Monday, August 29, 2011

What Will Microsoft Give Away at the Build Conference?

In just over two weeks, on September 13th, the Build Windows conference will begin in Anaheim, CA. Microsoft is expected to unveil Windows 8 and show software and hardware developers how to use it. The good ol’ guys in Redmond have kept a really tight lid on what exactly is going on there, and even now, at the time of the writing of this post, they haven’t revealed any information about the agenda and the sessions.

There have been several posts, some seem better informed, while others seem like baseless gossip, regarding what is going to happen with WPF, .NET and the rest of the existing development tools Microsoft have supported for the last decade or so, given some unfortunate remark regarding HTML5, CSS & Javascript being the new tools of choice for developing Windows 8 “immersive” applications.

One thing that they have kept extremely quiet about however, is what they will giveaway as gifts to those who came to the conference


The year 2011 is, without doubt, the year of the tablet. IPad2, several Android Honeycomb tablets and now the demos that Microsoft made at Computex and Channel9 (all of which show case Windows 8 on tablets) all point towards a tablet being the main focus of development this year.

Moreover, in Google I/O 2011, Google handed out 5000 Samsung 10.1 Galaxy Tabs, one to each registered guest.

Microsoft can’t afford to, with all the hype created around Windows 8 and tablets this year, do any less.

It is my best, educated guess, that Microsoft will be handing out tablets with the latest build of Windows 8!

So, What’ll it be, exactly?

In the aforementioned Computex demo, in the 19th minute (18:30, to be exact), Mike Angiulo, Microsoft’s Vice President of Windows Planning demoed the new ARM based developers’ tablet (designed especially for software and hardware developers, with extra ports, and all), and said, and I quote:Windows8DeveloperSystem

“Now we have these developer reference systems that are all up and running… these are systems that are built for hardware and software developers… what they do represent are integrated, working PCs”

Mike went into some detail about the developer tablet’s specs:

  • ARM based, Snapdragon, 1.2GHZ chip
  • 13mm thick
  • 11.6” Screen
  • Extensive USB support (seamless connection to a DOK was demonstrated, worked as expected)
  • 720p rear camera
  • All of the common sensors (proximity, orientation, etc.)

It looks like it runs (“flies” even) beautifully, instantly loading and playing an H.264 full HD video. Real-world usage will probably not be as good as demoed, but still…

Based on this, I believe that we (yes, I’m registered, and going to be there) will receive the developer reference tablet running Windows 8.

Remember, if I was right, you read it here first!

See you at “Build”,


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