Build 2015 – Day 1

So back in January we first got to see the HoloLens. My boss and I watched the presentation and I made the off-the-cuff remark, “I need to go to Build.” To my surprise and glee, my boss said, “Okay.” So now I find myself here and, to be honest, I’m incredibly excited and a little troubled.

Two amazing announcements, among many, during the day one keynote were Astoria and Islandwood. For those who haven’t heard, they mean you can now (with relatively minor tweaking) use your Android and iOS code bases to create Windows 10 projects. For now, it’s limited to the mobile SKUs (phones and tablets with sub-8″ screens), but it does remove the need to completely re-develop your app. In many cases it’ll just work. I have to say this is exciting. My job is developing Windows apps, and this impacts that, but it also means more apps on the platform and less gapping for those who need that Android or iOS app.

We also saw an incredible thing. Many months ago, I mentioned having some way to turn a phone into a desktop. I bugged a lot of Microsoft employees about this and never got an answer. For me, it is the logical extension of Continuum. It was an exhilarating thing to see Joe Belfiore plug his phone into a screen and control it with a keyboard and mouse. The guy sitting with me said I actually gave a little squeal when Belfiore did this. I’m fully expecting an x86/x64 powered phone that will run Win32 apps under continuum.

Another exciting moment was finally seeing HoloLens “in the wild” with a demo of how a person would use it in their home. Movable (and following screens) mixed with set-piece apps really fleshed out what a lot of people expected. I signed up for a 4 hour development session with the HoloLens. Wish me luck!

Really, so much more happened at the keynote it was hard to take it all in. I encourage everyone to fire up the Channel 9 video. If you’re a Microsoftie, or just want to see where the elephant is moving, it’s full of vision. I’m pretty excited for the next 5 years, and Build is just starting!

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