Microsoft Build conference for Windows 8 sells out (in spite of a dearth of details)

Microsoft announced plans for its Windows 8 developer conference in mid-September, known as Build, back on June 1. As of August 1, the Build Web site now shows the conference to be sold out.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft announced plans for its Windows 8 developer conference in mid-September, known as Build, back on June 1. As of August 1, the Build Web site now shows the conference to be sold out.

Online registration has sold out without Microsoft posting an agenda for the three- four-day event (five, if you include the pre-con day). Early-bird discounted Build registration ended as of August 1, as well.

While Microsoft is, no doubt, hiding the agenda to further the corporate mission of keeping Windows 8 features under wraps as long as possible, the "shhh" strategy has been a double-edged sword. I've heard from several developers that they were unable to convince their managers that they should attend because of a lack of information as to the sessions.

The Build Web site includes the following description as to the purpose of the show:

"Hear how the (Windows) UI was designed to work seamlessly with a diversity of devices and form factors. Go behind the scenes and learn all about the new app model that allows you to create powerful new apps. All while retaining the ability to use your existing apps. Web-connected and web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript have access to the power of the PC. Touch-optimized browsing, with the full power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10 transforms your experiences with the web. BUILD is the first place to dive deep into the future of Windows."

There is still no detailed session list, keynote list or speaker list available for the conference.

Microsoft has positioned the show as a replacement for its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) and WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference) -- at least for this year. There's no word as to whether Build will be a recurring event or how much (if any) Windows Phone, Xbox/XNA and/or Azure development content will be included as part of the conference.

Microsoft seemingly is holding a number of Build events worldwide simultaneously with the main September 13 to 16 conference in Anaheim, Calif. Among the countries where Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) team is expected to hold (at least) one-day events are France, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Greece and the Netherlands, according to Microsoft Community Contributor Francisco Martin Garcia. Dubai also seems to be hosting a Build event.

Microsoft is expected to provide Build attendees with Windows 8 client (and possibly Windows Server 8) around the time of the build conference. It isn't known at this point if these bits will be labeled as Community Technology Preview (CTP) or beta bits. But it definitely looks like Windows 8 bits are going to reviewable by the time of the conference.

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Tammi Reller, who is the Chief Financial Officer for the Windows/Windows Live Division, told attendees that "(h)ardware partners and developers who attend Build will be able to work hands-on with Windows 8 touch-centric user interface and learn how to create apps that leverage the power and the flexibility of Windows."

In addition to learning about the Windows 8 UI and "new app model" at Build, Microsoft developers with whom I've spoken are hoping to hear about the next version of Visual Studio (VS 2012), Microsoft's plans for Blend (and for HTML5 development tools in general) and how Microsoft plans to support Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) in the Windows 8 timeframe. Microsoft has left Silverlight and .Net developers with more questions than answers about the future ever since the company demonstrated an early build of Windows 8 in June but said nothing about how developers will create apps for it, other than using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS.

Microsoft also still has not revealed a ship target for Windows 8, though it is widely believed to be on track to be released to manufacturing anywhere from April 2012 to late summer/early fall 2012. Company officials also still have not said definitively whether Windows 8 for Intel and Windows 8 for ARM/SoC will ship simultaneously (though that is believed to be the case). Nor have they said for sure that Windows 8 client and server will RTM and ship simultaneously (though this also is believed to be the case).

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