Monday, September 12, 2011

Live from the BUILD Conference - Expectations

I'm in Ahaheim (home of Disneyland) this week for the Microsoft BUILD conference, which kicks off tomorrow. I'll be providing updates all week on my blog and also on twitter (@davidpallmann).

This year's conference, which replaces the traditional PDC conference, is shrouded in mystery! The web site says next to nothing about the agenda (right now, anyway), and having just registered hasn't provided any enlightment--my event guide says nothing about what the sessions are. Well, it'll all come out tomorrow in the 9am keynote, which anyone can tune in to.

We do know Microsoft will be talking a lot about two things: Windows 8 and HTML5. I think HTML5 and what that means for the Microsoft development roadmap is the big story here, and that's certainly not unrelated to Windows 8. Here are some expectations and questions I hope to have answered:

Windows 8 Unveiled. We'll surely see and learn a lot about Windows 8, an OS that will serve users of PCs and "post-PC devices" like tablets equally well.
Write Once, Run Anywhere (and Everywhere). I think we'll be told that going forward, "a Windows App = a Web App = a Device App", thanks to HTML5* (the asterisk indicating related technologies like CSS3 and JavaScript). I'm hoping Windows Azure cloud services are tied in to that story!
IE9 and HTML5? Microsoft has made a big deal about IE9 and HTML5 in the last year, but it seems IE9 scores somewhat low when you visit HTML5 compatibility testing sites like, and even the IE10 Test Drive Preview scores pretty low. Many of the cool HTML5 demos I find online don't work with IE9 today. What's up with that?
Silverlight. How should Silverlight developers think about HTML5? Is there anything planned that will integrate Silverlight with an HTML5 world in any way?

While Windows and front-end web development may be in the spotlight at this show, I'll bet there will be interesting news on the Windows Azure front as well. I plan to cover all of it and share here, so stay tuned!

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