Build 2021: Windows 10

Build hasn’t focused on Windows for several years now, and so we only have a few interesting tidbits this year, mostly aimed at developers.

Here are only the Windows-related announcements from Build, or at least those that Microsoft disclosed to us ahead of time.

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Snapdragon Developer Kit. Starting this summer, developers will be able to purchase “an affordable Windows on ARM-based PC designed for developers” that will be sold from the Microsoft Store. It was created in partnership with Qualcomm and i’s described a small desktop PC based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c compute platform that will be less expensive than consumer notebooks (based on ARM). So I guess it could still be pretty expensive.

Project Reunion 0.8 Preview SDK. Microsoft’s hybrid desktop app platform should be released in 1.0 form by the end of the year, but we can see the progress in this preview version of the SDK, which supports Windows 10 version 1809 and up, .NET 5 apps, Windows UI Library (WinUI) 3, and Microsoft Edge WebView2.

Linux GUI apps support. The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) will soon allow developers to run their most-needed Linux GUI tools, utilities, and apps without having to setup, configure, and maintain a virtual machine (VM).

Windows Terminal 1.9 Preview. A preview version of Windows Terminal 1.9 is now available, offering two big new features: A real settings interface (before, it was an editable script) and Quake mode, which lets you quickly open a new terminal window from anywhere with a simple keyboard shortcut.

Microsoft Edge 91. Microsoft claims that Microsoft Edge will be “the best-performing browser on Windows 10” starting with version 91. But this claim is based on two features, sleeping tabs and Startup boost, that are already available in this browser.

Windows Search improvements for commercial customers. Soon, Windows 10 users will be able to access results from Microsoft Graph-compatible enterprise tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce directly from Windows Search.

And … yeah. That’s it on the Windows front.


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Conversation 14 comments

  • jheredia

    Premium Member
    25 May, 2021 - 11:17 am

    <p>Not going to lie, I was surprised when I saw the headline and half expected open it and just see "This page intentionally left blank" </p>

  • sherlockholmes

    Premium Member
    25 May, 2021 - 11:35 am

    <p>Maybe its a good thing they leave Windows alone. Just saying …..</p>

  • AlexKven

    25 May, 2021 - 12:20 pm

    <p>I miss Builds 2011-2014. Such an exciting time.</p>

  • curtisspendlove

    25 May, 2021 - 12:24 pm

    <p>Blah. I was hoping for a bit more info on the ARM dev kit. I really hope they keep that thing cheap enough for a lot of people to take a look (and for some devs to port software). </p>

    • mattbg

      Premium Member
      25 May, 2021 - 2:39 pm

      <p>It’ll be really sad if that dev kit is more expensive than an Intel NUC :)</p>

      • waethorn

        25 May, 2021 - 2:58 pm

        <p>Intel NUC’s start at ~$250USD.</p>

        • bkkcanuck

          25 May, 2021 - 4:24 pm

          <p>I thought that a NUC starts at $250 without memory or storage though – these developer boxes I expect to have both of those items included.</p>

    • madthinus

      Premium Member
      25 May, 2021 - 4:04 pm

      <p>The aim of the 7C chipset is to target computers at the $300 price points for a laptop / Chromebook. So sans Keyboard, trackpad and screen, hoping to get to $250. Maybe Microsoft and Qualcomm subsidize it a bit and it can hit $200. </p>

      • curtisspendlove

        25 May, 2021 - 7:24 pm

        <p>This would be pretty awesome. I can’t remember how much the Apple dev kits were but Microsoft needs to get developers back on board. </p><p><br></p><p>Simplify all the API kits, bless a few really good ones, kill the rest; and commit to making it *way* easier to get apps in the store (I feel they need to get that store fixed and desirable in order for the Windows kernel core to be optimized). </p>

        • lvthunder

          Premium Member
          25 May, 2021 - 7:38 pm

          <p>The dev kits were around a grand I think, but you got most of it refunded if you sent it back when they asked for it.</p>

      • hrlngrv

        Premium Member
        26 May, 2021 - 6:38 am

        <p>| <em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Maybe Microsoft and Qualcomm subsidize it a bit</em></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">And maybe they get Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Elvis, Buddy Holly and a few unicorns to appear in ads for it.</span></p>

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    26 May, 2021 - 6:53 am

    <p>| <em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Microsoft needs to get developers back on board.</em></p><p><br></p><p>Probably true, but what developer in his/her right mind is going to delve into Windows on ARM software in a big way? As in the usual chicken and egg problem that bedevils any MSFT foray outside of Win32 on Intel/AMD software.</p><p><br></p><p>There are the legendary 1.5 billion Windows PC etc users. Figure at least 99% of them use Windows on hardware using Intel/AMD chips. It’d be extremely optimistic to believe there are even 15 million people using Windows on ARM (not counting people trying to use Windows on M1 Macs). That’s 3rd party developers’ potential customer base for the next 2 years. A 3rd party developer with, say, 150,000 customers has 0.01% of the Windows on Intel/AMD market. The same share of the Windows on ARM market would be 1,500 users. I may just be too dim, but I don’t see the demand pull. In which case there better be fewer than 25% more bugs/runtime errors in compiled ARM software than the same source code compiled for Intel/AMD.</p>

  • ghostrider

    26 May, 2021 - 7:44 am

    <p>MS still trying to entice developers? Seems like they won’t give up flogging that dead horse.</p>

  • veermaharaj

    29 May, 2021 - 8:31 pm

    <p>So for sun valley, Msoft is going to be moving towards full x86/x64 compatibility on ARM based Windows. They NEED to do this. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY. It a difficult computer science problem, not an impossible one. Apple figured it out. Msoft can.</p><p><br></p><p>There can only be ONE Windows.</p>

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