also be part of this update.



skype android wear lg watch urbane
Microsoft has been quick to support Apple Watch on many of its popular iPhone apps. Skype made its way to the Apple Watch earlier this year, and now Microsoft is bringing Skype to Android Wear today. The latest Skype 6.4 for Android update brings messaging, new Skype Mojis, and the ability to accept or decline calls on your wrist.
While managing calls might not be that useful, Microsoft has added the ability to respond to Skype messages from Android Wear. You can speak into your wrist, send Skype Mojis, or use a pre-written response to quickly message a Skype contact back. Managing calls simply lets you accept or decline, hang up, or mute an ongoing conversation. If you have an Android Wear watch then the latest update is available now in the Google Play Store.