Microsoft delivers at BUILD 2012

Posted by Filip Ekberg on 01 Nov 2012

Yesterday was the first day of //BUILD/ at Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Seattle. There has been a lot of expectations on Microsoft for this event and boy did they deliver! The past year has been all about Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the very awesome updates to Windows Azure. //BUILD/ this year follows in its predecessor´s footsteps and deliver information about how we can write awesome applications for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Me and my colleague from Star Republic arrived in Seattle a couple of days before the conference started to avoid being jetlagged during the session and be able to see a bit of Seattle. Despite all the rain in Seattle we have had a very nice visit so far. We’ve been able to see the Space Needle, the underground (which is awesome by the way), the harbor and much more. I really enjoy Seattle, maybe it is because it feels pretty much like Gothenburg. What’s best about it though is that it is flooded (not with water despite the rain) with geeks.

The days before the conference I had a chance to meet up with Scott Hanselman and a lot of the other amazing guys working on the ASP.NET team. If you haven’t seen the Day 2 Keynote the next part of this sentence is going to be a spoiler; I’m somewhat in the keynote! When I met Scott he needed material for his presentation, me and some other guys’ danced Gangnam style for him which was recorded and put in his and Scott Guthrie’s presentation. I don’t have the video available at the moment, it’s going to be available on C9 as soon as the keynote is uploaded. I recorded a little with my compact camera, but I forgot to bring a cable for it and unfortunately the Surface RT don’t accept an SD card!

All that was day two, besides for the actual recording, so up until now everything has been awesome. The sessions were all similar to the ones that we have seen over the year since last //BUILD/ but now that everything is shipped it’s more hands-on examples. I attended a couple of sessions about Windows 8 development with HTML and Javascript (and of course CSS). The most interesting session was the one about optimizing your web application by thinking about CPU usage. There are some very interesting tools in the Windows SDK that you can use to analyze the performance of a web application. Basically in most applications on the web, time is spent on waiting for resources to be downloaded which means it could be done asynchronously if possible and the other thing that is common is slow javascript with lots of DOM access.

As an attendee the highlight of the day was when Ballmer announced that everyone is getting 100GB of SkyDrive! I am actually going to swap from DropBox for a while to see if it is better or not. However that awesome present wasn’t enough for Ballmer so he also announced that everyone attending would get a Surface RT 32GB! When everyone calmed down and promised to write awesome apps for Windows RT, the VP for Nokia comes out on stage and gives away a Lumina 920 to everyone attending the confidence. At this time I wanted to lay down on the floor and cry of happiness. This was announced in the morning so we had to wait for our awesome devices for the entire day!

As soon as we picked up our stuff we went back to the hotel and I recorded an unboxing (I know most people hate those!) and hands-on.

Are you planning on getting a Surface?

I’m having high hopes for the ASP.NET session and hoping to see some things that will help me in my daily work. So far the Azure upgrades with Mobile Services and Add-Ons are Very promising and I am really looking forward to playing with it more. What is funny is that Halo 4 that is being release in the next months or so uses Azure a lot which forced them to rethink the server architecture.

Speaking of games, since everyone got a voucher for the company store which has heavy discount, I might grab an xbox controller to use for my next Windows 8 game. Do you have any experience with that? I would love to hear about it! If you’re at //BUILD/ be sure to look me up and say hello and if not, just ping me!

Before we take part, I just want to say that I wrote this entire post on my Surace with the TouchCover. Takes some time getting used to.

comments powered by Disqus