The new Microsoft at BUILD 2016

I attended Microsoft’s annual developer conference BUILD and am pretty excited about this new Microsoft that has emerged under the guidance and leadership of Satya Nadella.  A lot of my surprise comes from the new services and APIs that Microsoft has announced at the conference.

The Cognitive Services APIs offer an amazing opportunity for creating new software that makes the works a better place and improves our everyday lives. Combine these services with the Bot Framework and you can build anything you can imagine.

Some of the surprises, however, are based not on what was said but rather what was not said.

Microsoft seems to have quietly moved away from KnockoutJS in favor of Anugular 2.0 (a Google library). The conference even had a couple Google engineers manning an Angular booth along-side the Azure and ASP.NET teams. The ASP.NET Core code lab session on front-end development integrates Angular 2 within the ASP.NET (5/Core) MVC (6/Core) applications.

This is an interesting and welcome change Microsoft is open and getting along with Google and demoing on Apple products. Instead of trying to force their stack on the dev community, Microsoft has allowed the organic winners in each arena to play nicely together and is updating their tools to help you integrate.

Windows Phone was also nowhere to be found. All mobile device demos were done on iPhones (at least the ones I saw). As much as they would love to be a true contender in the mobile device space, I’m happy to see Microsoft doubling down on their strengths.