Build 2.0: Microsoft's Windows 8 developer conference is on for late October in Redmond

Build 2.0: Microsoft's Windows 8 developer conference is on for late October in Redmond

Summary: The rumors were right: There's another Build conference. It's this October, right after Windows 8 is made generally available.


Microsoft finally has gone public with details about its next big Windows developer conference.

Build 2012, a k a Build 2.0, will be held October 30 to November 2 in Redmond, Wash. Registration will open on August 8, 2012.


I don't know when/whether Microsoft will publish a session list for this conference; officials decided against doing that with the first Build to maintain secrecy. But we do know Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure, Windows Phone and Visual Studio 2012 are all supposed to be covered during the confab.

Microsoft definitely needs to pump up the developer interest and understanding of Windows 8, especially around its new WinRT framework and API set. While existing Win32 non-Metro-Style apps will be able to run on the Desktop on Intel-based Windows 8 machines, they won't be able to work on ARM-based devices. And they won't be able to be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. One Windows developer (@josefajardo) estimated that there could be as few as 1,200 Metro-Style Windows 8 apps available by launch.


Microsoft officials said earlier this year that Microsoft would be replacing its Mix show with a new developer conference to be held in 2012. My tipsters have been saying for the past few months that this conference, Build 2.0, would be held in October.

Microsoft's first Build conference was held in Anaheim in September 2011.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems


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).

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  • Why So Few Apps At Launch

    I have a buddy who's been trying to submit an app to the marketplace but has been having a lot of difficulty. Apparently he needs to get a special 4 hour course with a local MS evangelist which he has been unable to get. Presumably MS is limiting the number of apps on launch to increase quality when it opens. But my guess is it's a ploy to get a huge delta of apps/day to increase the perceived developer post-launch interest while maybe getting some nice looking stats.
  • There'll be plenty of Metro apps

    Windows 8 and the store is still beta, not sure why people are looking at that and country launch apps with beta products. The Store and Windows 8 will be RTM probably in the next week and of course there Visual Studio 2012 RTM needed as well. When all of the pieces in place things will quickly take shape. What other non-phone platform is going to sell in the numbers Windows 8 will. Even if Windows 8 does no better than Vista it would still outnumber iPads and all Android tablets combined in sales.
  • Don't worry about Metro Apps

    There will be a huge selection of apps available once things are finalized.There are thousands of developers waiting for the App store to open... currently app submission is by invitation only...
    • Re: Don't worry about Metro Apps

      "once things are finalized" ... that's the problem. When will things be "finalized"? First Windows Mobile was dropped in favour of Windows Phone 7, which has now been end-of-lifed with all eyes directed towards Windows Phone 8. Microsoft's attempt to give direction to its users and developers just seems to introduce more and more uncertainty that they actually know where they are going.
  • 3D for C# Developers

    I really hope they unveil some new way to mix 3D content into our C# / Xaml / WinRT apps (not just games). I don't care if it's XNA, Silverlight 5 3D (or WPF 3D) or some fancy new WinRT / DirectX 11.1 thing. As long as it is provided by Microsoft (not some open source third party thing) and is easy to use from C# (or other managaged languages). I've said it before, C++ does not own 3D.
  • WP7 Apps should have been auto-ported

    They should have made all existing WP7 apps automatically work on WinRT. In fact, they should have made all XBLIG XBox games work as apps as well. They should have made all existing Silverlight OOB applications work as apps. Maybe they still can. If they do that they could have well over 100K apps on day 1.
    • That would just be inflating the numbers without quality.

      I think Microsoft is willing to forego large numbers in favor of better quality. The mobile OS space is full of junk and while I'm sure the Windows Store will be also hopefully Microsoft can improve the situation a little bit.
      • The Bank App

        I agree except for those ellusive "banking apps." I don't care about the 100K apps, I just want my one bank app that took years to show up in the WP7 app sotre. I don't want to have to wait another few years for it to show up in the Metro app store. Just make it work. I don't care if it's pretty.
      • You said it

        After all, how many "fart" apps do you really need?
        Maybe MSFT is learning from iApps.
        milo ducillo
    • Quantity Doesn't Matter

      The shear number of apps doesn't matter. I don't know why people can't understand this.

      Window phone with just over 100,000 apps has all the quality ones from the iOS and Android stores.
      • I agree but...

        Since everyone else doesn't seem sophisticated enough to understand it, it seems like we should just get all the existing apps out there. That way the uneducated salesperson doesn't tell the customer things like "Well, it looks pretty nice but it just doesn't have the same number of apps as this other tablet."

        They should do it the same way they did the transition from old WP7 apps to new WP7 apps that suported the new Mango features. All old apps just worked on Mango, but then they pushed the developers to recompile their apps for Mango, making the necessary changes over the course of the next year.
      • Agreed.

        If it's 1,200 quality apps, it's more than enough. I mean, I guess I never needed more than 100 different desktop applications (the big ones and tiny utilities altogether) on Windows so far. And we're talking about "apps" here, not applications.

        Another point: I'll never understand why we need so many different proprietary app models (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, now Windows 8) when we could have it all in a compatible browser on every platform (the Mail app, for example, is completely useless to me - I use Google Mail, for example, and its web interface "just works" without the need to go to three different stores to have it on all devices I use).
        • 1200 sounds like a lot

          but when you start breaking them into categories, and search the store for a specifc type of app, you hit the end of the list faster than expected.
          milo ducillo
      • "I don't know why people can't understand this"

        By "people", of course you mean "customers". Remember them? They are the ones supposed to pay for all this indulgence. If they don't think it's worthwhile to do so, then it's good-bye to Microsoft, and to all its hangers-on.
  • Too bad it's going to be too early for all the devs to be given a surface.

    Maybe they will all be given one to be delivered post build. A WP8 is a given, maybe a Nokia also post build.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Wait...

      ...isn't GA for Windows 8 planned for October 26 and the Surface supposed to be available at the same time? BUILD 2012 will take place after that date - so Surfaces be given at BUILD, please. ;)
    • October 30th is four days after October 26th

      My guess is that there will be a shiny new Surface (ARM version) for each attendee (since they will have likely *just* shipped).

      I'm running Win8 on one of those Acer convertible tablets that they gave away at PDC-09. It works quite well. The Metro world gets pretty addictive after a while (dropping back to the desktop is a let down).
  • Not if I have to use VS2012

    I won't be building any Win 8/RT apps in the short run, not if I have to use that monstrosity VS2012.
  • Why would you schedule a conference during Halloween?

    I hope Ballmer comes out on stage in costume. This should be fun/embarrassing for everyone.

    Oh and about the apps. I never got the impression that the Windows 8 app store was actually publishing all the apps that have been made for it.

    More important than the number of apps available on day one are the rate at which Microsoft can handle approving of and publishing apps. Can Microsoft handle approving >600 apps a day? That's the rate at which I think they need to be running in order to even start to put up a fight.
  • Low Volume, High Quality is okay to start with

    That Win 8 might be launching with less than 20k apps at launch may definitely hurt them in the eyes of the public... particularly for OEM's that are producing Win RT tablets.

    Personally, I'm holding out for a Win8 Pro tablet anyway b/c the real appeal for me is the ability to use legacy applications on a mobile platform. I suspect that this will be the key to Microsoft's dominance in the tablet arena. If I only cared for Metro apps (or Win RT), I'd just stick with Android. I think Microsoft may recognize this as well. Hopefully the first few apps are of good quality (already some decent ones on the store), and cover the essentials. I'm okay with them building their library over time as long as the OS experience itself delivers.