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BUILD 2012: Notes on Day 1 and 2 Keynotes

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Core information:


While the first day keynote fo BUILD 2012 event from Microsoft was far from developers’ hearts the second one was much closer. In the end of that it was disclosed that:

This BUILD is distinctly different: direct your imagination to exploit the platform capabilities.

Still the first day keynote served that purpose weakly while the second day’s one was quite good for that. So my recommendation is that after coming through these notes the developer-oriented readers could find more interesting materials in the associated Channel 9 discussion and session records. So go to the Build 2012 event site on the Channel 9 and select related videos of interest using the provided filtering capabilities.

Day 1 Keynote (Steve Ballmer)

Steve Ballmer and Steve Guggenheimer: Build Day 1 full transcript and video record of it on Channel 9

(There was also another keynote related to the announced Windows Phone 8 SDK by Kevin Gallo:

Build 2012: Microsoft launches SDK for Windows Phone 8 [networkworld YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012] … full transcript and …the same video record of Keynote 1 BUT START AT [01:11:20] ESSENTIALLY AT [01:13:00] and read his blog post on Announcing the new Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform [Windows Phone Developer blog, Oct 30, 2012] from which it is especially important to draw the attention of developer oriented people to the referred from there to the Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0 [The Visual Studio Blog, Oct 30, 2012] and Announcing the release of the .NET Framework for Windows Phone 8 [.NET Framework blog, Oct 30, 2012] posts, and the following excerpts from those as well as from the keynote:

[from the keynote]



[01:19:38] Back in June I talked about how Windows Phone 8 was a foundational release, because we now share a common core with Windows. On top of this common core we have a common API set. You can now build shared components that are identical to both Windows and Windows Phone and use them inside of those apps. [01:20:00]
Following that: first a picture-sharing app is shown … already paired the phone and tablet using NFC … then it is shown how a photo image-editing app  written 10 years ago in C++ can be wrapped as a Windows runtime component, so it could be called from C#  in Windows Phone app … next how simple is to reuse the exact same code throughout the project inside of Windows 8 …
[01:24:17] talk about some of the new features coming to the Windows Phone 8 platform. …


