What to expect from Microsoft Build 2022
The great annual Windows, Office and Azure society developer conference is upon us once again, this time again in a fully online format. And again, it’s likely to focus on developer tools, cloud services, and training, rather than splashy product releases.
That said, there are rumors that the first major Windows 11 update, named Sun Valley 2, may appear in time for Microsoft Build 2022.
How to Watch Microsoft Build
anyone can register for the conference(Opens in a new window) and watch everything on the web at Microsoft version(Opens in a new window) subsite for free. Create a profile to tailor the conference to your needs and create a personalized session program as well as a “backpack” with your contacts and session recording for later reference after the show.
The conference will begin at 11:15 a.m. on May 24 with the first keynote presentation from CEO Satya Nadella. It’ll only be 45 minutes long, which is refreshing compared to some tech conference keynotes that regularly run more than two hours late.
Microsoft Build Sessions
Many sessions will be on-demand as well as live, and the conference will also feature Imagine Cup(Opens in a new window) Global Student Coding Contest prizes, breakout sessions, a login area to interact with presenters and attendees, and a Microsoft Build After Hours. You can also book one-on-one 45-minute sessions with Microsoft professionals for personalized help and insight.
The conference will feature regional content for France, Germany, Japan, Latin America and the UK, as well as global content. You’ll find sessions in multiple languages on the conference site, and AI-powered captioning will be available in 28 languages.
According to the program, the keynote will highlight “the innovations that are shaping the flexible, innovative and secure business environments of the future”. As in recent years, topics highlighted will include AI and cloud (including hybrid and multi-cloud). It will also include sessions on creating Android apps for Windows 11, a new feature of this operating system. Edge computing and working with the Microsoft Chart(Opens in a new window) are subjects that reappear this year.
The absence of one technology in particular stands out: HoloLens, Microsoft’s AR headset, cannot be found in the session catalog. It’s also extremely light on game development, thinking the company has another show for that.
Other sessions at this year’s conference focus on inclusion, fairness, low-code development, tech for good, and metaverse readiness.
Azure Arc, a hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure, application and service management technology, features prominently in several sessions, as does Azure in general. Sessions on programming techniques to take advantage of Microsoft Teams, which has more than 270 million users, are also well represented. Of particular interest are the sessions on creating conversational AI bots for the platform.
There are also plenty of offers for those just starting out, including sessions on the programming language you should learn and one on creating an effective online resume to get a tech job. At the other end, a session shows developers over 40 how to manage their careers.
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Windows 11 22H2 could be released
This can even happen before the conference, as it did in previous releases. So what’s inside the first Windows 11 Sun Valley 2 feature update, aka version 22H2? Mostly things that can be described as improvements and tweaks. In some cases, this means returning functionality that existed in Windows 10 but was lost in Windows 11. In this category is the return of the ability to drag and drop files onto taskbar icons for open in the app. Another is folders in the Start menu (although they work more like app folders on mobile operating systems, where you drag one app on top of another).
More settings are migrating from the old Control Panel to the new Settings app. A few more touch gestures are coming, and Task Manager gets some modernization and an Efficiency mode to use for resource-intensive apps. Accessibility additions include a system-wide live captioning feature, voice access, and natural neural voices for the narrator to replace the artificial-sounding artificial voice. Finally, 22H2 will let you set Windows Spotlight – previously only available on the lock screen – to the desktop.
Just as physical tech conferences typically feature a related company mini-show, Build will have a featured partner showcase section where company experts can answer attendee questions and build business relationships. Partners include many of the names you’d expect – Adobe, IBM, Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm – as well as newer players.
For the latest news and coverage of technologies revealed at Build, stay tuned to PCMag’s Microsoft Build page.
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