Microsoft Build 2020: The biggest announcements and sessions to watch

Microsoft logo at Ignite
Microsoft logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft Build 2020 is over, and everything that was announced is now out there to be learned about. The biggest news coming out of Build this included Microsoft's "Project Reunion" effort that aims to bring together Win32 and UWP app development, huge updates for Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Edge, and even Windows with new tools like the Windows Package Manager and updates to Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Unifying and evolving the Windows app platform

Arguably the biggest Windows news to come out of Build; Microsoft is combining the Win32 and UWP app development process with Project Reunion by decoupling APIs from Windows and allowing developers to take advantage of the best of both worlds no matter which app framework you're using. Project Reunion makes it easy to build one app that targets all Windows 10 users.

  • Speakers: Jesse Bishop, Paul Gusmorino
  • Description: Learn how the Windows app platform is evolving and unifying Win32 and UWP so your present and future apps can easily target 1 billion+ Windows devices.

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Everything you need to know about WinUI

Carrying on from Project Reunion, WinUI 3.0 is the first big step in bringing Project Reunion to live. It decouples the modern app design introduced with UWP so that any app can take advantage of it. Win32 or UWP, you can use WinUI to build beautiful Windows 10 apps with Fluent Design and everything.

  • Speakers: Ryan Demopoulos, Migual Ramos
  • Description: WinUI is Microsoft's UI framework of the future for every app on Windows, designed to work in both Universal (UWP) and Desktop (Win32) apps. Come learn how WinUI provides a path forward for every Windows Developer, whether you're using WinForms, WPF, MFC, native or .NET, and more!

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Get started with Windows Package Manager

The Windows Package Manager is a new tool for developers that makes it super easy to install common tools and programs using a command line interface. Create scripts that automatically install all the tools you need, and browse the open-source repository to see what's available.

  • Speakers: Kevin Larkin
  • Description: Windows Package Manager is a command line interface for installing and managing apps needed for your dev box. An open source repository makes it easy to submit most apps and tools for inclusion.

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Fluent Design System - Building apps that feel natural on every device

This session dives deeper into Microsoft's design language and how you as a developer can apply it to your apps using Microsoft 365 UI libraries.

  • Speakers: Paul Gildea, Chigusa Sansen
  • Description: Leverage Microsoft 365 UI libraries to efficiently build your own productivity UX across devices and platforms using Fluent UI React, React Native, Mobile, and WinUI open source control libraries. Get a sneak peek of our plans for the Fluent Design System.

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Building apps for 1 billion Windows 10 Desktops and expanding reach w/ Windows Virtual Desktop

Find out how you can take advantage of WinUI 3.0 and MSIX to bring your WIndows app to all Windows 10 users. Plus, take a closer look at Windows Virtual Desktop and how you can leverage the power of the cloud to create great apps.

  • Speakers: Andrew Clinick, Peter Torr
  • Description: Learn how to take advantage of incredible Windows technologies like WinUI3 and MSIX to target the 1 billion+ in-market Windows 10 devices, and to reach billions of other devices via Windows Virtual Desktop.

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Building rich app experiences with Progressive Web Apps

Learn how the new Microsoft Edge integrates with Windows 10 to provide the best Progressive Web App experience on the market. Build web apps that talk to Windows 10 APIs and features such as the Windows Share Target, titlebar themeing, and more.

  • Speakers: Sohum Chatterjee, Judah Himango
  • Description: In this session, you'll learn how PWAs are evolving with new web standards to be more capable, and how we're innovating in Microsoft Edge and Windows to provide a great experience for your customers at every step along the way.

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React Native: Build cross platform apps that target Windows, Mac, and more!

Find out how you can build great apps that work across different platforms using React Native, and how using it over something like Electron can seriously improve the performance and memory usage of your app. See how the Xbox app went from Electron to React Native and the benefits that brought with it.

  • Speakers: Steve Moyes, Kiki Santonge
  • Description: React Native isn't just for building mobile apps! Come learn how you can use React Native to build truly native applications that target the family of Windows devices, Android, iOS, and Mac!

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Moving the web forward with Microsoft Edge and Chromium

Check out what's new with Microsoft Edge now that's it's moved over to Chromium, including new features that are in testing today and coming soon, and how Microsoft is pushing the web forward with new standards and innovation.

  • Speakers: Melanie Richards, Kyle Pflug
  • Description: Over the past year, we've reinvented Microsoft Edge on a new foundation, and built significant momentum in the Chromium project and new standards innovation. In this session, you'll learn about the latest capabilities coming to Microsoft Edge for web developers, including a new experimentation infrastructure to enable you to try the latest features early in incubation. We'll cover new platform features, improvements to developer tooling, and what our improvements around privacy, accessibility, and other fundamentals mean for you.

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Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads