This year's Microsoft's developer-focused conference, Build, will take place June 26-28 at San Fransisco's Moscone Center. Registration for the conference opens Tuesday, April 2 at 9 am PDT.
Last year's Build, held on Microsoft's Redmond Campus, sold out in an hour, with the early bird tickets, for the first 500 applicants disappearing within minutes. The choice of the Moscone Center as this year's venue allows for a bigger event.
The timing is also significantly different. The first two Build events were held in the autumn. At the first, in September 2011, Microsoft revealed Windows 8 after a good deal of secrecy about what the event, which replaced PDC, its professional developer conference, was going to include. Build 2012 happened at the end of October and just after after launch of both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, although Microsoft's delay in releasing the Windows Phone SDK meant it coincided with Build.
So what is going to be the main attraction for Build 2013?
The official site, www.buildwindows.com doesn't hold many clues.
According to the announcement post by Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Developer & Platform Evangelism, on the Official Microsoft Blog, Microsoft will share updates and talk about what’s next for Windows, Windows Server, Windows Azure, Visual Studio and more
Attention will be focused on Blue - the name used internally by Microsoft for the next update to Windows. But will Microsoft be able to keep its secrets long enough for there to be an element of surprise?
Leaked screenshots of an early build of Blue reveal smaller tile arrangements and a larger desktop for its Start Screen, along with greater control over the color personalization options.
According to The Verge, which has compiled a video preview:
... the UI is largely the same as Windows 8. New Snap Views allow you to snap apps side-by-side using 50 percent each, but on high resolutions you can also snap up to four applications alongside each other. The biggest changes are really in the settings part of the Start Screen. Users can now access new networking and apps sections that provide access to additional options not available in Windows 8. Networking lets you switch connections on and off, and there's a quick way to add VPN settings too. In the new Apps section you can view how much storage apps are taking up and also take control of when notifications are shown thanks to a new quiet mode.
Doesn't all feel like what happens when you reboot any project? You have inherited a lot of code and the project seems creaky and you would just love to sweep it all aside and start again. So you do and for a while you have some lean mean code with a good design. Then slowly the creep starts. You have to add facilities that you left out in the first version and slowly but surely the code starts to look a lot like the code you just threw away....
It is only a short time before WinRT has overlapping Windows added to it with a great publicity fanfare and the start button will be rediscovered as if it never existed and...
Unfortunately for anyone hoping that Blue would see Microsoft realize that its key asset is the Desktop this doesn't seem to be the case. Microsoft still seems to be committed to WinRT and making the Desktop a difficult place to be.
So how quickly will tickets for Build 2013 be snapped up? Priced at $2,095, with a $500 discount for the first 500, they go on sale 09:00 PDT, April 2, 2013 - let us see if Microsoft still has the pulling power...