Just happened to confirm my invitation to attend this year’s Build conference in San Francisco April 2-4, and while I was already looking forward to it, now I’m just downright excited!
As we wrote earlier, Build just may be (or not, there’s really no telling) the first large public appearance for a new Microsoft CEO, and from the sounds of it, he or she is going to have to pull out all the stops. Developers, you see, apparently aren’t happy with Microsoft, and the displeasure is boiling over. Mary Jo Foley posted earlier today on how at least according to some, Microsoft has lost the trust of developers, and will need to use Build to begin to build it back. In the post, she links ex-Microsoftie David Sobeski’s Facebook post on “Trust, Users and The Developer Division“, outlining one version of the mess Microsoft has on its hands in dealing with developers.
Now obviously a lot has changed in the world even since Microsoft’s first Build in 2011 (the conference was known as PDC before that), where Microsoft first took the wraps off of Windows 8. Back then, we were still being promised “Windows Live Metro style apps”, and it was only a few months after we first got word that Microsoft’s “strategy has shifted” for Silverlight. Developers were left in limbo after having invested time, effort and resources into what up until then had been a focus of Microsoft’s development portfolio. Users, too, were left to sort out myriad name changes and rebrands, still hanging on to this day as we await the new name for SkyDrive (and what else will be renamed while they’re at it?).
Since then, and up until only a few months ago, developers haven’t had much of a clue that the technologies they were being pushed would even be around the next time they came calling. Even now, as they’re being fed the “One Microsoft” koolaid, word is leaking out about Windows 9 and some kind of quasi singularity between Windows Phone 8 OS, Windows RT, and Windows 9. How’s that going to work (and what’s it going to break)?
Supposedly, according to Paul Thurrott’s post on Windows 9, or “Threshold”, Microsoft is preparing to offer a “vision” announcement for Windows, the first since Longhorn in 2003. We suspect that this time, developers won’t just sit back and allow Microsoft to try and pull the wool over their eyes. Unless it’s ready for some serious backlash, and developers leaving in droves, Microsoft better be ready with quite a vision.