What we expect to see at Microsoft Build 2018

Microsoft's annual Build developer conference is a little over a week away, so it's time to round up everything we're expecting to see Microsoft announce and talk about at the event. This year's Build is bigger than ever, with three keynotes across two days, and hundreds of sessions talking about the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Windows, and more.

Chime in: What do you most want to see at Build 2018?

New Windows features

Microsoft always dedicates a little time on stage to talk about the next feature updates for Windows 10. In the past, it has announced new features that end up trickling into the next few Windows 10 releases. Last year, Microsoft announced Timeline and Cloud Clipboard, and Timeline has only just showed up in Windows 10 for the public.

This year, we expect Microsoft to dive further into Cloud Clipboard and show it off live for the first time. The company should detail how that feature integrates with the OS, and how developers can tap into it for content sharing across devices. We're also expecting the company to showcase Windows Sets on stage for the first time and talk further about how it believes this new user interaction model is the way forward.

We might also see Microsoft announce upcoming changes to the System Tray and Start menu, with features such as Control Center in the works internally. Microsoft wants to try and clean up the taskbar in Windows 10, and Build would be a great time to announce those plans.

More on the Fluent Design System

Last year at Build, Microsoft debuted its new design language, now known as the Fluent Design System. Microsoft has always said the Fluent Design System is a journey, and as such it's supposed to evolve and improve over time, with new features, materials, and more. Microsoft will likely talk more about the next stage of the Fluent Design System at Build.

Perhaps Microsoft will showcase its plans for implementing Fluent Design in more of its software and services. It's likely that the next version of Office will feature Fluent Design, and Build would be a great place to showcase those enhancements. In fact, Microsoft may also talk about how developers can implement Fluent Design into their own UWP or Win32 apps and outline its plans for the future when it comes to design.

Windows Mixed Reality

Microsoft is just getting started with Windows Mixed Reality (WMR). We expect Microsoft will talk more about its plans for WMR this year, detailing new features and ideas it has for the platform. Microsoft has already expressed interest in building more social features into Windows Mixed Reality, with features such as being able to invite friends into your own WMR homes. Perhaps we'll see Microsoft talk more about these social plans.

UWP, UWP, UWP (and more UWP)

Windows apps

Windows apps (Image credit: Windows Central)

Guess what? UWP is far from dead. With over 90 sessions dedicated to UWP development, Microsoft is going to be talking lots about its modern app platform for developers. It's also going to talk more about progressive web apps (PWAs), and how web developers can enhance their PWAs by bringing them to the Microsoft Store. It's important to remember that a PWA on Windows 10 is a UWP app, as it allows developers to tap into Windows 10 features such as notifications, live tiles, and more.

Cloud, AI, IOT, and the Intelligent Edge

Harmon Kardon Invoke with Cortana

Harmon Kardon Invoke with Cortana (Image credit: Windows Central)

Build is a developer conference, which means we're going to hear a lot about Microsoft's developer-orientated projects. Cloud and AI are important to Microsoft, partners, and developers, and as such you can expect to hear lots about that at Build. We're also expecting Microsoft to talk more about Windows and IoT devices.

Lots more goodies

Build is always full of new things for developers and casual users, so be sure to stay tuned to Windows Central as we'll be on the floor looking for any new things worthy of note!

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