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4 key things we learned at Microsoft Build 2017

Build 2017 has been and gone, but there's still loads from the event that we haven't really talked about. Build is a huge event, with hundreds of sessions expanding on some of the things announced during the big keynotes on Day one and two. In some cases, some sessions touch on things that weren't even announced on stage!

Here's a collection of things we learned at Build that you may or may not have heard about.

Fluent Design is a journey

One of the biggest announcements to come out of Build this year is of course Microsoft's new design language for Windows 10. Originally developed under the codename Project Neon, Microsoft's new design language is called Fluent Design System, and will be coming to Windows 10 over the course of the next several releases.

Microsoft weren't exactly clear about this on stage, but Microsoft's implementation of Fluent Design is a journey that will take a few years to complete. Talking to people at the event, the Fluent Design journey begins with the Creators Update, and continues through the Fall Creators Update, leading into Redstone 4 and 5 in 2018.

Insiders are already experiencing the first batch of Fluent Designs within apps such as Groove Music and Calculator. With the Fall Creators Update, we can expect to see more Fluent Design elements make their way to the system, such as the Start Menu, My People Hub and more. Then, next year, we'll see it hit more places, and so on.

Microsoft Edge isn't coming to the Store

Although original reports claimed otherwise, Microsoft tells us that Edge will not be coming to the Windows Store with the Fall Creators Update. We had heard that Microsoft were looking at this as a possibility, but were told that Edge in the Store is not a high priority for the company at this time.

This is unfortunate, as bringing Microsoft Edge to the Windows Store would allow Microsoft to update Edge at a much faster pace, at least on the surface with new user features. Unlike Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, Microsoft Edge is tied down to just two major releases a year alongside a major Windows 10 release. Chrome can be updated whenever and wherever Google wants.

Microsoft does say it's something on their radar, but won't commit to a timeframe for when we can expect to see it happen. Sad day.

Microsoft is serious about mobile

If it wasn't obvious on stage, Microsoft is pretty serious about mobile and phones right now. Whether you're an iOS, Android or even Windows phone user, Microsoft wants to cater to you and bring your Windows 10 PC experience closer together with your phone.

Windows 10 Mobile even had a short demo on stage, which is somewhat of a surprise. Microsoft continues to say they're committed to Windows 10 Mobile, and showcasing OneDrive placeholders on phone on stage was refreshing to see.

It's clear, however, that Windows 10 Mobile isn't Microsoft's only focus in the mobile market. iOS and Android are just as important, which makes perfect sense. The majority of users who use Windows are iOS and Android users, so it makes sense for Microsoft to cater to those platforms too.

Microsoft has some ideas in mind for Windows phones, and I'm hoping we'll hear more about that later this year.

Build 2018 in Seattle

Next year's Build conference will also be held in Seattle. In a Q&A session with press, Microsoft confirmed that Build 2018 will be held in Seattle's Washington State Convention Center, just like this year.

Microsoft usually hosts Build in San Francisco, but due to ongoing renovation work being done to the San Francisco Moscone Center, Microsoft had to relocate for the next couple of years, and Seattle appears to be the place where Build is settling down, at least temporarily. It's practically in Microsoft's backyard, so why not?

Is there anything you were hoping Microsoft was going to announce at Build this year? Let us know in the comments!

