Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

Summary: Microsoft's upcoming Build conference for Windows 8 remains mostly shrouded in secrecy. But a few of the Build speakers are bravely revealing themselves via their blogs.


In two weeks, starting on September 13, Microsoft is finally slated (pun intended) to take more wraps off Windows 8 at its Build conference.

As readers of this blog know all too well, Microsoft still has not published a list of sessions or speakers for the conference, and unceremoniously dropped its pre-conference plans -- after a number of folks already had made travel arrangements for Anaheim, Calif.

Despite all the secrecy, Microsoft's Build police seem to be allowing some of the folks who are speaking at the conference to acknowledge that fact. "I'm speaking at Build" badges (shown above) are beginning to pop up on various blogs. The speakers are not allowed to divulge the content or names of their sessions. But the growing list still offers a few clues as to what could be on the Build agenda.

Microsoft execs have been touting Build as the big reveal for Windows 8 client and server for developers. They haven't said what other kind of developer content might also be featured at the conference. I'd say it's likely -- given who some of the speakers are -- that Windows Azure is going to be featured very prominently at the four-day show, too.

Here's a list of Build speakers that I've found so far, with a little help from my friends (including @GillesPeron).

David Aiken: WorldWide Windows Azure Technical Specialist, also known as The David Aiken.

Jose Barreto: A member of the File Server team in Windows Server at Microsoft.

Vittorio Bertocci: Principal program manager with the identity product team and Windows Identity Foundation expert. Works on identity products for both on-premises and the cloud. Phil Haack: Senior Program Manager on the ASP.NET team. All around funny guy, even when writing blog posts like: "Calling ASP.NET MVC Action Methods from JavaScript."

Nick Harris: The proud owner of the C# license plate. Also, a Windows Azure Technical Evangelist who also knows a lot about ASP.Net and Windows Phone.

Ron Jacobs: Aha! Finally some sign of WPF/Silverlight. He's a Senior Program Manager for the App Fabric Development Platform and deals with Workflow/WPF. (Thanks, @lmaji) (Note: Updated on September 6 to remove WPF references, after hearing back from Jacobs.)

Ade Miller: A self-described "Principal Program Manager for Dryad and DryadLINQ a set of technologies that support data-intensive computing applications running on a Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 cluster."

Matthew Osborn: A software development engineer working on ASP.NET team, specifically on WebPages, MVC, and NuGet. (thanks @wvaneck)

Brian H. Prince: Cloud Evangelist for Microsoft and co-author of Azure In Action.

Nathan Totten: Technical evangelist for Windows Azure and developer of the Facebook C# SDK. (Thanks to @rogerjenn for the heads up on this one)

Josh Twist: One of cofounders of "The Joy of Code" blog. He is a Program Manager with the Microsoft Workflow Team.

Michael Washam: Technical Evangelist. focused on private and public cloud computing, web development and server workloads. (Thanks to @wvaneck for the tip on Warsham.)

Wade Wegner: Technical Evangelist for Windows Azure. He's been involved with some of the new Azure toolkits for iOS and Windows Phone, among other projects.

This is obviously by no means a complete list. But the Azure and ASP.Net representation is interesting.

I've heard a rumor that Day 2 (September 14) is likely to be "Azure day" at Build, while Day 1 will be heavily focused on HTML5. I have not heard anything more/new about what will be said about .Net 4.5 or Silverlight 5 and their place in the Windows 8 ecosystem.

Anyone know of other confirmed Build speakers? Who will be keynoting, beyond Windows President Steven Sinofsky? (Any thoughts/guesses?)

I'm doubtful we'll see any kind of real session list or agenda before the conference kicks off on September 13, so I guess we'll just have to keep piecing things together best we can until then.

Other Microsoft Build-related stories:

Microsoft Build Conference for Windows 8 sells out

Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate (a Build give-away?)

Microsoft: If we build a new developers conference, will they come?

Microsoft Windows boss shares more on Windows 8 features

Windows 8: New third-party apps discovered

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

    I would be amazed if The Gu and Hanselman weren't speaking. Also expect a lot more core Windows speakers - there just arent many bloggers in that crowd.
    • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

      Hanselman said on Windows Phone Dev podcast that he was not going to even be at //build.
  • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

    Oh teak, and Clemens Vasters. Wouldn't be BUILD/PDC without Clemensv :)
    • Yes. Definitely only the start of the list

      I agree re: your "musts"... A dev show without them would be very incomplete and strange . MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

    Microsoft need to learn how to increase user experience from OS X; well until and unless they won't do so, users will continue to flock towards Mac as millions have already done it. I smell another Vista disaster...
    • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

      OS/X? Please, try something else.
      It is especially not a reference in terms of global UX. Aside few recent interesting features, the UX evolution in OS/X is nothing to brag about.
    • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?


