BUILD 2014 – Day 1 Keynote

BUILD 2014, San Francisco
Keynote 1 – Joe Belfiore, Nick Hedderman, David Treadwell, Kirk Koenigsbauer, Harry Pierson, Terry Myerson, Stephen Elop, Satya Nadella

Day 1, 2 Apr 2014, 8:30AM-11:30AM

Disclaimer: This post contains my own thoughts and notes based on watching BUILD 2014 keynotes and presentations. Some content maps directly to what was originally presented. Other content is paraphrased or represents my own thoughts and opinions and should not be construed as reflecting the opinion of Microsoft or of the presenters or speakers.

… missing content, due to Livestream being unavailable at start of Keynote …

Belfiore is showing off Cortana

Love that Joe is struggling to get Cortana to recognize his voice.. “Vagaries of a service that’s alive”

Future of Halo game? Cortana says sorry, you don’t have access to that info

Pretty sure that was a canned response

Love that Cortana is being sold as a “she”—competing with Siri, clearly. And targeting young white techie males and guys who enjoyed the movie “Her”

Nice that they talked to “real-world personal assistants”

People reminder

The next time I talk to so-and-so, ask her about her puppy.

  • But will the phone chirp in and say this out loud?

Using Cortana to tell Hulu to add something to his queue

  • Natural language

“What’s up with Terry”?

Cortana was on the Tonight Show?

Cortana is the first truly personal digital assistant


Nick Hedderman – Windows Phone 8.1

Various interesting things ..

Joe Belfiore

Joe is back, joining Nick.. 11:12am


  • Added various abilities
  • Partner ecosystem
  • Windows experience comes to life across variety of devices
  • Windows Phone is the right choice for business

Joe – Features Added to Windows Phone 8.1

Quick sampling of features put in to make you smile

Enhancements to Store experience

  • Happier finding apps

Pan left—”FOR YOU” area with recommendations

Also quick links, e.g. “New and Rising Apps”


Next—new calendar

  • Swipe to right to get to next day

For developers, have reimplemented using the public dev API only


Improve basic performance of Windows Phone

  • WiFi Sense – Suggest “good” WiFi spots

Can automatically sign-in without user intervention

Another scenario

  • Having to give friends your WiFi password
  • You can securely share your WiFi password with your friends
  • WiFi Sense Service lets them sign into hotspot, gives them access only to Internet
  • Don’t have to tell them the password

His sister calls:

Ahh, Cortana says—ask her about her new puppy.

Can elevate to Skype call

Nicely scripted—funny—”your new puppy is beautiful”.

Joe’s favorite feature in Windows Phone 8.1

  • Enhancements to WordFlow keyboard
  • Learns what you type
  • Much better in Win Phone 8.1
  • Addition of shape writing

Wow—incredibly fast

Outrageously fast typing, actually.

Here’s a video showing use of the keyboard, world record for typing on phone keyboard.

  • Beating Galaxy S4

WordFlow keyboard is now world-record holder for fastest typing on a smart phone.


How does Win Phone 8.1 work with Windows?

  • Auto upload to OneDrive (oops—started to say SkyDrive—laughter)


  • Password for WiFi shared
  • Theme color, etc.
  • IE11, now part of Win Phone 8.1
    • New reading mode

“Many, many delighters”

When will people get Win Phone 8.1?

  • Update in next few months to consumers
  • Pre-installed on new phones, starting in late-April
  • Will hear more about new phones later
  • David Treadwell will have something for you (in audience)

Love Joe’s red shoes

Windows 8.1 Update

  • On desktop, focus on mouse/keyboard
  • Boot/resume straight to desktop

Bing showing things that he told Cortana about

Enterprise Mode in IE11

  • Change user agent string et. al. to mimic IE 8, for legacy sites
  • IT managers can set list of sites that should auto-trigger this setting in IE11
  • Mix of modern rendering for new sites, older rendering within enterprise
  • Easier story for deploying on PCs in enterprise

UI improvements for mouse/keyboard

  • Taskbar
    • Have Title bar, Minimize icon in Modern apps (at least he didn’t say “Metro”)
    • Switch between Modern apps and Win 32
    • Same switching model for all apps
    • Polite applause
    • “Work that we did to make touch great is unaffected by these changes”

  • Start screen
    • PC Settings tile
    • Power button (the death of Charms?)
    • Right-click context menu: Unpin from Start, etc. (Microsoft is going back to these familiar paradigms, kicking and screaming)

Pre-pinning Store app to Taskbar

  • Likely because some users never found the Store app

When people search, make your apps more prominent—i.e. apps in Store show up in Search

New apps highlighted now in the All Apps list

Update will be available 8-Apr

“Windows 8.1 Update”

Have a terrific BUILD conference

Cortana introduces David


David Treadwell – Corp VP, Operating Systems Group

What we’re doing for developers in OS, tools, etc.

