[Build 2013]

Thursday, June 27, 2013 gc 2 Comments

What to expect at Build 2013 (#bldwin)? Knowns and unknowns.

What is Build?

Build is a Microsoft conference that started in 2011 that replaces the PDC (Programmers Developer Conference), and combines MIX. The main idea: combine developers, designers, and hardware partners to create a new platform and a unified ecosystem around Windows 8 and related technologies. Build 2013 is the third in the series.

I live blogged Build in 2011 when Windows 8 developer preview was unveiled at event live. This year I will be live blogging keynotes, giveaway unboxing, hackathon, sessions, parties, and more. You can follow the live blog here.

What do we know about Build 2013?

The following have been announced for Build 2013 and available to everyone:
  • Windows 8.1 preview: available June 26 (Windows 8 and RT)
    • Boot to desktop
    • Start button
    • You will have to install and update that makes it 8.1 appear in the store
  • Visual Studio 2013 (Blue) preview
  • Outlook RT preview
  • SQL Server 2012 R2
  • SQL Server 2014 (Blue) preview

    What do we not know about Build 2013? 

    Like many other developer conferences such as WWDC and Google I/O, we do not even know what keynotes and sessions will be provided and who will be speaking. In a way, developers sign up blindly for these conferences.

    Keynote Predictions

    The keynotes will likely include the following people:
    • Steve Balmer, CEO
    • Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management
    • Julie Larson-Green, VP Windows
    • Tami Reller, Chief Marking Officer, and CFO, Windows
    • Satya Nadell, President Server & Tools Business
    • Joe Belfiore, VP Windows Phone Program Management
    • Terry Myerson, VP Windows Phone Division

    Will Larry Elson make an appearance since a new partnership will be announced on Monday? Doubtful. Bill Gates? Doubtful.

    Session Predictions

    There will likely be sessions around the following topics:

    Windows 8.1 (Blue) including new APIS {link}, Azure, Xbox One,  MVC, .NET 5.0, Entity Framework, TypeScript, MVC, SQL Server 2014, and WPF. Like previous years, there will be sessions for hardware, drivers.

    I wonder if there will be Xamarin sessions -- probably unlikely but we could be surprised.

    Giveaway Predictions

    Microsoft has a long tradition of treating developers well. As Steve Balmer says, "Developers, developers, developers." Microsoft understands developers are key to its current and future success.

    Microsoft has given away tablets at the last two Builds in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, they gave away a quad-core 11.6" Samsung tablet running a preview release of Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11. In 2012, they gave away a Surface RT and Windows Phone. Since they gave out a Surface RT last year, it would be an unlikely giveaway this year since many of the same people attend. Here are the predictions in order of likelihood (all will be running Windows 8.1 preview).

    Prediction #1: Surface Pro and Acer Iconia 8-inch tablet
    This one is the most likely since it is based on recent rumors (Source).

    Prediction #2: Surface UltraBook
    Microsoft is due for the next rev of their Surface line. There is a rumor that they will have a 13" and 15" Surface Pro Book similar to the MacBook air except with touch. The attractive one for developers (Source). I am hoping for this one, but probably not due out until later this year.

    Prediction #3: Surface Pro 2
    The Surface Pro 2 line is expected to include a 7-8" tablet, 11", and potentially a 14" tablet. Again, this is probably due out later in the year so more unlikely to be the giveaway (Source).

    What to bring?

    • Energy: You are going to need it. 

    • Laptop: Even if you do not plan to be competitive in the hackathon, bring your laptop. This way, you can experiment with Windows 8.1 and related technologies between sessions and interact with other developers and Microsoft engineers. It is a cool scene (from a developer's perspective). Dinner and late-night snacks will apparently be provided.

    • Layered Clothing: San Francisco has microclimates. Warm in the city and quite cold by the water this time of year.  The temperature can vary by 5 degrees Fahrenheit just from block to block.