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

68 Comments
  • It's a shame about Edge not coming to the Store. It means that small but helpful features won't arrive for the majority of users (who aren't on Fast ring) frequently enough. For example, fillable PDFs would be a nice quality of life improvement to expand being beyond insiders.
  • But, bare in mind the current pace of Windows updates. If this slows it'll become more of a priority.
  • Or even more than 2 releases of Windows feature updates per year.
  • Why can't they use Windows Update to evolve Edge quicker?
  • No reason, really.
  • I also learned four things at Build: 1. Windows phone is dead. 2. Windows phone is dead. 3. Windows phone is dead. 4. Windows phone is dead.
  • I would hope so, Windows 10 on ARM is an infinitely better mobile solution than a stripped down mobile version of Windows that isnt even REAL windows
  • Why?   What does full Windows bring to a mobile device?  There are still no mobile apps for it.   Win32 on a phone is pointless. 
  • " Win32 on a phone is pointless. " Lol, and thats all i needed to not take you serious. If you dont know about Continuum and Docking by now, youre hopeless
  • Laughing at my question is not an acceptable answer.   Again, what is the point of Win32 on a phone? Yes, I have seen the poorly-named Continuum demos.  What does that do for me when I am on the road?  So I need to carry a dock, a screen, a mouse and keyboard for it to be useful?   A laptop is easier to deal with.  No one but geeks want to deal with a bunch of separate boxes and cables.  We had that in the 80s (think Apple 2s, TRS-80s, etc.).   Hobbiest computing.   We are WAY beyond that point now.   PCs didn't really take off until everything was in one box, with one power cord.  Which is why a laptop is easier to setup and use than a phone, screen, keyboard, mouse and dock.   That's 2 steps backwards. 
  • whats the point of docking and continuum.  If I wanted to sit in front of a monitor,  i would just use my laptop thats 100,000,000 times more powerful than a ****** phone.  windows win32 on a phone IS POINTLESS.  
  • Continuum is only useful if you have a station set up already at work or wherever, otherwise a laptop is a much better option. It's not going to change the face of mobile computing like people think because, like everyone else has said, it's cumbersome to carry everything around.
  • The idea of continuum is not to carry a several bits around with you. If you need bigger screen real estate you use a surface. The putpose of continuum is so that people like me who only use a PC when in the office or test room but otherwise use the phone doesnt need to have two PCs and a phone. This may not suit the way you work but would suit a lot of other people very well.
  • I think you answered your own question. With full Windows on ARM there will be thousands of apps for mobile devices. This doesn't mean people will run Photoshop on a tiny screen, this is not the case, and continuum and docking is also not the main reason. It's a cool feature but UWP is. Imagine purchasing your favorite Windows 10 app through the store and automatically have it for your mobile device fully adjusted for a smaller screen. Imagine the potential for the developers and consumers
  • Did you read the article at all? They showed off w10m in a demo with one drive and they have Something in mind about it. It is not the biggest announcement but it is something different than 4x of stupid repeative trolling.
  • That's 1 thing.
  • Cool
  • Lets leave Maktaba's comment at -4 downvotes.
  • That Windows phone is in the deep black abyss?
  • Did u read the article? Do it again...
  • Ya its too bad. I watched googles build and it just seems there a few years ahead. Cortanna home speaker wont hold up to google homes. Day late dollar short should as usual.
  • There are also now a lot of people who witnessed the destruction of Windows Phone, who will conclude that Cortana Home speaker is a Beta Test....and like Microsoft, they too will move on to Android devices. It's a shame that Windows Phone lost a bunch of money, but it's a bigger shame that MS will now lose out on so much more opportunities because of their handling of Windows Phones.
  • "Day late and dollar short" can also be applied to google home as Amazon is in full control right now.
  • Amazon is in full control of basically nothing. The market for home automation is pre infancy right now. As an Architect i try to help people plan for Home Automation in their new builds and remodels constantly... barely anyone cares, most people are still terrified of NSA spying. There needs to be a major paradigm shift in Home Automation before it really matters
  • True, home automation is in pre infancy with no standards to speak of.  But I'm talking about digital assistants where Alexa is probably adopted in more households than any of the others.
  • How, when Cortana is available on W10, and there are supposedly 500M running W10.
  • and nobody uses her
  • store is still dead, i cant get new updates :(
  • Works for me...
  • I like cupcakes.
  • Ive recently got into macaroons... love 'em
  • I could go for a macaroon. Don't get me wrong, cupcakes are always the right choice, but a good macaroon sometimes the right thing at the right time.
  • @Zac. Good short read.
  • <p>I am 88 years old and has always used MS products!</p> <p>I live in a retirent hone and&nbsp; in the fast ring<strong>!</strong></p> <p>I see more &amp; more younger yonger old people who are computer literate!</p> <p>However Micrsoft Doesn&#39;tseem to care&nbsp; about this new develpment!</p> <p>As an example I can barley seen this type because it is so small!</p> <p>There is no way to make it larger!</p> <p>Children are learning coding in grade school!</p> <p>Ederly are using computers to keep in contact with their families &amp; the out side world!</p> <p>Wake UP befaore APPLE eats your lunch!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
  • I watched that Channel 9 video of Windows on ARM and it's pretty cool. I'd like to see what they have planned for their mobile "skin" or overlay. Hopefully they'll present it this year. Windows Central, just tease me with any proof of Windows 10 on ARM to "replace" W10M.
  • Redstone 4 and 5?  That makes it sound like FCU will still be feature incomplete.  I was kinda hoping they'd wrap up the current momentum and move on.
  • Move on to what? Windows 10 is the final Windows, its multiple upgrades every year from here on out
  • BTW, am I the only one who finds phrases like Microsoft ARE or Microsoft WERE strange? Shouldn't it be Microsoft IS and Microsoft WAS? Microsoft refers to a single entity: a corporation. Therefore, Microsoft IS, but the people working at Microsoft ARE. The Earth IS, but the people of Earth ARE. The Universe IS, but the galaxies in the Universe ARE. Apple IS. Microsoft IS. Apple and Microsoft ARE.
  • Is you okay?
  • Lol, yes I is. 
  • Lol glad to hear it. Sorry, I could not resist.
  • you is kind