  • David has been at Microsoft for 25 year

  • Wrote Sockets layer for Windows NT

  • David describer driver architecture to prove he’s got “dev chops”
  • “Another freaking driver” (probably he said something else)
  • WinSock.dll and driver’s name became “AFD” (Another Freaking Driver)
  • Wow, this is going long
  • He named it the “Ancillary Function Driver”
  • To this day, afd.sys
  • Geez, that was a long joke

Three main areas where we’re listening to you as developers

  • Some secondary audio track is kicking in here
  • So I missed this, grr.

We all want same app experiences across all devices

Introducing Universal Windows apps

Use common code across phones, tablets, desktops

  • First in industry to make it easy to build apps across all these devices

User Interface

  • One app running across all form factors; should adapt GUI automatically
  • Adapt one design across devices
  • Tailor experience to the form factor

  • Bulk of the code is the same across all devices

App Model

  • Based on Windows Runtime

  • Use the programming language that you love

Kevin Gallo – Visual Studio

Is “Universal App” taken from iOS? I.e. iPhone/iPad

Visual Studio demo

  • Windows Phone 8.1 target
  • Kevin should talk to Hanselman about how to zoom in on app during a demo

Code moved into shared project, including XAML

Hub control is universal control

  • So you can use it for all devices, e.g. Phone, PC

Ignore warnings, “like most of you probably do as well” – big laugh

Hmm, does Win Phone emulator crash Office 365 for him as well?

Need to now tune app for the device

  • And add device-specific features
  • Different user controls for various views

This is the part where the journalists/bloggers doze off and the devs sit up and take notice


Quickly switch context to another device:

Two key features

  • Build Universal Apps
  • Share some/all code and do tuning per-device


Dave Treadwell is back

Have streamlined the Store experience around Universal Apps

  • Shared App identities
  • Can buy just one app for multiple platforms
  • Universal App badge to indicate that experience is the same across devices
  • “Host of other improvements”
  • Submitting apps to Store is 50x faster (what does this mean? Process?)


Let’s take a look at Cortana in Visual Studio 2013

  • Sorry Dave, I can’t do that
  • Another poor joke


Kirk Koenigsbauer – Corp VP, Office

Bring forward Office experience to Modern platform

Open a file and open a document.

“Unmistakenly Office experience”

  • Touch-first Ribbon

Every document should open flawlessly on any platform

  • Includes Smart Art, text, graphics, etc.
  • Full fidelity of Office experience

Blazingly fast

  • Built on DirectX


  • Touchpoints on Ribbon are big

Automatically constantly saving to OneDrive in cloud

  • Unlimited Undo via unlimited versions

Presentation mode, transition effects:


Inking with finger:


Taking advantage of Windows Runtime

  • Look at same application on Phone (as what was on tablet)

Phones, tablets, PCs, large screens


Dave again

We’ve added hundreds of new features to Win Phone 8.1:

What it means for existing Win Phone apps

  • Silverlight Phone 8.0 apps will continue to run
  • Update to Silverlight Phone 8.1 app to get new features
  • Or migrate to Universal Windows App

App voice commands powered by Cortana:

Love it when the stream stutters: “The power of Cortana, power of Cortana, power of Cortana”

Another speech recognition demo

New tweet, hashtag cortana hashtag awesome

“Well, we were close”

Existing enterprise apps

  • Win 8.1 update, reuse more of your existing code

Harry Pierson – Operating Systems Group

Gosh, he doesn’t look like an Enterprise App developer

Let’s look at old enterprise app:

Windows tablets run Windows

  • This app runs on SQL Compact
  • Can run on x86 compatible tablet
  • But won’t be good user experience—since designed for keyboard/mouse
  • We want a touch-first version
  • But don’t want to throw away code

Brokered Components feature

  • Looking at code that interacts with database
  • New DLL for RT that runs old-style DLL in brokered mode
  • Underlying DLL has full access to Windows
  • For side-loaded apps only
  • Nice way to “cheat” Win RT constraints and get at old-style stuff like local data access, outside of WinRT

Every good Microsoft demo starts with the words “All I had to do”..


Dave Treadwell back

Third major theme of talk

  • How Windows enables cross-platform apps
  • We’re working hard to make cross-platform work better for everyone
  • Critical need in today’s world
  • “We want to help you with that”
  • We want to contribute to that world (of course you do)

Developers using Unity published 3,000 apps in 9 mos in Windows Store

  • ?

HTML/Web is one of the most important cross-platform technologies

  • Brought to phones
  • Access latest HTML5 stuff
  • E.g. WebGL – hardware-accelerated 3D graphics (no applause)
  • Media Source extensions, adaptive bit-rate streaming
  • As he said “streaming”, he stuttered
  • “Huge” for your productivity

HTML will continue to be big way to do cross-platform

Is he saying all of this to assure us that Miguel isn’t the complete king-of-the-hill now?

