Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Live Blogging" Microsoft BUILD 2013 - Keynote 1

Really not a live blog, but rather me putting down my impressions as a developer while watching the first keynote remotely.

Summary: Microsoft has totally lost it. News of interest:


  • Minimal, insufficient changes to Windows 8 "Metro".
  • Microsoft has totally lost it.

They really need to work on the intro music.... it's driving me nuts.
There is a guy on the stage constantly tweaking a recording of the most annoying music in the world.

Steve Ballmer

I am interrupted by a phone call... but Ballmer is being very boring.
Just ran through CNET's true live blog... don't think I missed anything.

Ballmer droning on and on really saying nothing. Talking about Windows devices. Talked alot about Nokia. Admittedly that is the only OEM really selling Windows Phone 8 in quantity.

Ballmer looks tired.

Droning on about touch, touch, touch... expect "Monkey Boy" any moment.

Is he speaking free-form? Basically we are in some sort of suck-up to OEMs section.

Sadly this screed seems to be pre-written... need to fire the presentation writer. Steve himself is delivering OK.

Steve bragging about number of legacy Windows applications available. "They have not all been ported to the new UI. They are not all available in the App Store." The man is insane... Microsoft named these "legacy"... everyone else uses these, and essentially ONLY these apps. They at least have the good sense to not be calling them "legacy" any more.

"Today we will show a refined blend of the desktop and modern UI."

Still going on about the "millions of desktop apps available today".

Bing is apparently an "unbelivable" product. I have trouble believing it too.
Wants developers to use Bing more.

This is sad.

Julie Larson-Green

They have an update in "only" 8 months... hahahahahahahahaha.

She's at least as boring as Steve... again... it's not so much of a delivery problem, but a presentation writing problem.

She's showing what they've done to support small screens. No explanation of why they didn't support them from day one.

Demoing world's most awkward keyboard autocomplete...
Other sad keyboard features. This is weird... the original Windows 8 actually had some interesting innovations... these are just bizarre.

Sigh, nearly an hour and a half left...

Hideous demo of some sort of social feature.

Search is now the goto place for everything in 8.1. Somehow they are conflating this with Bing... but Bing is not involved in much of this "search experience".

Somehow she switched to XBox Music... apparently via Search.

Pretty soon every screen will be touch.

From the lock screen went to Skype, no pin.

New start screen a real loser. Even more unintuitive.

Finally added resizeable, multiple windows. The windows non-overlapping. Why in a couple of years they might reach Windows 7 levels of functionality. (Don't get me wrong, it's a good feature for tablets, just pathetic for desktops.)

Somebody Leblond.

Going to Visual Studio now.

Took CNET's advice and went to refill my coffee.

Looks like they've finally discovered WebGL.

Now talking about the Windows Store.

Finally allow automatic updates for Store... seem to be forcing automatic updates... I'm sure enterprises will be annoyed... but perhaps there is a way to turn it off. Great for consumers though.

Everything seems to be "Bing" now. I'm assuming Microsoft is doubling-down on Bing.

Sigh... nearly an hour left now.... What will Keynote 2 be about tomorrow?

CNET reports that Ballmer said (earlier) that there are 6K at the conference and 60K watching via webcast. Google I/O had (from memory) 6K at conference, 45K at remote gatherings and 1 million watching via webcast. So basically an order of magnitude more people are interested in Google development than in Windows development.

With all of the deficiencies that Windows 8 WinRT has, Microsoft has added 3D printing support to Windows 8.1. It is a cool demo, but useless to 98% plus of users.

Another cool, but useless demo with Lego robotics.

More OEM suck-up.

Acer has a $400 touch laptop.

Dell has a very large tablet/all-in-one.

More Julie... showing Surface Pro.

Microsoft giving developers a Surface Pro... guess they need to get rid of them some way.

Webcast just got interrupted.

Gurdeep Singh Pall (CNET says he is VP of Bing)...
Webcast still down... but as it's Bing I doubt I'm missing much.

Still down, but CNET's live blog makes me glad I'm not seeing it. Basically begging developers to adopt Bing APIs.

Still down, only 30 minutes left!

CNET reports "Microsoft Office holds off on 'Metro style' till 2014". So Microsoft cannot manage to make productivity apps there either.

From pictures on CNET, they appear to be doing catch up with Google's 3D tours in maps.

Finally webcast is back. Somebody found the expired SSL certificate? :-)

Webcast experiencing serious buffering issues...

CNET says Ballmer is back.

Apparently there is a couch and an XBox One.

Webcast back.

Ballmer doing summary.  Claims a lot of new ground and innovation... I'd laugh, but it's not funny. Microsoft has totally lost it.

Just one more demo... (intentionally aping Apple)...
A game that is also a development environment for games???

Project spark.... open world digital canvas... create app in less than 5 minutes. Does seem to be a nice way to get games to work on all Microsoft platforms. A very canned demo though. It is a touch-based developer environment. As no code was done, it is unclear how useful this is. I have serious doubts about it being done in 5 minutes... they apparently started with existing models and many, many other things. This is only in beta but they are allowing people in.

Ballmer giving yet another summary of nothing... webcast keeps cutting out.

Claim: "The future of Windows is very, very bright!" Again, I'd laugh, but it's just not funny. Microsoft has totally lost it.

Tomorrow's keynote is enterprise oriented... I will not be covering.

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