Well… Microsoft Build was generally boring for Windows


If you were watching Build with high hopes for Windows, this year was a big… disappointment. Complete with Joe Belfiore trying to stay within time so developers could switch to Google IO on time and see the Android conference.


  1. New MSIX packaging format which is basically just AppX with a few new features, and works on Android/iOS.
  2. New Timeline features… mainly a call to action for developers, and new Timeline stuff on the Android/iOS app.
  3. Sets in Timeline (something that we had a very good guess about before)
  4. Slight Cortana UI changes (not moving to chat based UI…?)
  5. New ways to connect your Android/iOS phone to Windows.
  6. New Microsoft Store pricing structure.
  7. The most important thing by far was XAML islands. Unfortunately, no use of it at all in Windows Shell (e.g. File Explorer), and only vague references on when it will be released.

And… that is it? Nothing on Polaris or Windows Core OS. Nothing on Fluent expanding to other Windows apps. Nothing on what the organizational restructure was about, or even a clear strategy over where Windows is going other than more cross-platform “experiences”.

Yes, it is something of a relief that Microsoft is going to hopefully start focusing on quality over features. But to have absolutely nothing on WCOS, Polaris, the Control Center, chat-based Cortana UI, or… it was just disappointing. Simply put.

Comments (13)

13 responses to “Well… Microsoft Build was generally boring for Windows”

  1. pbsie

    I almost wonder if this year was intentionally mum so that they can do a big splash of the real new stuff in 2019.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to pbsie:

      Yeah. Nothing bad has ever happened in software from sitting on one's thumb for 12 months.

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to pbsie:

      Well, if MS were looking to re-invigorate developers, they failed pretty dismally. You don't save all the other stuff for another 12 months, because a year is a long time in the tech industry. MS had their chance, and failed. Windows is but a side note now, and if MS think PWA will save them, then they will have to think again. PWA is a great fit for mobile, but it doesn't make a great deal of sense on the desktop.

    • Jhambi

      In reply to pbsie:

      Meh, next year MS will offload surface to another company.Much like the IBM-> Lenovo deal. I cant imagine those retail MS stores are doing that great either.

  2. Jules Wombat

    And little to nothing about PWA in the keynote, nothing about Andromina that seems to excite Mary Jo so much, and no mention on their alternative Quantum compute progress.

    Google IO was shorter and to the point. The Duplex Conversatio n assitant was truly impressive.

  3. curtisspendlove

    I think Microsoft is currently a Windows shop doing Linux-y things ... on its way to a Linux shop killing Windows-y things. :)

    Seriously though, I think Windows is fine. Isn’t going anywhere soon. It will die off with the rest of the traditional PC OSs.

  4. George Rae

    Anyone having high hopes for Windows at Build simply hasn't been paying attention. Or in a perpetual state of denial with Microsoft's clear movements recently.

  5. Paul Thurrott

    I think the way I'd say this is, Build was as expected for Windows.

  6. Bob Shutts

    I often wonder if sticking with the name “Windows 10” for all future eternity hasn’t diminished the excitement we used to have at upgrade time. It’s as though we’re supposed to take Windows for granted now, like a wallpaper you can’t change.

    Remember the big buildups for Windows 95 and Windows XP? You could really see the improvements in each version.

    With Microsoft’s failure in the mobile space, they ought to continue to highlight Windows. It’s still a great product.

    I’m reminded about the story of Jobs when he first returned to Apple. Someone asked him what his strategy was going to be and his response was something like, “we’re going to milk the Mac for all it’s worth until we come up with the next thing.“