//build/ 2014 keynote recap


There are numerous blog posts and articles about everything that was announced at this year’s Build conference but I am so excited that I just have to share with you what I have seen and learned! So here it goes…

Windows 8.1 announced

  • Action Center
  • New lock screen experience
  • Start screen improvements
    • More tiles
    • Capability to set background image
  • Cortana
    • Bing-powered digital personal assistant
    • Launching as Beta in US, coming later to UK
    • Search locally
    • Can be used without audio by typing
  • New version of the calendar with day, week and month view
  • Wifi-Sense
    • Suggests good wifi
    • Password caching across all devices
  • Go from phone call to Skype video call
  • Word flow keyboard
    • Shape writing
    • World record for the fastest typing on a smartphone
  • Internet Explorer 11 with private browsing
  • Next generation of Nokia Lumia announced
    • May: 630, 635
    • June: 930 announced
    • Software:
      • Nokia Imaging SDK 1.2
      • Nokia SensorCore SDK
  • Apps
    • 500 new apps every day
    • Fitness & Health and Pedometer coming soon

Windows Phone 8.1 is coming in the next few months, pre-installed on new phones starting from April-May. The Developer Preview will be available probably next week, get the Preview for Developers app to receive all the new versions and updates, including 8.1, before it is available to the public.

Windows 8.1 Update announced

  • Enterprise Mode
  • Internet Explorer 11
    • Legacy websites work, the browser gets the right rendering in a seamless way
  • Already boots to desktop
  • Taskbar improvements
    • Displayed in modern apps too
  • Enhancements for mouse & keyboard users
    • Right-click context menu in start screen
  • Pre-pinning the Store to the taskbar
  • Apps are more mouse and keyboard-friendly
  • Search
    • Also Store apps
    • Jump to install
  • Apps list
    • Right-click context menu, e.g. Pin
  • Windows Desktop
    • Enable modern apps in desktop window
    • Start menu is back!
  • Pricing
    • Windows for $0 for tablets

Windows 8.1 Update is available on 8th of April for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users.

Universal apps announced

  • Universal Windows apps across all devices
  • Different views optimized but using the same code
  • Based on Windows Runtime
  • Visual Studio
    • Share code
    • Update allows building universal apps
    • New template in the “New project” dialog
    • Design with multiple layouts for different form factors using Visual Studio
    • XAML view has a context picker with options like Windows Phone 8, Windows 8
  • Store
    • Buy once, use anywhere

Office improvements

  • New Office modern apps
  • Touch first version
  • Desktop experience to modern app
  • Move from Win 32 to modern UI
  • Code name Gemini
  • Automatically save document to the cloud on OneDrive with unlimited versions and undo-redo capabilities.
  • Inking enabled.
  • The new Office apps are universal apps.

Cross-platform apps

  • Internet Explorer 11 web platform with WebGL across phones, tablets and PCs
  • WinJS: cross-platform and open-source on GitHub

Future roadmap

  • Universal apps across all Windows apps, Xbox coming soon too.
  • Share code across Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and Xbox One.
  • Kinect for Windows
    • Until now:
      • 1 000 000 SDK downloads
      • 400 000 developers
    • Coming:
      • New Kinect V2 and improved SDK
    • Sample: Khan Academy
  • Graphics: DirectX 12
  • Windows on Internet of Things
    • Examples:
      • Intel
      • Piano running on Windows
        • Run apps on the piano
        • Debug piano app with WinDbg

FAQ with Satya Nadella

  • Why build for Windows?
    • Microsoft innovates in every dimension
    • Create developer opportunity and expand it
    • Microsoft targets also this platform, e.g. Office
    • Take code cross-platform with PhoneGap, Unity, Xamarin
  • UX future: touch, sensor, mouse?
    • Context-based
  • Surface on the tablet market
    • The best on the market and it will be continued.
  • Latency in the cloud
    • Microsoft is doing massive investments
    • Focus on apps running smoothly in a geo-distributed way
  • Startup support
    • BizSpark
  • Microsoft’s vision
    • Mobile-first and cloud-first

The cloud

  • Mobile-first, cloud-first
  • Titanfall: game sessions hosted on Azure
  • Other examples: Olympic NBC Sports Sochi
  • 44 announcements
    • Visual Studio integration with Azure VMs
    • Remote debugging on cloud VM from Visual Studio
    • VM configuration with Puppet and Chef
    • Web:
      • Develop Azure Websites
      • Autoscale
      • Java support
      • Staging and production versions: backup copy of recent deploy, swap between versions.
      • WebJobs: run background code and process offline.
      • Traffic Manager support: website routing
      • PowerShell editor in Visual Studio
      • Azure setup for websites integrated into the “New Asp.Net Project” dialog inside Visual Studio
      • Browser Link: 2-way communication between browsers and Visual Studio
        • Edit webpage in any browser, auto sync in Visual Studio and all other open browsers
      • JSLint inside Visual Studio
    • Mobile:
      • Develop backend with .Net or Node.js
      • Support for Azure db and Sql Server
      • Notification hub: send one message and send it to millions of devices
      • Windows Azure Mobile Service template from Asp.Net Web App in Visual Studio
      • Azure Mobile Service has local and remote debugging
      • Xamarin for reusing C# code for iOS and Android
      • Authentication with Active Directory on a mobile device
    • Data:
      • Support for unstructured, semi structured and relational
      • Previously 150 Gb, now increasing to 500 Gb for Sql db
      • Automatic backups up to 30 days
      • Active geo replication with primary region and multiple secondary regions in read-only mode, failover to secondary
    • New Azure Portal:
      • Customizable dashboard
      • Browse, edit code with a full-screen editor with Intellisense
      • AppInsight Analytics
      • Integrated billing and monitoring
      • Azure gallery for 3rd party
      • Available today!

Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC available today


  • .Net Compiler Platform for C# and VB
  • Preview for Visual Studio 2013 available
  • Visual Studio suggests refactoring with preview of what the code would look like using Roslyn
  • Open-sourcing Roslyn announced
  • Xamarin Studio with Roslyn integration
  • .Net Foundation announced: take .Net to the next level with a great communitiy, e.g. Xamarin, IdentityMine, Glimpse, GitHub


  • Mobilize .Net Studio
  • Delta Airlines using Surface Pro for Jepessen Flight Pro
  • Flipboard available on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1
  • Autodesk preview with DirectX and C++
  • Foursquare for tablet and phones using geofencing
  • Sensoria Heapsylon
  • Vesper iOS app uses Mobile Service and Azure
  • Gobbler using Azure
  • The power of the cloud to enable great gaming experience for PC games, WebGL, Oculus Rift with Babylon.js
  • GoPro
  • Doodle God 2 for PC, Xbox and Windows Phone
  • Cross-platform: bringing Java to Azure with Oracle partnership
  • Accela
  • App Studio to turn websites into apps by generating Windows 8 apps from a website, offline enabled and stores data locally
  • Xamarin tobuild Windows universal apps on iOS and Android

You can find also lots of pictures from the conference and also some of the most important slides here on OneDrive.

Session blog posts are coming soon…

Useful links