    Follow the keynotes, sessions, giveaway unboxing, hackathon, parties, and more here. Live posts to follow with a promised real and unique perspective.

    Enjoy. Hope to see you there.

    [Build 2013] Day 1: Keynote, sessions, giveaway, & hackathon

    [7:05:AM PST]

    Getting ready for day 1 of Build 2013. Day 1 is always the best. It has all the announcements in the keynote. Check back at 9:00 AM PST for live details.

    Check expectations here.

    [8:23 AM PST]

    Keynote line

    8:48 People filing in.
    Finally seated.
    9:04 keynote is running late. Bandwidth is quite bad. 

    Keynote starting

    6000 attendees. Lots to show.

    9:13 The new norm: rapid release. 

    9:14 http://preview.windows.com

    9:15 Balmer says attendees will get an Acer 8" tablet

    9:18 Workhorse two in one tablet. Thinking he might announce Surface 2

    9:22 Apps rising: Clipboard, Facebook, NFL Fantasy Football

    9:26 Refined blend: Desktop/Modern

    9:27 As expected, adding start button and boot to desktop

    9:30 Julie Larson Green coming out

    9:31 She's talking about 8.1 changes such as keyboard gestures. Very cool. 

    9:35 Updates to modern apps. Looks much more powerful. Nice. 

    9:38 Nice, powerful, on the fly pretty app, bing results

    9:40 Dell all in one 27"

    9:41 Skype call with Jensen Harris -- great designer

    9:43 SkyDrive and picture editing built into 8.1

    9:44 All built in apps have been improved and new ones

    9:45 Touch less gestures 

    9:46 Much smoother transition from desktop to start

    9:47 Any size split and multiple apps on the screen. Now metro on multiple monitors

    9:48 Star screen much tighter. New PowerPoint looks sharp

    9:50 8.1 upgrade is free as expected

    9:54 Now Visual Studio can monitor and diagnose battery usage

    9:56 Better debug support for async. Preserves a sync call stack

    9:59 Wizard for push notifications

    10:02 Windows store enhancements: apps updated automatically, better organized, better merchandising

    10:05 Improvements on the desktop: multi-monitor with different resolutions

    10:08 8.1 now supports 3D printing natively

    10:15 New PCs and tablets: Samsung  12 he's on single charge. Showing Lenovo detachable, Acer touch laptop under $400, Dell with 18 he's battery arm under $400

    10:18 Julie Larson Green giving surface Pro as giveaway too. Yeah! Crowd is going wild. Two tablets as give always. Was my #1 prediction in giveaway predictions  

    10:22 Bing now available as development platform including speech!

    10:24 Really nice but I hope there is no cost to the app to use

    10:32 OCR capabilities available too 

    10:33 New developer portal

    10:34 Apps can now have ears, eyes, and a mouth. I want to give them a brain

    10:35 Balmer back and closing. In am excited about the bing SDK. I don't think that many of the devs have grokked it yet

    10:38 Tomorrow: Azure and tools

    10:39 Project Spark is am open world digital canvas

    10:41 Available on Xbox One, 360, and Windows 8

    10:45 Cross platform gaming

    10:49 Balmer: One experience on every device

    10:50 High volume, high value

    10:51 Naturally transition of types of devices

    That's a wrap for the day 1 keynote!

    [2:00 PM PST] Hackathon

    Back at hackathon. Only about 1 in 15 developers are in it. 
    2:45 Looking forward to Anders Hejlsberg's TypeScript talk. Bet it will be crowded. 

    2:53 Exhibit hall is well done

    3:43 Got interviewed by a nice guy from Information Week

    5:19 In line for goodies. Starts at 6:00

    5:23 Now giving out ice cream, hot dogs, and more. @benheymink from England is happy about Haagen-Dazs. Making the wait more fun


    [Build 2013] Day 2

    Getting ready for Day 2. The keynote will be focused on Azure and the cloud. Yesterday, I helped a conference facilitator with her network

     connection problem. Later, she told me that she got very nervous when I started typing commands because she has tomorrow's keynote on it.

