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This article was published on August 8, 2012

Managed to snag a ticket? Here’s what to expect at Microsoft’s BUILD event this year

Managed to snag a ticket? Here’s what to expect at Microsoft’s BUILD event this year
Alex Wilhelm
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Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

Today, Microsoft put tickets for its BUILD event on sale. In just around one hour they utterly sold out. That isn’t a surprise, given that BUILD this year is set to touch down a week after Windows 8 ships, and promises to cover a range of Microsoft products. BUILD is a conference that Microsoft began last year, using it to announce Windows 8 and its developer preview to the world.

We’re going to quickly walk you through what Microsoft has promised for this year’s edition, and then break down our take as to what we can expect, in terms of what the event will deliver that isn’t in the official notes.


Via the BUILD website, we bring you the following notes [condensed, formatted: TNW]. Windows 8: “At Build, we’ll dive deep to cover all the areas you care about. How to design and build beautiful Windows 8 apps. How to sell your apps in the Windows 8 Store and make money.”

Other products that will make appearances: Windows Azure, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012, Xbox, Bing, Office 365, and Internet Explorer. BUILD will also bring “a peek at the latest and greatest hardware of the PC+ era: From compact, touched-enabled phones and tablets to lightweight laptops, desktops and powerful all-in-ones with high-definition screens.”

All of that really tells us very little indeed, except that Microsoft is taking advantage of having the event in Redmond; its having every team show up, as it might as well, given the proximity of the shindig.

Of course Microsoft is going to go over Windows 8 at BUILD, and of course it is going to tie in Windows Phone 8, which shares code with the Windows platform. Tablets will also be on display, naturally, given that the Surface will be fresh in the market at that point. The inclusion of Bing and Visual Studio and Internet Explorer is dull as well – were they to be left out? You know the answer.

So, what can we expect that isn’t on the record right now?


There is a silver lining to having so many different Microsoft products in the event: they can all be tied together.

TNW has been banging on about the idea of product and platform unification at Microsoft for as long as I can recall. The company has been moving along as well, executing the expected unification. Window Phone 8 being built on Windows. Bing in every product. App stores that support mobile and desktop.

Here’s what TNW expects at BUILD: Microsoft’s grander vision as to how its products will fit together. This could come in a myriad of ways. However, the company has such a large number of products coming out this Winter, that to not fully explicate how every disparate piece of its new product line links up would be folly. Windows 8 will be out at the time of BUILD. However, the finer mechanisms of how SharePoint slots into a user’s digital life across devices and use cases might not be completely clear, for example.

You might think it odd that Microsoft is having BUILD after Windows 8 comes out, but I suspect that it is doing so to allow all products that it wants to explain, in terms of their interconnectedness, will be live in their entirety, so that developers can dive in and get their hands dirty at once.

Oh, and Microsoft is probably going to give out Surfaces to attendees, right? At the last BUILD, Series 7 tablets were given out. Bet you $5 this time ’round it’s Surface units running Windows RT.


And finally, I hear tell that there will be another BUILD Blogger Bash. Good times. TNW will be there, unless the skies fall. Points to the team at the Metro Developer Podcast for getting on that in a hurry. Last year was oodles of fun. The Bash is an excuse for all the fun people at BUILD to hang out. All your favorite bloggers will be there. I hear that Tom Warren of The Verge will be doing autographs.

So that’s BUILD: A swath of Microsoft products on the agenda, and we expect, endless talk of how it will all link up. That and beer at the Bash. See you in Redmond.

Top Image Credit: Adam Caudill

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