    you is smart
    you is important
  • You are so correct. I thought the same thing, but figured the writer was a pro so maybe I'm wrong.    
  • Actually, either way is correct in some cases, but if you're referring to what the people are doing at Microsoft then to say "Microsoft are" is more correct, as "Microsoft" in that case refers to a group of people, not a corporate entity.
  • Then you should say The People At Microsoft Are Doing Great Work.   But, Microsoft IS doing great work.  
  • I learned that my L640 XL was a mistake when my mother in law was pressing me to get a S7 because of an offer of 2 for the price of 1 or a Note 4.
  • Don't give in, S7 Arggg. Noooo. :-\
  • I really am so disappointed with Edge.  So much potential, so little effort.
  • Attendees pay $2K to go to Build (plus hotel, airfare, meals) but Microsoft doesn't treat us as paying customers. Media/Bloggers/Journalist attend for free because Microsoft wants them to drink the kool-aid and give them good press. Most everything I learned at Build could have been learned by watching on-line so I think this year may be my last year. At the very least, Microsoft could have rewarded us with something to walk away with (hardware, software, or at the very least inspiration or excitement to develop for their ecosystem) but we got none of that. It used to be about developers, developers, and developers but sadly, I don't feel that way anymore.
  • Thanks for sharing some insight about Build from the perspective of a developer who attended. I hope, if your sentiment is shared by other attendees as well, that Microsoft takes a good hard look at what it can do better to engage developers. I know Nadella may be very different of a person than Ballmer, but he should take a page out of Ballmer's book in regard to the energy, dedication, and PRIDE Ballmer had for his company.
  • Wasn't there a year that HP Spectre X360s were handed out to attendees?
  • They build Edge from the ground up. What I don't understand is they didn't build it for the store from the beginning.
  • So, Microsoft is begging others to get their apps in the store, but can't be bothered to get ALL of it's own stuff in it's own store?   Way to lead by example, guys.   My irony meter just went off the scale. 
  • Come on folks!  Edge will be in the store right after they put it in the Apple and Play stores.  Then they will announce that they are working on a UWP version and that will be in the MSFT Store. MSFT always deploys to other stores first and then develops in their own environment that is supposed to make bridging to other technologies easier but they don't do it that way.  I know it sounds backwards, is backwards and doesn't make sense but if you suspend reality, you can make the paradigm fit!
  • 0 excitement. Nothing real, only speculation of future products.
  • What we learned... that Nadella speaks of making 1984 not happen, just to pass to a tiny woman who shows us all-time video control on the work place. "John is not allowed to take the jackhammer... Ping, iPhone gets a message". That whole AI crap should be regulated.
  • I learnerd that MS is still an enterprise company building hardware for use in enterprise environment. Story remix saved them on software side. Otherwise, nothing general consumer oriented. But I still can't get it on my insider builds!
  • I was really hoping they would give word on cshell. I think it makes sense to announce it when the mobile aspect of cshell is ready. Why for the life of me are people complaining, enthusiast can never be satisfied. I watched the first few minutes of Google I/O 17, and decided to head over to android central to learn about the latest announcements. Guess what, they are complaining that Google is introducing features that are dead on arrival, impractical cheesy features. Edge being updated bi-annually is perfectly fine. Development takes time and there are challenges we are not aware of they are faced with which makes them deduce what we know to be their workflow. Their engineers aren't stupid,
  • Thanks for some sane response. When I read comments, I often get the idea that many people have zero idea of what it actually takes to build software as complex, scalable, versatile and widespread as Windows, and what is involved in building a modern browser from the ground up, with the vision of versatility and scalability the developers have planned out. Ever wondered why Edge performs better compared to Chrome or Firefox on a cheap 2GB machine? Or the smoothness of scrolling, superior touch optimization etc. compared to the far older and more mature browsers? There are countless backend technical considerations which the average ignorant commenter has no idea about, it's almost comical when they express opinions. Do they think the devs are stupid, or they are somehow more capable than those that actually work day and night on these things? Well there is the empty barrels saying and all, so it comes as no surprise that they indeed make the loudest noise.
  • W10m is not dead. To keep it alive they introduce w10 apps to iphone and android to so they can max their position. MS stays focussed on mobile
  • But that's not a solution to win Mobile market share.
  • So why did they kept Windows 10 Mobile in Maintainence Mode. Even Android has got Picture-in-Picture view and Night Light for Android O Dev Preview. And Microsoft has the ability to make it for Windows 10 Mobile, but they didn't....
  • Windows 10m is the most aesthetical phone operating system now in existence . The poor market share will recover somewhat with 1.8% forecasted for 2019 . As for full Window 10 on mobile phone we have to think of the existing hardware. Will existing lumias and others brands support it ? I can see that Microsoft remains serious about W10M with regular updates . At the moment it remains their only card .
  • Good to know they shall continue supporting mobile
  • I feel left out despite having purchased what was the 'flagship' windows phone Nokia Lumia 1020. Apps I've been using are falling apart or just being unuseable, apps are never available for windows phones for banks or 'points' programs, and worst of all.... This leader of a phone was left in the dust in Windows 8.1.... and is not upgradeable to Windows 10. Some support.
  • I really have that same feeling. And because i'm from the netherlands it is even worse :( all banks don't update there apps :( My lumia 1020 (flash memory) was broken last november when i visit NY for work.
    I was hoping Microsoft came with a new spectaculair phone (@ least for camera work)
    I really love this OS... because mine phone was broken I got the old iphone 4s from my wife....
    man what a f#cked up phone is that.... PLEASE Microsoft come with some nice plans, new phone and better app compability (lets say for a while some android apps on a microsoft OS)
  • Why do your need Edge on the store when you already have it on your PC and mobile?
  • MS M10 it's a ruff ride hold on or fall off it's a thin line with love & hate.