In 24 hours Microsoft will be holding their annual developer conference known as Build. This year’s Build is coming with a different Microsoft in tow. This year will be the first Build with a new CEO in Satya Nadella and also a conference in which the main attraction is expected to be the long awaited Windows Phone “Blue” update. Windows Phone 8.1, as the Blue update is to be called, brings major feature changes to the platform including new customization to the Live tiles and the Siri/Google Now like Cortana.
Also expected to be discussed at Build is the Xbox platform’s development story. Since the launch of the Xbox One in December developers have wanted to know how games and apps could be developed. Microsoft teased information at the last Build conference and maybe this time it will be discussed in detail.
Now usually I write the Pre-Build posts to make predictions on what will be discussed; Microsoft did me and others the courtesy and posted the speaker events today. Now they don’t show information for the keynotes but we already know Nadella will be speaking on Day 1 and just announced head of Cloud and Enterprise Scott Guthrie will headline Day 2. I also think a major part of Build will be spent on Microsoft’s work around mobile and cloud technologies. I think that while Windows Phone will get the majority of the sound bites and attention it will be whatever news around cloud computing and big data discussed that’ll have longer impact.
Saying that; the one thing I will be interested in seeing is on how Microsoft talks about its client side platforms. Now that Microsoft has released Office for iPad it should be clear that Windows’s role has shifted. Microsoft move to focus on devices and services and not specifically software has confused developers, Microsoft watchers, and enthusiasts. Specifically I think many have wondered what it would mean day to day.
The Office for iPad along with the apps Microsoft has ported to the Mac and Android illustrate the Services part; it means making it services widely available on multiple platforms. With Build the question left will be around devices and specifically devices running Windows.
Tomorrows opening keynote is expected to run 3 hours and at least during two of them I expect the software giant to discuss the present and future of Microsoft because on a certain level this year’s Build will be about Microsoft’s commitment to Windows and its ability to move the platform forward.
Okay that was my yearly drivel, if you want to watch Build or see the live blogs yourself I will leave links below