    Later I will share my unboxing photos from the giveaway. In my view, the best conference giveaway ever including a 128G Surface Pro with Type Cover and the Acer 8" with keyboard docking. Other items included 16G USB drive with all the bits, 100G free SkyDrive upgrade, and $25 Windows Phone App card (for my daughter).

    My plan for today: keynote, sessions, hackathon, and a Microsoft party at the pier. I will be live blogging the keynote today below.

    Day 2: Keynote

    8:53 Found a spot on the end so I can take some photos too

    8:58 About to start

    9:02 www.azuredevs.com

    9:03 Satya Nadella, President & Tools Business presenting: The Cloud for Modern Business

    9:06 100+ major update releases

    9:07 Diverse workloads. 50% of fortune 500 companies use Microsoft's cloud

    9:10: Azure: PaaS and Iaas. Here is why I think cloud computing is unstoppable

    9:11 Windows Azure Stack

    9:12 20% of Azure compute is IaaS

    9:15 Full async support for Entity Framework

    9:15 Scott Hanselman demoing ASP.NET

    9:16 Now just one ASP.NET project; not a separate MVC or WebForms project

    9:17 Now you can have more than one default browser such as IE and Chrome; when launched show up in VS

    9:21 Visual Studio 2013 now supports a peek feature; it will just throw up a method for viewing

    9:22 It feels wrong to me to have the solution explorer on the right; every other IDE has it on the left; the left  edge is important -- left to right

    9:23 I know you -- easily changed

    9:26 CSS editor; hover now shows which browser supports which feature; applause

    9:28 Using Azure incremental publish

    9:29 Satya back

    9:30 130,000+ Azure web sites

    9:31 GA of Windows Azure web sites

    9:31 Visual Studio 2013 + .NET 4.5.1 Previews

    9:32 Windows Azure Mobile Services: provides an easy way to build out a back end for mobile devices (including Android and iOS)

    9:33 Josh Twist now demoing mobile services

    9:35 It is easy

    9:38 20,000+ Windows Azure mobile services

    9:40 New server explorer in 2013

    9:45 Scott Gu takes stage -- VP Windows Azure

    9:46 Talking about scale -- Skype

    9:47 And peak capacity; Skype > 40% cost savings

    9:46 Autoscale now baked into Windows Azure

    9:49 Looks really nice; you can put upper thresholds and triggers

    9:50 Per minute billing and will shutdown based on limits; this is nice for the little guy especially

    9:51 Autoscale available today (I do love Azure -- an OS of OSs)

    9:52 Talking identity; Active Directory in the cloud; on premise AD can be synchronized into the cloud

    9:59 SaS apps can be easily added such as ADP, Concur, Yammer, DocDesign, even Google Apps. All with single sign-on with AD

    10:03 3.2 Million business; 68 million active users synced AD

    10:04 Aaron Levie, co-founder + CEO box

    10:05 He's not doing well

    10:08 Integration (in my view, the most difficult part of software development)

    10:10 B2B EDI processing in the cloud; EA integration; integrate SaaS apps with on-premise systems

    10:20 B2B bridges -- important but not too sexy

    10:27 Office 365

    10:33 Some nice new features for CI in VS

    10:38 Getting some strange errors in IE 11

    10:39 DOM Explorer in IE11 looks incredible powerful

    10:48 Adobe cloud free for one year for attendees

    10:54 Bing as a platform

    10:55 A lot of new apps coming to the phone including mint, viper,  today

    10:56 60 day registration for $19 to develop Windows phone apps -- the summer of apps

    10:58 More open source

    11:02 Unity integration -- mobile services plug-in

    11:04 Partnership with Unity/Microsoft -- have the ability to ship in MS stores

    11:05 $100K contest

    11:06 More games available today -- Monsters University, etc.