Web-based fish aquarium demo

  • 3D graphics benchmark
  • WebGL using hardware acceleration

Inline video playback:


  • Infrastructure for high-quality modern apps
  • Works alongside other Javascript libraries
  • Going cross-platform and open source

  • Open source under Apache 2.0 license
  • Is this Microsoft throwing WinJS into the recycling bin?

I showed you three things

  • Reach customers across multiple devices
  • You need to deliver apps/services on other platforms


  • Win 8.1 update available today
  • Visual Studio 2013 update 2 RC available today
  • Win Phone 8.1 Dev preview – registered Win Phone app devs can download/install on their existing Win Phone 8 devices


Terry Myerson is back

Main feedback at BUILD—share your roadmap

  • What’s coming?

Here’s some stuff that’s coming in the future (not available today)

Universal apps on all Windows devices

  • What about TV?
  • Xbox is the best TV experience
  • Used on 80,000,000 televisions
  • XBox One – avg user is using 5 hrs/day (I know this guy)
  • We’ll do Universal Apps running on Xbox

Demo – educational content videos – Khan Academy

  • Have shown tablet and Win Phone
  • Now—XBox

Hmm, it just looks like the tablet (which is the point):

Shared code in shared part of project

I can use Visual Studio—just look at my hands!

Do these 5-hrs-a-day guys really want to run the Khan Academy app? Doubtful.

“One interaction model across platforms”


  • At first, “hey pretty neat”
  • Took home, played games with kids
  • Whole new way of interacting with computer
  • Important to bring Kinect to PC—Kinect for Windows a while back
  • 400,000 active devs with Kinect (really?)

Today—Kinect v2 for Windows

  • Uses new sensor included in XBox One
  • Skeletal tracking, facial tracking, gesture recognition
  • Good in low light
  • Not just games

Two companies in video, using Kinect

  • Physical Therapy
  • “Freakin’ Genius”—bring art of animation to everyone

Umm, is this what we want?

To be honest, I don’t want my doctor using Kinect

Terry is back

  • “I really think you should explore this”
  • These cameras are going to become pervasive


  • XBox One graphics are phenomenal

  • XBox has low-level control that allows access to this graphics technology

Make this technology available on every platform

  • Bring into DirectX 12 and bring DX12 onto every device
  • Same graphics platform on every device (he has to beg for applause at this point)

Looks like somebody just discovered parallel algorithms.

Asked Turn 10 Studios (Forza) to look at DX12 on PC

Forza on PC


Internet of Things

  • Oh crap, here it comes.
  • Intel’s Galileo board, with full x86 system-on-chip
  • “PC runs on something the size of an eraser”

Built step-on-floor piano using Galileo

  • “Piano that runs Windows”
  • See? This is why we don’t want/need the Internet of Things
  • Telnet into Piano (yikes)
  • Playing Heart and Soul by running an app

Attach debugger to piano

Joe B. dances on piano as debugger spits out Trace statements (so WHY did we do this)?

Things are connected to the Internet

  • Piano is feeding data back to Azure data service
  • Hey, Joe knows Heart and Soul. And he saw “Big”

“The devices that we are programming to are going to change”


(Isn’t he 10 mins over at this point?)


Windows Desktop

  • “All in with this Desktop experience”
  • Universal Apps can run in a window

New Start Menu

Available to all Windows 8.1 users, as an update (audience actually GASPS)

When Windows for Internet of Things is available, it will be FREE

We’re officially watching an Infommercial


Free XBox One to everyone in the audience

BIG cheers. Oh wait, every geek in the audience already has one.

And a $500 g.c. for a new device.

Beliefs that guide as

  • We believe in natural user interface (gestures, voice)
  • We believe in Internet of Things
    • As screens get smaller, the cloud gets bigger
  • We believe in all of you (starting to feel like a Gary Cooper film)


Stephen Elop – Exec VP Nokia

“In just a few days or weeks”.. (joining Microsoft)

Spark is lit by Windows Phone 8.1

  • Nokia Lumia devices are best way to light up that experience
  • Existing Lumia devices get better with 8.1

I.e., All existing Win Phone 8 devices

  • E.g. Lumia 520 running Win Phone 8.1
    • Best phone at its price point
  • Lumia 1520 fully loaded with 8.1
  • Adding some extra colors in coming days

Introduce next generation of Lumia devices

  • Lumia 930

  • Build on/for Win Phone 8.1
  • Elegant
  • Vibrant new colors
  • 5″ full HD display, amazing readability