      I agree, they've lost like... 2% a year.

      At this rate, if they don't change, Microsoft will lose their majority in a short 20+ years! We must stop the flood of converts!
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

        @goff256 LOL! They haven't lost anything to OS X.
      • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

        I was being sarcastic, just from what was said.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

      @shellcodes_coder LOL! Don't make me laugh. Windows 90% market share. OS X less than 6% market share. Do the math. You are beyond clueless. Nobody is flocking to OS X. It's market share is as irrelevant as ever.

      You really are about as clueless as it gets.
      • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

        lol dude, still dreaming? they have less than 90% market share right now. Millions have already moved to Mac and how many Mac users move back to Windows? very few. People will continue to move to Mac and Microsoft won't be able to stop it. Windows 8--new tablet UI and very new I said I smell Vista and ME's best friend
      • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

        They have 88%, still a very vast majority.

        You really do need to get a clue, shellcodes. They're not losing HUGE AMOUNTS OF THE MARKET to the Mac.

        And the tablet UI is for... you guessed it, Tablets.

        So, yeah, take your predictions and shove them. You haven't been right so far, Windows is still dominant. OSX is still an OSX with barely double-digits.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

      Perhaps my experience with OS X hasn't been the same as yours, but I find it terribly difficult to use, clumsy, and unintuitive.
      E.g. You want to change the font size in your mail client (because it is too small) - you spend a good 10 minutes fumbling around in all the different dropdowns and menus to find that option that changes it. Maybe that's just fault of the programmer, but that particular program came from Apple
      (same usabilities exist in other programs, like Writer).

      Then there's the lack of simple, basic software, like paint.

      I'd argue jumping icons is not user experience, it is eye-candy (Sure, it looks cool, but it doesn't mean anything to the user). Now, take the Windows 7 taskbar: It's easy to see which programs are running, and there are subtle hints on how many windows it has open (up to 3). When you hover over them, a little panel moving-fades in quickly and you can pick which window you want to switch to. That transition is helpful because you are switching between two UI states.
      Whilst you could argue the jumping is too, It is not like it jumps up to a 2nd bar of running applications.
      • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

        Taskbar is useless. Can you pin folders to your taskbar? No. Upon pinning too many icons, the taskbar will show a scrollbar and you have to scroll to find the application icon but that's not the case with OS X's dock. Besides, dock is much more powerful
      • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

        Why do you want folders on the Taskbar when you have Jumplists in Win 7? Jumplists even work for sites in IE and provide additional options within a website. You can also Aeropeek Tabs in IE9.

        Also, why do you want every icon in the Taskbar or Dock? It should be the most used applications, otherwise what's the point? Are you one of those people that pin every single program to the Dock? Or has a million icons on the desktop? So you end up spending more time trying to find the program you want.

        What are these more powerful features you speak of in the OSX Dock? I'm typing this on Snow Leopard and the only options I can see for an Icon are "Show in Finder," "Open at Login," "Open/Keep in Dock" and Quit/Force Quit.

        Oh yeah, and the rip off of Aeropeek, when you long press over the Icon.

        There may be more in Lion but I'm not upgrading until at least 10.7.2. I value my workflow more than having the latest and greatest.
      • You can pin folders

        @xnederlandx You can do this in windows 7
        A Gray
  • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

    Whoever speaks at Build, the conference must hit HARD on day one.
    This is Microsoft one chance to start the buzz on Windows 8 and build sufficient hype to eventually steer the tablet market.
    I have high hopes for the new application models (HTML5+Scripting and a new managed one) that could finally offer a single binary for every screen using a new and innovative CPU architecture agnostic strategy.
  • IE10 will be there for sure.

    The IEteam has already stated that it will inform people about (all) new IE10 features. I expect Dean Hachamovitch and possibly someone else to show of a IE10 PP3 or first beta of IE10 at Build

    This is from the IEteam taken from the IE blog:
    "FYI: The next set of announcements regarding IE10 functionality will be made September 13 at the //BUILD/ Windows conference ( We hope to see many of you there.

    We?ll begin blogging about the newest features of IE10 on that day"
    • RE: Microsoft's Build: Who's on the speaker list?

      @IE9 +1
      Ram U
  • what about Silverlight

    on this partial list , none of the speakers are from the Silverlight or WPF team.. hmmmm