    11:07 Halo 4 is so cool; used azure to handle the live multi-player backend

    That's another wrap. Heading to Hackathon!


    Totally packed today. Can't find a table.

    Got to check out an 80" Pixel Sense. Missed it yesterday.
    Would be great for the command center, but would definitely blow out the budget at $22K.

    The Giveaway from yesterday

    Here are some snapshots from the gift bag from yesterday. The Surface Pro is beautiful. The Acer's screen is not very crisp and the overall design is lacking, but should make a great test device. The smaller form factor is great, but this design does not compare to something like the Nexus 7". In defense of Acer, they had a great little touch Ultrabook for $399 in the exhibit. Would definitely recommend the Ultrabook.

    Very nice packaging for the Surface Pro

    The Surface Pro 128G. Great display 1920x1080

     Acer Iconia W3 side-by-side with Nexus 7. The Iconia W3's display and build quality just does not compare to the Nexus 7. The Iconia might be the first, but doubtfully the best for long.

    One nice thing about the Acer is that it attaches to the keyboard with screen side down to protect it.

    Got Windows 8.1 installed on both last night. Would have posted these last night, but my got texted a few times that I should go out to see the city.

    The Surface Pro will probably become my day-to-day machine. Even though it is much smaller than I am used to, the display is beautiful and crisp. Using a USB 3.0 docking station, you can attach up to 3 1920x1080 displays.

    Party at the pier

    Chilling in the exhibit hall before the party.

    The party is at a cool venue just south of AT&T Park. Food trucks. Very industrial. Going to have a band?

    Approximately 2 orders of magnitude of guys to girls like most build parties not that it matters to me, but it is still strange

    Might be 3 orders of magnitude. But still interesting people. Trying to inspire devs as usual. 

    Finally made some friends that understand my jokes. They are the only cops here. I think they can handle it.

    The most intelligent person that I have met so far was at the party is Gina. She is strong, confident, and intelligent. The qualities that I hoped for when my daughter was born (my daughter has them too). I guess it is not "how many", but which ones. I hope she sends me a linked-in invitation.

    The Microsoft party was a blast.

    [Build 2013] Day 3: Final day

    The final day of Build 2013. Just some sessions today until 3:00. There is some amazing hardware at the exhibit hall. I really like the larger screens. This could be the $399 ultrabook from Acer. If so, a great machine for $399.

    More to follow today.

    Here is where I used to work a long time ago: Post & Market. The Net with Sandra Bullock was filmed there and surrounding streets. A Lexus commercial too (where a Lexus SUV drove up the side of the building).

    Got to get some Dim Sum today at Yank Sing -- the best (but expensive).

    Here is a link to the video of the keynotes and sessions: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013

    It takes them about 24 hours to get the sessions ready for download so a day behind.

    Lots of 3D printers around in the exhibit hall since native support now in Windows 8.1.

    Exhausted, but made the most of Build 2013. I will update will resource links once I recover.

    UpdateVideo and slides for Build 2013 keynotes and sessions.

    I am really enjoying the Surface Pro giveaway. It has now become my primary machine. The build quality is excellent. I am even impressed with the cabling and accessories.

    During the hackathon and judging, Microsoft supplied many touch displays to attach to the Surface for demoing. Interacting with them changed my plans for the command center. Instead of dual panels for each workstation, I decided for one large touch display. I chose the highly rated Acer T232. The current street price is $449 and will certainly get cheaper. Really loving it. The larger the display, the more fun to touch.

    The touch display standard requires that you connect to the display via HDMI, DVI, or VGA. I chose the mini display port to HDMI adapter to connect (so that it transmits sound too). In addition, it requires you to connect a USB cable (for transmitting the touch information). 

    Here is one of my workstations with the Surface Pro driving it. Also bought another Apple keyboard.


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    Brian Wilson said...

    Next year you should let me go in your place so you aren't burdened with transporting all that new equipment through airport security!

    gc said...

    Let's both go and I will carry the bags.