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.

Conversation 13 comments

  • pbsie

    08 May, 2018 - 10:19 pm

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

    • hrlngrv

      Premium Member
      09 May, 2018 - 1:13 am

      <p><a href="#273424"><em>In reply to pbsie:</em></a></p><p>Yeah. Nothing bad has ever happened in software from sitting on one's thumb for 12 months.</p>

      • skane2600

        09 May, 2018 - 1:58 am

        <blockquote><a href="#273491"><em>In reply to hrlngrv:</em></a></blockquote><p>I don't know. These days it seems the most likely changes companies make to software within a 12 month period are ones that annoy their users. </p>

    • Tony Barrett

      11 May, 2018 - 12:41 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#273424"><em>In reply to pbsie:</em></a></blockquote><p>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.</p>

    • Jhambi

      11 May, 2018 - 2:28 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#273424"><em>In reply to pbsie:</em></a></blockquote><p>Meh, next year MS will offload surface to another company.Much like the IBM-&gt; Lenovo deal. I cant imagine those retail MS stores are doing that great either.</p>

  • Jules Wombat

    09 May, 2018 - 7:49 am

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

  • curtisspendlove

    10 May, 2018 - 11:25 pm

    <p>I think Microsoft is currently a Windows shop doing Linux-y things … on its way to a Linux shop killing Windows-y things. :)</p><p><br></p><p>Seriously though, I think Windows is fine. Isn’t going anywhere soon. It will die off with the rest of the traditional PC OSs. </p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      12 May, 2018 - 10:49 am

      <blockquote><a href="#274476"><em>In reply to curtisspendlove:</em></a></blockquote><p>I agree. Not sure that means it's "fine." 🙂 But yes, it certainly continues.</p>

      • curtisspendlove

        21 May, 2018 - 10:35 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#274751"><em>In reply to paul-thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>I think there is still simply far to much momentum in Windows for it to die soon. Eventually, sure. But mostly when the world has moved on from traditional OSs. </p><p><br></p><p>Even then I wouldn't be surprised to see Windows, Linux, and macOS stick around somehow for “enthusiasts” or such. </p>

        • Paul Thurrott

          Premium Member
          22 May, 2018 - 8:54 am

          <blockquote><a href="#277984"><em>In reply to curtisspendlove:</em></a></blockquote><p>That's not momentum, it's inertia. 🙂 But whatever. Obviously, it's not going away. It's just become less relevant. Nothing like this just disappears. It's in use by billions.</p>

  • George Rae

    11 May, 2018 - 11:54 am

    <p>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. </p>

  • Paul Thurrott

    Premium Member
    11 May, 2018 - 4:32 pm

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

  • Bob Shutts

    12 May, 2018 - 11:08 pm

    <p>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. </p><p><br></p><p>Remember the big buildups for Windows 95 and Windows XP? You could really see the improvements in each version. </p><p><br></p><p>With Microsoft’s failure in the mobile space, they ought to continue to highlight Windows. It’s still a great product. </p><p><br></p><p>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.“</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

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