When a keynote is being streamed live to the interwebs, there's really little point in live blogging. Back when I first started Telerik Watch, live streaming events were very rare, so live blogs made more sense.

Windows 8 devices at Build 2011

That said, if you're like me, sometimes you don't have time to suffer through a 90 minute event just to catch the few bits of interesting news. What you really want is a summary that tells you everything you need to know to capture the overall jist and important news in a few short minutes.

Thus, this post.

Rather than bring you blow-by-blow typed updates as the BUILD Day 1 keynote unfolds, I instead provide an "instant summary" for your easy digestion. I present the "Top 10 Moments" of the first BUILD 2011 keynote (in chronological order).

Top 10 Moments (from my point of view)


  1. Windows 7 usage is now greater than Windows XP:  Good (small, but genuine) applause from crowd. And good to know on the eve of Win8 that the WinXP anchor is dissolving.
  2. Core performance of Windows 8 will be solid (focused on fundamentals):  First big applause of the keynote. Sinofsky showing-off the performance of Win8 dev preview, consuming nearly half the memory of an equiv Windows 7 setup.
  3. Picture Password:  This "Windows Shake" demo of Windows 8. Unlock your (touch) PC by tapping and swiping on a picture.
  4. Sinofsky takes another dig at Chrome:  "I can't imagine anything better than a 'chrome-free' browsing experience." Haha. Ha.
  5. You Pick the Language you want to build your apps (XAML Lives!):  XAML fans breath a sigh of relief. New Windows Runtime (WinRT) introduced to support Metro apps that use XAML OR HTML + JavaScript/.NET/Native Code. Unified runtime.
  6. Expression Blend for HTML & CSS:  Huge positive reaction for a new version of Blend that will support HTML and CSS editing.
  7. Windows Store with easy deployment tools from Visual Studio:  One-click deployment of HTML (and XAML) apps to Windows Store from Visual Studio. Transparent app review process. Microsoft will share app approval review tools so everyone can check their own apps before uploading. Windows Store app is built using HTML + JS.
  8. Metrofication of Silverlight XAML apps:  A new namespace redirects, a handful of build forking for new Win8 APIs, and Silverlight runs natively in new Win8 native XAML. Bringing Silverlight to native Win8 XAML is going to be (at least by keynote demo claims) easy. Same for Windows Phone - one line code change.
  9. Lightning fast Windows 8 cold boot demos & power management:  People loved watching PCs of various specs boot in less than 10 seconds. Big rig booted near instantly. Lesser machines booted closer to 10 seconds. All machines have new "Connected Standby" mode that does an impressive job sipping power when in standby mode (similar to what the iPad does to last forever on standby).
  10. Windows 8 tablet giveaway. The BIG moment:  As expected, Microsoft announced the giveaway of the Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC, to which the audience provided the expected cheers. Includes Intel Core i5, 1 year of free AT&T 3G, Wacom digitizer, dock with USB port, and on and on...Loaded with Win8 Developer Preview.
  11. [BONUS] Sinofsky shows Windows 8 in normal "professional" use (keyboard/mouse):  Sexy new task manager, using mouse and keyboard, new control panel (metrofied), one-click PC refresh and reset. Gives a good 20 or 30 minute overview of using Windows through a range of scenarios. This is really what you might consider the "everything else" section of the keynote (multi-monitor support, Explorer changes, updated magnifier, and so on).
  12. [BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE] Sync and Live Apps for Metro Windows:  The Windows Live apps you know now rewritten in HTML and JavaScript for Metro with some Windows Live syncing to manage your settings and preferences. Expanded and more useful SkyDrive for accessing files remotely via Live.
  13. [WHY NOT, ONE MORE] College Interns wrote all of the demo apps for Win8 Preview:  All of the demo apps in Windows 8 were created by Microsoft's college interns. 17 teams, 2 to 3 devs per team, 10 weeks. Microsoft is trying to appeal to the college developer in a big way.

Release Path: Preview (today). Beta. RC. RTM. Then GA. Driving by quality, not by date, so no official release date today. Developer Preview will be "managed" by Microsoft and updated during preview phase. Preview build available tonight at http://dev.windows.com.

Final Thoughts and Reactions

  • What can I say? They keynote largely delivered on expected announcements and was in-line with well established rumor.
  • XAML survives and thrives (stop worrying)
  • HTML/JS are added as new dev models with new and improved tooling (Blend/VS)
  • WinRT provides a new unified API for JS/.NET/Native code apps
  • Metro styling is everywhere and Metro apps are 1st class experience (but not only experience)
  • Win8 hardware is cool and power savvy (and equally ARM and x86 friendly)
  • All BUILD attendees get a Developer Preview tablet

Nothing really came-in as surprising, but Windows 8 features and hardware definitely showed very well. The opening of the keynote was a little rough, but Microsoft found its groove and delivered some exciting news that I think developers are eager to dig-in to.

Of course, Telerik was already well prepared for today's news. We've been preparing all summer for this and we are already prepared to deliver the tools you need for today and tomorrow. Learn more about Telerik's commitment on Telerik.com.

What was missing today?

  • Azure
  • Office (no Metro Word...yet...)
  • LightSwitch
  • Silverlight the plug-in (mostly)
  • Partners!
  • In-depth look at new Win8 tools or app runtime

We'll probably get a lot of that tomorrow morning. For now, it's off to sessions and lunch to see how everyone feels about the keynote. What did you think of today's keynote? Are there other "top" moments from the morning?


About the Author

Todd Anglin

is an avid HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript advocate, and geek about all things web development. He is an active speaker and author, helping developers around the world learn and adopt HTML5. Todd works for Telerik as VP of HTML5 Web & Mobile Tools, where his current technical focus is on Kendo UI. Todd is @toddanglin on Twitter

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