Microsoft's Bunk Event Just Broke My Damn Heart 

Microsoft's Bunk Event Just Broke My Damn Heart

Why, Microsoft? Why are you doing this to me? You just stuck a fork in my eye and a knife through my heart.

Heading into today's Microsoft Build 2016 keynote, I knew it might get boring. It was a developer conference, so it really makes no sense that I'm disappointed after seeing what Satya Nadella and company showed off. Build is supposed to be full of boring arse updates about how to write software for Windows. But dammit Microsoft, you made me irrationally excited about your company and then let me down.

Why was I excited? Because last year, Microsoft pulled out a win. In fact, 2015 was packed with goodness from beginning to end. It started with Windows 10 and HoloLens, and ended with Surface Book. All three products are innovative and interesting. I hadn't ever thought those words about the company before 2015.

It was almost as if Microsoft had been reborn. I was in the audience in New York last October when Microsoft's Panos Panay first revealed the Surface Book. I remember the electric shock that ran through the room when the lights went out and the intro video played.

This was a different kind of Microsoft -- a Microsoft that cared about making customers love its products and had surprises on the horizon. It wasn't the dusty old company that makes the enterprise software running on a shitty work laptop.

Then, after a whole year of convincing me it was cool, Microsoft reverts to its old boring self. Today's biggest cheers came when the company announced it would be bringing the Bash shell to Windows 10. If you don't know what the Bash shell is that's because it's not actually something any normal person needs to know. It doesn't matter to anyone but developers.

The coolest thing to come out of today was Microsoft's plans for conversational bots you can talk to. This is still a nascent effort, with no new products or features to get excited about. (Well, Microsoft did introduce one bot recently -- but we all know how that went.)

I guess a little piece of me hoped that Microsoft would go the route of Apple and Google, which have turned their developer conference keynotes into important moments for both consumers and coders. Devs get all the information they need after several days at the conference, but the companies tack on little goodies during the keynote for the rest of us.

But today, we got nothing.



    Wow. I thought the event was awesome. You say we got nothing? Yes, very developer focussed because it is a developer event after all, but there was heaps of consumer oriented stuff as well.

    There were more HoloLens demos targeting some real world usage scenarios and Bryan Roper's pen demonstrations left me dreaming of possibilities, as did the Cortana and bot demos. If anything this was very software focussed, and again that makes sense at a developer event. And the amazing user experience Microsoft is pushing towards is a combination of hardware and software, new hardware took the focus last year, software maybe more so today.

    You can't realistically expect Microsoft to release another brand new HoloLens, or even SurfaceBook, level device every year. For one thing HoloLens is only just starting to ship dev devices today.

    Last edited 31/03/16 12:54 pm

    It looks like you are forlorn and sad and taking it out on the world.
    would you like to eat a cookie?

    yes please I want cheering up ____ no I want to sulk...but give me the cookie still

    Last edited 31/03/16 1:16 pm

    Meanwhile, back in reality, no one seems to share the authors opinion....
    "MICROSOFT has announced a number of new features to be added to its hugely popular Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft’s annual developers conference kicked off this morning with a much anticipated keynote address outlining the latest product initiatives and broader ambitions of the company. Microsoft showed off an update to the operating system dubbed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which will come with 1000 new features.
    The announcements are sure to make developers and users of the purported 270 million devices worldwide that actively use Windows 10 very happy."

    Meanwhile...back at the ranch.....why don't my up-votes on comments get counted????
    EDIT: Nevermind, it started working just then. I promise it wasn't working before...pinky swear...

    Last edited 31/03/16 1:26 pm

    You will be eating those words in 12 months when those MicroBots are in everything, helping you manage your life.

    They're bringing bash to Windows? That is seriously cool!

    When did technical computing events become about unveiling the latest mass-market shiny thing?

    Windows is actually getting to be seriously cool - and this is coming from someone who hated Windows 15 years ago.

    Well, if you're a Windows Phone user then Build 2016 was unquestionably disappointing.

      Some might say being a Windows Phone user is an all-round disappointment :-)

      Why? Anything that promotes UWP apps promotes Windows Mobile. I think it is very smart of Microsoft to keep the focus on the product with 270million active users and the potential for a billion or so, rather than on a mobile platform with single digit market share, but that doesn't mean one thing isn't also going to be a huge benefit for the other. OTOH, if they had focused on x64 applications instead of UWP, I'd be crying myself to sleep tonight, because THAT would be the end of Windows Mobile.

    I'm glad the previous commentators arrived before me, this is the only negative review I've yet heard from this - developer - conference. I mean, to an average consumer maybe some of it didn't shine but to a technology writer?

    "At a time when Apple is re-releasing its iPhone 5 design and merely evolving its product lineup, Microsoft is trying to instigate the next big revolution. That's great for driving competitive innovation, especially because Microsoft has the resources and developer reach of an established giant to match the bright-eyed and youthful optimism it's showing with its new initiatives."

    The Verge wrote it better.

      Yeah, and The Verge is just about the most Apple-biased tech site on the entire web!

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