Microsoft Build 2012 Conference

Early this year Microsoft stated that there would be another developer conference this fall that would. This followed on the heels of the Microsoft Build conference last fall. What we didn’t know is if this would be a Microsoft PDC (Professional Developer Conference), a new Build Conference like last falls, or something completely different.

We now know that it will be Microsoft Build 2012. We also know it will happen at the Microsoft campus in Redmond October 30th through November 2nd. Needless to say, this announcement has raised a number of questions and has a few developers unhappy.

Issues with Microsoft Build 2012

What are the issues with Microsoft Build 2012? The first issue is that there is another conference happening at the same time that also tends to have a number of Microsoft presenters. Specifically, the DevConnections show will be in Las Vegas from October 29th to November 1st. With people like Scott Guthrie in Vegas doing a keynote for DevConnections, will someone else be keynoting Microsoft Build? I saw several tweets today from people commenting about being unhappy about the overlap as they were already scheduled for DevConnections.

Another issue is the location. While it is great to be on the Microsoft campus, there is limited room for a conference. The last Microsoft PDC that was held on campus sold out quickly due to the limited number of slots. Many people were very unhappy because they were unable to attend because it sold out so quickly.

For Build 2012, registration opens August 8th at 8:00 a.m. Pacific time. You’ll be able to register at www.BuildWindows.com. If you plan to attend, you’ll want to register early.

Coverage at Microsoft Build 2012

What will be covered at Microsoft Build? Right now that hasn’t been stated, but you can expect Windows 8 coverage. The conference is the same week that Windows 8 goes worldwide, so you can bet there will be good coverage of Windows 8 and building Windows 8 applications. After all, that picks up where last year’s Build conference left off. I would image that there will be strong coverage on Visual Studio 2012, Windows Phone 8 development, and Azure/Cloud development. Windows Server 2012 has also been mentioned as a topic.

The Big Microsoft Build 2012 Question

While it is not very relevant to what there is to learn, the big question that I’m sure will be asked and the topic that will come up around the water cooler is very obvious. Will attendees be getting a Surface tablet or some other device. Microsoft set a precedent with the Build 2011 conference by giving out tablets. I’m sure there will be an expectation in the 2012 conference related to this as well.

Microsoft is promising something “unlike anything they’ve held on their corporate campus in a long time.” That is a big statement. I’ve been on campus a few times including an number of MVP Summits. If this is something unlike those (in a positive way), then I look forward to seeing what they are planning. The MVP summits are pretty amazing, so outshining that will take some effort!

The bottom line — there is a paradigm shift happening in the developer space around mobile, Cloud, and the operating systems we use. If you are a developer using Microsoft tools and platforms, this is likely the conference you are going to want to attend.

Of course, that is my opinion. In full disclosure, we do business with Microsoft including promoting many of their conferences. At this time we’ve not been asked to promote this conference. As such, these comments are my own and my own opinion. As I mentioned, I expect that unless Microsoft really is doing something very different, then this conference will sell out extremely fast without any promotion!