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

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.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

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

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