Getting ready to unwrap the big picture at BUILD

IMAG2029Tomorrow is the first day of the //BUILD/Windows conference. BUILD is a highly anticipated conference and expectations are equally high. I thought it would be good to put some of my thoughts on my blog before the conference actually started. You see, BUILD is special in a way that most conference of the past years have not been: we know nothing about the announcements. Sure, there will most likely be information on Windows 8, HTML 5 and JavaScript, the developer roadmap and so on. But then again, this is only high over. Nobody knows anything about what will be announced, not even the average Microsoft employee.

The almost complete silence and accompanying secrecy is not what we have seen in the past couple of years. Microsoft has always been very open in its directions. The product teams have engaged with the community early on and gotten feedback from the developers, architects and so on. Now, we have heard nothing up front. And this leads to a lot of speculation, criticism, fear and doubt. People complain about this approach. Apple and Google have been working this way for a long time now. The big announcements and revelations are made on an important conference. So, how bad is it that Microsoft has taken the same path?

Taking a step back I feel spoiled. All these years we have had the luxury of knowing all upfront. It is like Christmas time (or Sinterklaas if you are Dutch), where you sent out a wish list to Santa Claus. Santa would tell you exactly what you would get. The unwrapping of the presents was fun to do, but there were hardly any surprises. This time is different. Tomorrow we will be given a lot of presents and we do not know what is in the boxes. Everyone will be thrilled to receive the gifts and find out what is inside. Best of all, there might even be presents that we hadn’t wished for. I am enjoying every moment of it. Because once the unwrapping is done, the nervousness and anxiety goes away and is replaced with the fun of playing with the new stuff. Still good, but different. Who knows how long it will be before we will have the experience of not knowing again?

The registration today went very smooth. It was not busy (yet). The self-service terminals made it easy to register. The badge, wristband (for the party on Wednesday) and booklet were all the things we got. There were no details on the sessions, other than that the first day will be general sessions only. These general sessions are called “Big picture” in the booklet. Sort of indicates what we will getting from those. The breakout sessions are from Wednesday till Friday. It will be four fantastic days without a doubt. I am looking forward to it!


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