Making things possible: Microsoft Build 2019

Hubert Taler

Service Line Manager, Enterprise Applications

11 min read

Microsoft Build is an annual developer conference held by Microsoft. The target audience is software engineers, DevOps and web developers using the Microsoft technology stack. However, in recent years Microsoft has made great progress towards open source and open software, demonstrating a flexible and inclusive approach to their products and services. Build welcomes all technology enthusiasts. 

Bringing about a positive change

Some facts and figures about this year’s event:

•    The conference was held in Washington Convention Center in Seattle. 
•    The space used during the convention exceeded 18500 square meters.
•    The number of attendees was limited to 6000 (due to venue capacity).

During the opening keynote, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella spoke about their mission to enable every person and every organization to achieve more: It starts by empowering developers with the platforms and tools to go after moonshots in every industry, in every sphere of life and society. – he said.


Main themes 

This year, two topics were in focus during over 150 sessions that were presented to attendees:

•    Azure which was called the world’s computer. Microsoft’s own cloud platform is becoming more open and supportive to all kinds of users: from IT departments to developers and DevOps.

•    AI – Artificial Intelligence: Microsoft’s idea is that AI is currently too hard to use from the average engineer perspective. As the world becomes digitalized, there is an opportunity for every organization to harness the power of connected data and intelligence to become a truly AI-first company.

Some of the partners, like Mattel or Starbucks, were also showcasing AI and mixed reality-based solutions. For example, Starbucks presented a big data-powered machine learning solution allowing them to predict what kind of coffee and snacks would be ordered at the location on the given time of day and year, with multiple additional parameters like the weather.

Powerful productivity cloud

Microsoft 365 was another big topic during this year’s Build. Microsoft’s own productivity cloud is a comprehensive solution that brings together connected experiences, integrated workflows and intelligent security. The Microsoft Graph which is the core of Microsoft 365 makes information about people, their relationships and all their data artifacts available, so developers can build genuinely people-centric apps. Microsoft 365 was also showcased by Microsoft’s partners like Christian Dior or Talentsoft.

Future of gaming 

Microsoft also showed how they use Azure, AI and big data in their gaming platform Xbox. For game developers, Microsoft Game Stack provides all tools and services for bringing their game ideas to life. The core of this approach is Azure PlayFab, which offers LiveOps to game developers so they can make data-driven changes to a game after it’s been launched.

Not just business 

The Build is not only about work: apart from breakout sessions, there were lots of fun things to do, like building your own robots or IoT devices. Kids could learn how to start coding using Microsoft-owned Minecraft as an example. Registered attendees were able to bring their children to the venue for free.

That’s only a small part of the Build experience. To summarize it, it’s best to quote Satya Nadella himself: The Build conference is about imagining what’s possible – and, more importantly, making it possible. The world of possibilities is endless.

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