  • 20MP PureView camera; optical image stabilization
  • Zeiss optics
  • Creative Studio
    • Filters, sharing

  • Living Images, storyteller – video
    • Music in background
    • Mix of images and video
    • Share to social networks
  • Cinematic video experiences
    • 4 high-perf digital microphones
    • Surround sound capture
    • Or focus sound with directional stereo recording
  • Microsoft services well integrated into Lumia
    • OneDrive (Stephen’s a pro—he didn’t even come close to saying SkyDrive)
  • 2.2GHz SnapDragon 800 quad-core
    • “Just rocks”
  • Avail in June, in Europe, Asia
  • In US, focused on continuing with Icon
    • And 1520
    • Sad face, no US availability?!
  • Around $599 before subsidies

Lumia 630, 635

  • Uncompromised, lower price points
  • Five colors, changeable shells
  • 3G single SIM or 3G dual-SIM
  • 3 column, even on smaller screen


  • Separate call history (or you can merge them)
  • In Contacts, can specify which SIM to use for calling that person

Cortana available on all Win Phone 8.1 devices

  • Bringing Cortana to all price points

Equivalent of fitness band

  • Sensor Core – tracks motion/location

Nokia stuff

  • Nokia MixRadio
  • HERE Maps

Lumia 630, 635

  • QuadCore
  • First devices with Win Phone 8.1 – in May
  • Lots of operator support
  • In US by July
  • 640 3G single SIM: $159 ($169 dual-SIM) ($189 4G)

Two new SDKs

  • Imaging SDK 1.2
  • SensorCore SDK (motion-based apps)



Satya Nadella – New CEO

Major applause

Where’s my Keynote?

Mobile-First, Cloud-First

Satya answering developer questions, gathered by Evangelism group

  • Will play and Satya will respond

Q: Android dev, wondering why he should build for Windows

A: We’re going to innovate with a challenger mindset

  • Every dimension—hardware, software
  • Bring IT, users, and devs together
  • Create “developer opportunity”
  • Opportunity for developers is expanding
  • Microsoft betting on this platform


Q: How will apps developed on MS platforms port to other platforms?

A: Make is possible for every dev to bring assets to other platforms

  • That’s the principle
  • APIs with language bindings across native/managed/web
  • Can build core libraries in language of choice and then move to other platforms
  • PhoneGap, Xamarin, Unity (this is key—not just Miguel, but this is the full set of partners)


Q: Stanford CS Major – What are you doing to compete against Apple and Google in tablets?

A: Apps as well as great price points

  • 8.1 update is big milestone
  • Tablets across full price range
  • Surface—continue to innovate the most productive tablet out there
  • Competitiveness—what is role of tablet in user’s “device family”
  • Consistency for user and consistency for developer, across devices
  • Want users to think about “Windows family of devices”


Q: UX Designer – Where do you see UX Design in 5 years?

A: Have come a long way with design and User Experience

  • Great team, doing awesome work (live tiles)!
  • Mentions Bill Buxton
  • Natural user interfaces—context—who/what/where/when defines UI
  • E.g. Speech is best interface for car

Q: Architect – How will MS support vendors in designing for Cloud?

A: Stay tuned, the Gu speaks tomorrow

  • What does it mean to build native Cloud app?
  • E.g. Back-end for Titanfall
  • Plan for Scale Out from Day 1
  • Middle-tier stateless
  • Hey, Cloud is what Satya knows best!
  • Message passing between public/private clouds
  • Important to understand the platform
  • Tooling, samples, etc.

Q: Avoid having to relearn for each product?

A: For sure

  • Universal App is first step in this direction
  • 90% of the APIs are now consistent between phone/tablet/PC
  • We’re fixing it
  • Pretty big focus for us

Q: What is the plan to deal with latency in the cloud?

A: It’s a big issue

  • Speed-of-light issues
  • Need to design your apps for it
  • We’re doing a lot in this area
  • Data Centers
  • 1 Billion users on any given day
  • Caching storage
  • Improve latency
  • Lots of networking infrastructure
  • Geo-distributed apps

Q: How can Microsoft help startups?

A: Important to us

  • Look at BizSpark
  • Accelerators
  • Great to be engaged with startups from early point

Q: What is Microsoft’s main Vision, going forward?

A: Thrive in this word of mobile-first, cloud-first

  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Machine learning, HCI, etc.
  • Goal is to build platforms, create best end-user experience
  • And IT infrastructure

Cortana asks: will you become “Master Chief Executive Officer”?

Cortana: Would you like exit music?

2 thoughts on “BUILD 2014 – Day 1 Keynote

  1. Pingback: BUILD 2014 – Day 1 Keynote | 2,000 Things You Should Know About WPF

  2. Pingback: BUILD 2014 – Day 1 Keynote | 2,000 Things You Should Know About C#

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