See all these other features that we’ve been adding to the platform over the last release. I want to highlight a lot of them there. I want to highlight a few. You asked us to make it easier to build fast and fluid UI. We delivered. We’re writing more controls to the platform and we’ve dramatically improved the performance of the existing controls. Your apps will be noticeably faster when you use them. You asked us to do more with Live Tiles. We delivered. We now support Live Tiles in three sizes. We also allow you to show notifications on the launch screen, and you can create and update the wallpaper of the phone directly from within your application.
You asked for speech support. We now support having full conversations in your app. So, not only can you launch apps, you can control them using speech. We’ve improved   you’ve asked for us to improve our dev center and store. We’ve streamlined our store. It’s now more efficient to submit and update your apps, and you have more ways to monetize your apps in our store. You asked for deeper integration with the phone experiences. We delivered. We’ve opened up our camera and now we support a feature called Lenses. We’re actually better multitasking. We support location-based applications running in the background, as well as first-class support for VoIP and video chat.
You asked for us to improve and to give you advanced networking capabilities. We’ve heard your request. For Bluetooth data transfer, peer networking with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as well as proximity connect with NFC. Our response is done, done and done. In total we’ve delivered on over 90 percent of the top developer requests. And over the next few days you will be able to have over 20 sessions to go into detail about how to use these in your apps. [01:26:40]
Then an AR Drone Quadcopter app is shown which comes with a native code library that allows communication with it and a front end built out in XAML. What follows that is a talk about native games, supporting C++ code, which allows to write high-performance physics engines, as well as audio libraries, and get access to low-level, hardware-accelerated APIs like Direct3D, with fully programmable shader support, both pixel and vertex shaders. … Then Unity is showing the first-ever demo of the Unity gaming engine running on a Windows Phone.  …
After that Richard Kerris from Nokia is coming to the stage first making publicity for the Lumia 920 and finishing with the annoumcement that every attendee will get a Lumia 920. Finally Kevin Gallo is closing with the announcement that Microsoft will reduce the individual registration for their dev center from the normal $99 to $8 for the next eight days.
[from the “Multi-Targeting Windows Phone 7.1 and 8.0 apps” of the Introducing Windows …]
With Window Phone SDK 8.0 and Visual Studio 2012 you can continue developing great Windows Phone 7.1 apps. These apps will run on Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 devices. The SDK comes with emulators for both Windows Phone 7.1 as well as 8.0 so that your apps can be validated on both these versions. … However, if you have an existing Windows Phone 7.1 project but wish to upgrade it to Windows Phone 8, you can do so with the new single-click upgrade feature. Once upgraded, apps will no longer run on Windows Phone 7.1 or earlier version devices.
[from the “Tooling support for ‘Compiler in the Cloud’” of the Introducing Windows …]
Windows Phone 8 managed application binaries are processed in the Store to improve your apps’ performance and to save battery life. As developers, you will be able to validate your apps’ real life installation and performance behavior. When deploying to the Windows Phone 8 device, tooling will automatically generate these processed binaries and use them for deployment and launching of the apps.
[regarding that see also my earlier Windows Phone 8 software architecture vs. that of Windows Phone 7, 7.5 and the upcoming 7.8 [June 22, 2012] post]
[from the “Much faster code with “Compiler in the Cloud”” of the Announcing the release …]
For Windows Phone 8, we adopted a new code generation approach that is much better suited to the phone, both to deliver higher performance and to save battery life. Windows Phone 8 apps are compiled to high-quality ARM code before they are downloaded and deployed on end-user devices. They are compiled in the Windows Phone Store, with an optimizing compiler that does not have to satisfy the time and power constraints of a just-in-time (JIT) compiler. As a result, end-users will enjoy very fast app launch times on Windows Phone 8.
These changes are specific to Windows Phone 8, but they also improve launch times for Windows Phone 7.x apps. Both Windows Phone 7.x and 8 apps can be pre-compiled to high quality ARM code in the Windows Phone Store, before being downloaded and installed on Windows Phone 8 devices. You and your customers get the benefits of pre-compilation, without requiring you to make changes to your app. You can test out the pre-compiled binaries on your own Windows Phone 8 devices using Visual Studio 2012.
While these changes provide significant performance improvements for end-users, they also help battery life. In Windows Phone 7.x, app code was compiled every time the app was launched, and the CPU was used to compile that code, requiring battery power. With the new code generation approach in Windows Phone 8, apps are compiled in the Windows Phone Store with AC power generated from the Columbia River in Washington. That’s a better battery to use than yours! As you can see, we’ve removed an entire category of battery use on end-user devices.
[from the end of the Announcing the release …]
We recognize that many of you have a C# XAML Windows Store app or plan to write one soon, and it may well be similar in form and function to the companion Windows Phone 8 app. To enable you to share code across the two apps, you can use a feature we announced a little while ago – Portable Class Libraries. Visual Studio 2012 Professional and Ultimate SKUs have built-in support for creating Portable Class Libraries. If you have not explored using Portable Class Libraries before, the Targeting Multiple Platforms with Portable Code blog post has a good overview. You can read more about how to architect your code and leverage Portable Class Libraries in the MSDN Magazine article titled Create a Continuous Client Using Portable Class Libraries.
See also: Nokia gives a Lumia 920 to all //Build 2012 attendees
[LeFinFinnois YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012])

[1:35:45] Steve’s phone
[1:36:46] Start speaking:

Build 2012: 4M upgrades to Windows 8 in four days, says Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer [networkworld YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012]
– in last 3 days 4 million Windows 8 upgrades sold
– 1981: launch of IBM PC … 1975: Windows 95 (also for Internet) … 2012: Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

[1:53:09] experience demos on new “Windows 8 generation” hardware:

Build 2012: Steve Ballmer shows off an 82-inch Windows 8 slate PC at Build 2012 [networkworld YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012]

  1. Perceptive Pixel, 82” “slate”: … OneNote, New Office with touch as 1st class citize built-in …
  2. Dell XPS One 27” all-in-one: … Jessica Alba on Xbox video  and elsewhere (searching and sharing systemwide capabilities), lock …
  3. Smartphones: 4.8” Samsung ATIV S very personalized, HTC 8X with wide angle camera very thin very light, Nokia Lumia 920 with beautiful screen you can see very well in daylight with ink annotation earlier entered automatically rolled
  4. ASUS Vivo Tab RT: 1.15 lbs tablet (with Tegra 3) with detachable keyboard: … pinning to the start screen with live information (every developer can do and advized to do)
  5. Microsoft Surface: with TouchType … the best expression of the “PC meets the tablet” with Xbox Music built-into … built-in kickstand for …
  6. Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2: of 1.32 lbs which will be launched in next few weeks with Intel Atom processor: … with built-in stylus … new touch version of Microsoft Outlook .. making annotations
  7. Acer Aspire S7-191: … to surpise most of the people … with 2.38 lbs … very thin, very light notebook … also touch based … touch laptops are really cool … this type of machine will be also to do software development … new MSN for Windows 8, a website (not an app) optimized for IE10 and touch

all [groups in Microsoft are] in … video shown in connection with Xbox [2:19:23] VIDEO

