The Microsoft Build developer conference in Singapore last Thursday opened its doors to more than 400 developers from the island state and around the region including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. The one-day event, is the ninth stop in the Build Tour which aims to bring the highlights of the Build 2015 conference in San Francisco to 26 cities around the world.
For those not familiar with Build, it is an annual conference targeted at app developers for the Windows, Azure and other Microsoft platforms. In previous years, the event had only been held in the U.S. and was extremely well-attended by the developer community. The fact that seats to the Build conference in San Francisco last month sold out within an hour is probably the best testament to the popularity of the event.
In her opening address, Jessica Tan, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore, reiterated the company’s “mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.” She added that “when we talk about empowering every person, it starts by empowering every developer to take advantage of the platform innovation that Microsoft showcased today, to make an impact on their local communities.” She also briefly talked about the various Microsoft initiatives such as BizSpark, Imagine Cup and DreamSpark, and encouraged those at the conference to get on these programmes.
The keynote speech was helmed by Giorgio Sardo, Senior Director of the Developer Experience and Evangelism Group in Microsoft, who manages the team behind the Build keynote and content. A developer himself, Sardo clearly knew how to work the crowd as he shared some of the new platform features Microsoft has lined up with Windows 10. These included the Universal Windows Platform, Windows Hello, Action Center, Cortana and Continuum.
“The agenda for this keynote is really about the platform. When you think about Microsoft, our mission statement is to empower every developer, every user, every organization to do more and achieve more. And the way we do it is to create a platform that spans across devices and services,” Sardo said during this keynote speech.
He added, “Our goal is to reach 1 billion devices within the first two to three years from launch. And we didn’t just make up this number. This is something we believe we can achieve.”
Other presenters at the Build Singapore keynote included Dave Crawford, Senior Design Program Manager at Microsoft, Nikola Metulev, Program Manager in the Engineering Engagement and Evangelism group at Microsoft, and Saranya Sriram, Azure Technical Evangelist for Microsoft APAC.
Attendees to the Build conference were treated to a preview of some of the new platform features including Microsoft EdgeHTML, 3D applications using HoloLens, Windows for IoT, Azure App services as well as deep dive sessions for the Universal Windows Platform, Microsoft Edge and Web apps.
Members of the media from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia were invited to a separate Q&A session to find out more about Microsoft’s initiatives to engage developers in this region and how the various features of Windows 10 will appeal to developers.
Results of a recent poll with developers in Asia were also shared with the media. Some of the key findings showed that more than 80% of developers are likely to develop for Windows 10 over the next year. Most of them are attracted to the fact that the Universal apps can run across multiple devices, and that the app is likely to get a lot of exposure since Microsoft is aiming to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10 over the next two to three years.