Top 5 Underrated Microsoft Announcements of 2016

As we begin the new year, it’s time to look back on what happened in the tech industry in 2016. Microsoft had several announcements that were big, and several that flew under the radar. Here are the top five underrated Microsoft announcements of 2016.

First up was Microsoft’s announcement about new bot tools to help build conversation partners. It has outlined a vision for a conversational computing platform, which means that the company is developing intelligent bots along with Cortana. Its open source Bot Framework will make it easier for developers to build automated conversation partners that work with Skype, Facebook Messenger and others.

Microsoft also announced that it had released Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (integrated circuits that are meant to be configured by customers or designers after manufacturing) across its entire cloud to help accelerate tasks. This will speed up software-defined networking between compute instances in Azure.

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AI appears to be a big focus for Microsoft in the coming years, as it announced the creation of a new AI & Research division. The division will include more than 5,000 engineers, and it appears Microsoft is investing heavily in what it sees as the future of computing.

Microsoft also announced the rebranding of its Xamarin Studio as Visual Studio for Mac. It also launched PowerShell for Linux, and now two key tools for developing Microsoft platforms have gone cross-platform.

Lastly, Microsoft announced that BASH (Bourne Again Shell) would be brought to Windows. It will build an entire Linux subsystem for the operating system, and work to support open source.

Microsoft is always on the cutting edge of technology and its announcements indicate what the trends and future of the tech field will be.

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