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What We Expect To See at Microsoft Build 2017

Microsoft's big developer shindig often sets the agenda for Microsoft's development efforts for the next year and beyond.

Microsoft Build 2017 kicks off in Seattle tomorrow, where more than 5,000 developers will gather to learn about Microsoft's plans to advance its development strategy and platforms. I'll be there, too, as the event offers a glimpse at the direction Microsoft will take over the year to come.

We've seen big things unveiled and promoted at Build over the years, from Windows 8 in 2011 to the release of the Microsoft Bot Framework at Build 2016. I don't expect this year to be any different. Microsoft is famously tight-lipped about its intentions ahead of each Build show--in fact, session schedules sometimes aren't released until the day before the event--but here's what I'm told to expect from this year's Build conference.

First, Microsoft will keep pushing productivity enhancements for developers working with Azure, Visual Studio, Xamarin and Windows. This is something that was big at the Connect(); event in New York City in November last year, as Microsoft pitched its tooling as a one-stop shop for devs coding not just for Windows and related platforms, but for Android, iOS and macOS.

In terms of overarching themes for Build 2017, areas of focus will include streamlining the creation of app experiences that immediately engage users with beautiful UIs and natural inputs, and delivering those experiences to users in a safe and reliable way. Team collaboration and connectedness will also be top of mind, leveraging the UWP to streamline and improve the dev experience. Finally, Microsoft will focus on connecting screens and experiences, leveraging a common service layer and code base to remove barriers.

You can expect plenty of guidance for key Microsoft platforms, including .NET Core and ASP.NET Core, Cognitive Services and Azure Machine Learning. And keep an eye out for the Bot Framework, which was launched at Build 2016. It's not unusual for Microsoft to follow up a Build reveal by using the subsequent Build event as a platform to refine, reinforce and reinvigorate the product launch. This is something we saw with Windows 8 in 2011 and 2012, for example, and we could see it with the Bot Framework this month.

By the end of this week, we'll all know a lot more about Microsoft's plans for software development. Even if you're not among the fortunate 5,000 invited to Build 2017, you can still take part. Attend the daily keynote and technical sessions online at, and tune in to see the latest news and announcements from the event.

Here are a handful of other links we've run across that might be useful to you, in no particular order and definitely not conforming to any particular theme:

Microsoft Azure Developer: How Microsoft builds massively scalable services using Azure DocumentDB

AsiaTech: Microsoft Azure & Development: How to encrypt sections in web.config and to share among the servers

Joseph Woodward: C# 7 ValueTuple types and their limitations

The Shade Tree Developer: Using Storyteller with ASP.Net Core Systems

Andrew Lock | .NET Escapades: Removing the MVC Razor dependencies from the Web API template in ASP.NET Core

Azure Development Community: CQRS in Azure – Part 3

Gunnar Peipman – Programming Blog: Using memory cache in ASP.NET Core

Redmond Magazine: How To Connect Azure AD to Office 365

Application Development Trends: New DevOps Maturity Survey: You Might Not Be Where You Think You Are

Redmond Channel Partner: Microsoft Leans on Cloud Business in Q3 Earnings Forum Site Debates 'AWS Killing the DevOps Profession'

Know of an interesting link, or does your company have a new or updated product or service targeted at Visual Studio developers? Tell me about it at

About the Author

Michael Desmond is editor in chief of MSDN Magazine, Microsoft’s flagship publication for software developers working with Microsoft tools and technologies. A 20-year veteran in IT and technology publishing, Desmond was an editor at PC World magazine for six years before launching an editorial consultancy that did work for leading technology firms like IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems.

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