Microsoft held its annual Build conference this week. While it's primarily aimed at developers, some around the web have complained about the lack of "exciting announcements." I understand that people want to hear about big features and see what's next for Windows, but that isn't the point of Build. The conference is about helping developers. Here's why I think Build 2021 did exactly what it was supposed to do.
Developers, developers, developers
On the FAQ page for Build, Microsoft explains who should attend the conference. "Whether you are a student or an experienced app developer, you will gain action-ready skills specific to what you do through immersive experiences, engaging with community, and one-on-one guidance from Microsoft engineers." Build is about developers learning how to create better experiences on Windows and for Microsoft apps such as Teams.
"At Microsoft Build, you'll leave a better developer than when you arrived," explains the FAQ page. "It's where you can solve challenges, meet the engineers behind the Microsoft platforms you use every day, and connect with a diverse group of coders who want to hone their skills."
Microsoft has never hidden the intentions of Build. It's a developer conference meant to help devs learn and improve. It should be no surprise that the top five biggest announcements at Build 2021 are almost entirely about developing apps and experiences.
Other events are on the way
Despite Build's focus on developers, the main takeaway for many was that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella teased a major update to Windows during his keynote. Of course, changes to Windows 10 affect developers, but the state of Windows 10 isn't the focus of Build.
Microsoft will hold a future event, possibly in June, at which point it will unveil the next generation of Windows. This event will give Windows its due time without cannibalizing a developer-focused conference like Build.
A tease from Nadella fits in at Build because developers want to keep an eye out for what's new, but showcasing a major update like Sun Valley at the conference wouldn't make any sense; it would distract from what the event is supposed to be about.
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