[2:20:36] Steve Guggenheimer:
– last 5 years spent with OEMs: inflection point for hardware industry
– marriage of hardware, software and services in some case are demoed: … Disney game brought to Windows 8 (others from Disney coming) … (as other end of spectrum) from apps already built an Autodesk app for which making a complementary Sketch application (or service) … going to mobiler devices or from mobiles to … monetization (via Store or your own) with inapp purchase or advertising (PayPal to be released in a couple of weeks)
reimagining software, the applications (bringing to the market brand new apps): e.g. the result of the “Windows 8 journey” of the new ESPN application (by VP on the scene)

(See more in Guggenheimer’s post on The Business Opportunity with Windows 8 [The Official Microsoft Blog, Oct 30, 2012] as well as the Making money with your app on the Windows Store session by Drew Robbins published as a Channel 9 video recorded)

Ballmer back:
– example of some brand new apps available in Microsoft Store
– today: SAP announced, DropBox announced, Twitter announced
– magic of “Live Kinect”
– Why write for Windows 8? … lot of reasons … but volume is perhaps the most important … Windows 8 takes less resource than Windows 7 … vitality and explosion brought to the PC market, 400 million new devices you could target … Windows Phone … Microsoft will do more marketing and better marketing for Windows 8 systems and Windows Phone … this is the market which will explode … the best opportunity to make money …
for every attendee: 100 GB SkyDrive storage + Microsoft Surface RT

Day 2 Keynote (Satya Nadella)

Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie and Jason Zander: Build Day 2 full transcript and video record of it on Channel 9

[16:00] … new era of Devices & Services … very similarly on back-end we are reimagining the “Other” Windows … webscale services everywhere with diversity (SkyDrive, Office 365, Bing …) …

(See also Nadella’s post on Reimagining the “Other” Windows [The Official Microsoft Blog, Oct 31, 2012]

Device-centric apps
– announced Windows Azure Mobile Services: Josh Twist to the scene … creation of an event buddy service etc. … full app  [37:00]
– Windows Azure ISV usage examples

Web as the next application pattern
– … Scott Hanselman to the scene … videos on Windows Azure exposed as an ASP.NET application (from existing ASP.NET app into a touch enhanced one, both for web browsers and Windows 8 clients )  … [50:56]
– a lot of apps taking advantage of ASP.NET with touch enhancement
– make Scott Hanselman’s app and take it even richer … make building cloud-scale apps very easy
Scott Guthrie to the scene … about Windows Azure Media Services (exposes REST API): in a ~1 min have a media service around which can program further … incremental publishing story … introducing a background service … have a built-in monitoring support … [1:18:20]
– Announced: Windows Azure SDK October Update etc. … huge opportunity to boost …

The new lifecyle of [cloud-scale] webapps
– GA of the Team Foundation Service [1:22:15]
Jazon Zander to the scene … [1:27:26]

Cloud scale for enterprise apps
– tremendous amount of traction with enterprise adoption of Windows Azure
– 3 specific things (services) for that (very attractive for develeopers): 1. extending Office (SharePoint as a back-end especially) 2. service bus 3. identities (federation etc.)
– video clip of a SaaS ISV company using these services: Workday [1:35:22]

– building the data platform to do more: … all kind of data types … OLTP .. stream data … HADOOP … adding machine learning modules … loading into in-memory distributed database [1:38:11]
Dave Campbell to the scene … how to listen to services making refinement etc. … (past year’s) BUILD sessions as viewed overall … last week announced HDinsight (… HADOOP …) … Hive (a structured query language) … a LINQ provider … integrated Hive ODBC into Excel … geocode the country names … >>> building a user-specific recommendation engine based on all that … [1:49:25]
– … Halo 4 on Windows Azure (Nov 6) also the first customer to use HDinsight … adding features based on recommendation stuff … so change the code base in a lot of ways

(See also the related Microsoft feature story for the press Meet the ‘Plumbers’ Powering ‘Halo 4’ Infinity Multiplayer published on Oct 31, 2012).

Wrap-up showing the progress and achievements 
a distinctly different of this BUILD: direct your imagination to exploit the platform capabilities [1:53:16]



  1. […] [Oct 17, 2012]- Microsoft Surface: its premium quality/price vs. even iPad3 [Oct 26, 2012]- BUILD 2012: Notes on Day 1 and 2 Keynotes [Oct 31, 2012]- Acer Iconia W510: Windows 8 Clover Trail (Intel Z2760) hybrid tablets from OEMs […]

  2. […] 8 strategy expanded with ultra low-power APUs for the tablets and fanless clients [Feb 3, 2012]- BUILD 2012: Notes on Day 1 and 2 Keynotes [Oct 31, 2012]- Acer Iconia W510: Windows 8 Clover Trail (Intel Z2760) hybrid tablets from OEMs […]

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