Big data, IoT, blockchain, Xamarin all on the Microsoft Build 2018 agenda

Build 2018, Microsoft's upcoming developer conference, will feature sessions on Progressive Web Apps, its Fluent design system, IoT, blockchain and more, the first session listings confirm.

Microsoft has posted a list of some of the featured sessions happening at its Build 2018 developer conference in mid-May.

The first couple dozen session descriptions went live today, March 28 (thanks to OnMSFT.com for the pointer). The conference is set to include 350 technical sessions, according to the Build 2018 site. Microsoft officials previously said to expect the show to cover AI, mixed reality, IoT and all things cloud, along with the more traditional Windows and cross-platform content.

There aren't many surprises in the initial list, with big data, IoT, blockchain, Azure, containers and Visual Studio all mentioned in the just-published descriptions. Microsoft also has listed a session that will cover Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), entitled "Building performant, offline-capable web apps," as well as one on the evolution of its Fluent design system. Microsoft is adding support for PWAs to Windows 10 with Redstone 4.

The first group of public sessions is very database heavy, with Azure SQL Database, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgresQL and Cosmos DB all figuring prominently. In some ways, this shouldn't be too surprising, given the company's strategy to link all of its products and services in some way to AI (and AI relies on lots of data).

Some of my contacts are quite interested in what Microsoft says (and doesn't) at Build regarding the future of XAML Standard. Microsoft's work on this -- at least publicly -- has ground to a standstill in recent months. The creation of XAML Standard, which is an effort to unify XAML across the Universal Windows Platform and Xamarin Forms, was a big topic at last year's Build. There have been hints that we'll hear more on that front at the show.

Build 2018 is happening May 7 to 9 in downtown Seattle. It overlaps with the Google I/O developer conference. Microsoft is planning only one major keynote, on day one, at the event. Among the keynote speakers listed on the Build site are CEO Satya Nadella; Executive VP for Cloud and Enterprise Scott Guthrie; Executive VP for Windows and Devices Terry Myerson; and Executive VP of AI and Research Harry Shum.

Microsoft opened registration for Build in February and the event still hasn't sold out, as far as we've heard. (Some speculate this is because Microsoft's perpetually broken registration system was fixed this year; others claim Microsoft has increased the available attendance number significantly.)

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