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April 9, 2014

Build 2014 highlights #1: keynotes, “universal apps,” Windows Phone 8.1, and Windows 8.1 Update

We just completed Build 2014 last week, and what a show! Between extensive keynotes packed with many important announcements, over 150 breakout sessions, and the channel9 live recordings from the show floor itself, there’s much to digest!

Throughout April, then, we’ll help you navigate all the content that’s now available on channel9 at We’ll do this by sorting sessions into related groups so you can more easily find those that are most important for your development work.

This week we’ll recap the keynotes, sessions related to the newly-announced Windows Phone 8.1, and sessions that cover how Windows is now spanning a variety of devices, including Xbox One.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll find in the keynote sessions. We’ve included time signatures for the different speakers and segments so you don’t have to watch all six hours to find what you want to see most! (Note: the segment links below take you directly to the indicated start time in the video.)

Day 1 Keynote

Terry MyersonIntroduction (00:00:00)

Joe Belfiore – Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update

o Windows Phone 8.1 Launch (00:03:43)

o Cortana Digital Assistant (00:11:51)

o Windows Phone for Businesses (00:35:49)

o Additional Windows Phone 8.1 features (00:41:55)

o Windows 8.1 Update (00:54:53)

David Treadwell – Developer Update

o Introduction (01:04:20)

o Universal apps for Windows (01:08:49)

o New platform features/preserving your investments including enterprise and desktop (01:31:23)

o Cross platform apps, WinJS open source, and availability announcements (01:41:19)

Terry Myerson – Futures

o Xbox (01:50:22)

o Internet of Things (02:03:16)

o Platform roadmap (02:08:44)

Stephen ElopNokia devices (02:14:29)

Satya NadellaInsights and developer Q&A (02:35:35)


Day 2 Keynote

Scott Guthrie – Azure

o Overview (00:00:00)

o IaaS Features: VMs, Storage, Networking (00:10:33)

o Web (00:28:50)

o Mobile Services, Active Directory, Notification Hubs (00:45:29)

o DataData (01:05:17)

Anders HejlsbergProgramming languages and tools, including C#/Roslyn open source (01:09:52)

Bill StaplesAzure portal and Scott Guthrie wrap-up on Azure features (01:24:33)

Steve Guggenheimer and John Shewchuk– Developer conversations and cool demos

o Overview (01:49:28)

o Supporting existing technology investments including desktop, WPF, and embedded (01:54:33)

o Cloud and mobile first development (02:04:18)

o Maximizing business opportunities across platforms (02:27:38)

One of our major goals with Build 2014 was to present universal apps for Windows, the ability for you to target Windows and Windows Phone together with a large percentage of shared code. Here are core sessions for universal apps:

The following sessions then go into specific areas of the common platform:

With the announcement of Windows Phone 8.1 at //build, we also presented a number of sessions specifically for Phone developers or targeting Phone-specific features:


Of course, let’s not forget about Cortana, the new digital assistant of Windows Phone 8.1. Beyond Joe’s segment of the keynote, you’ll want to watch 2-530 – Integrating Your App into the Windows Phone Speech Experience, and might also be interested in 9-018 – How the Bing Platform Powers Cortana and 9-2663 – Cortana Contextual Awareness.

Similarly, a number of tools and services sessions, including coverage of Azure Mobile Services and Application Insights, are relevant to a wide variety of apps:


Finally, the Xbox One team also contributed to the story, with sessions that show how you’ll be increasingly able to leverage work on Windows and Windows Phone, using JavaScript, along with sessions on Kinect and SmartGlass:

That’s plenty for now. Next week we’ll look at sessions for enterprise, XAML, and IE/JavaScript/web apps.

The Build Planning Team

P.S. What did you think of the Build 2014 content? What were your favorite sessions? What did you want to see but didn’t? Leave us your feedback in the comments here, and also leave session-specific feedback on the channel9 page for that session. We do read and care about your input!