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Build 2017 took place in Seattle from May 10th – May 13th. There was also a Build 2017 pre-day on May 9th. I was there and have some observations that need sharing. The following are some observations from Build and some key sessions you’ll want to watch to continue your quest to learn all the things.

7. Robots & AI

The Build 2017 keynote advised developers to avoid the cautionary dystopian tales of science fiction writers. The irony of this statement was exemplified in the proceeding demonstration of facial recognition, bots, and AI that monitor every move…literally. Such advances in your workplace grow nigh, carrying mixed motivation and ramification. If there was any thread of privacy left in the world Microsoft just showed how it plans to remove it. The application of such technology is fascinating including blowing open brand new markets. However, it is equally scary. Check out the keynote and be amazed and scared all at once.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2017/KEY01

6. Papercuts - -

Visual Studio 2017, ASP.NET Core 2.0 are reducing papercuts thanks in large part to the compiler as a service architecture of Roslyn. Build 2017 featured announcements from multiple product teams all focused on productivity and making Windows the best pace to write code for any platform.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2017/B8021

5. Standard All the Things

.NET Standard debuted at Build 2016. Build 2017 welcomed XAML Standard. Why does this matter? Consistency of developer experience across device SDKs including Xamarin. While we are a long way from one SDK to rule them all, a standard subset of the

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2017/B8001

4. Microsoft Fluent Design Language (Metro 2.0)

Build 2017 welcomed the official name for project Neon, Microsoft Fluent Design Language, a refined design language for Windows. This is a big deal as it marks the end of one era and the beginning of another. Fluent

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2017/B8066

3: Containers, Containers, Containers

Containerized workloads is the way software will be delivered going forward. Windows Containers, Hyper-V Containers, Docker and orchestrators are all critical skills to hone now and going forward. Application isolation and streamlining DevOps practices are where containers shine.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2017/B8067

2: Service Fabric Everywhere

Service Fabric is not new. However, it may be new to you. Service Fabric is a distributed systems development, hosting, and orchestration architecture that provides an architectural pattern that ensures reliable software delivery at scale. This is how Microsoft hosts critical services and is how you can host critical workloads as well. I talked about Service Fabric in March at the NEWDUG Code Camp and again at the Azure Global Bootcamp in April. This is an exciting technology stack that will transform how we think about delivery.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2017/B8106

1: Windows on ARM

Contrary to popular belief Microsoft talked about mobile at Build 2017. Not in the form of Windows Mobile as many may have expected but in what is coming next. Like I predicted in my Build 2017 predictions post, Windows on ARM is coming. This means an entire new class of cellular connected devices running Windows. I continue to predict that your next Windows mobile device might be made by someone who makes lots of phones with Android. Who wants to wager that might be HMD Global and the Nokia brand. Don’t count them out yet.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2017/P4171

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Microsoft Build is happening May 10th-May 12th There will be a lot to talk about. Every year Build provides a platform for both announcements as well as engaging the development community in “all the things” Here are my 2017 predictions

Announcements

Every year Build features some sort of announcements. Some years are snooze fests. Other years are really exiting. This year should be an exiting year.

My Opinion: This year will preview the tick of the tick-tock cycle of development highlighting major new features of Redstone 3. Of these announcements I predict major UI changes via Neon and core refactoring. I also expect to see advancements in tooling highlighting a doubling down on DevOps

 

Mobile

Microsoft must explain their mobile strategy. Sure my Windows Mobile device is just running “Windows” now but what about hardware? Does Windows Universal matter if there is no hardware to take advantage of it? We’ll see.

My Opinion:Lots of people a are shipping advanced hardware. Why not run Windows on it. I predict Microsoft will begin to co-ship Android devices that can be boot loaded with Windows. e.g. Samsung GS8 Microsoft Edition that mysteriously turned up lately.

 

Cloud

Cloud is not really renting hardware. Cloud is an architecture; Cloud is a culture. You need to be doing both if you expect to compete in just about any business.

My Opinion: Azure gets cheaper. Azure becomes part of my data center via Azure Stack GA this year. AI becomes the key differentiator powering your enterprise.

 

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Microsoft announced at their Data Amp event today next version of SQL Server is SQL Server 2017. Of the many major announcements additional support for Python, R and native AI features blows my mind.There is so much goodness to be learned. Check out more at the SQL Sever blog here.

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Remember Windows Vista? I do. It was a really big deal for a number of reasons. The codename for Windows Vista was "longhorn" and it was way (way) ahead of its time. So much so, that many hardware vendors thought they could get away by just recycling the same Windows XP drivers they had been using for a while. The net result, instability and a public perception of a slow, unstable operating system.

On Tuesday April 11th 2017 Support for Windows Vista is officially over. April 11th 2017 also marks the launch of Windows 10 Creators Update. In between were multiple operating system, a lot of innovation, and a whole lot of history.

When Windows Vista was launched, a public facing build of Windows wasn't seen for several years of development. The feedback loop was so slow that ideas and problems took weeks and months to ingest resulting in a not so nimble product. Fast forward to Windows 10, and Windows Insider Builds ship in the order of daily cadence. Daily builds of something as large as Windows, arguably the most complex piece of software on the planet, can be built and shipped using DevOps patterns, practices and culture. What is the lesson learned here? Patterns, practices, and culture matter and they result in better products faster, cheaper and smarter.

So Windows, here is to the last 10 years and many more to come.