Home » Microsoft Build 2022 was actually pretty exciting for Windows fans

Microsoft Build 2022 was actually pretty exciting for Windows fans

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Microsoft is just that Build 2022 The developer conference, and frankly, even if you’re a Windows fan, it was pretty good. As with any Microsoft conference, I’m usually quite vocal about the criticisms of Build and the lack of attention to the company’s desktop operating system. But, as is always the case when I’m critical of what I care about, nothing makes me happy more than I can admit that I’m wrong.

From the beginning, the company made it clear that it wasn’t going to talk about Windows feature updates, and promised exciting news for Build developers. I expected this to revolve around something like WinUI, but in fact, developer news translates into something exciting for everyone.

For example, Microsoft has announced Windows on Arm, a third-party widget. Windows 11, Changes to the Microsoft store, etc. That’s a lot.

Why Microsoft doesn’t talk about Windows in builds and why it’s needed

It was in 2017 that the Redmond company actually discussed Windows features during the Build stage. Joe Belfiore has unveiled a number of features that will be available in the Windows 10 FallCreators Update. In fact, when some of these features didn’t ship, Microsoft decided that the answer was not only to admit that some features were delayed, but to reduce transparency, but that’s another. It is a story of.

Joe Belfiore giving a keynote speech on the second day at Build 2017

In the 2018-2020 build, the message was clearly visible. Microsoft doesn’t care about Windows anymore. Currently an Azure company. That’s where the company saw the most growth, and that’s where it’s heading. Windows didn’t go anywhere, but if Microsoft started writing headlines, the headlines would be Azure.

2021 was a little different. Working from home caused a resurgence in the PC market, and suddenly Microsoft wanted to do something exciting with Windows. In about nine months, we’ve put together Windows 11 for the June release and moved it away from the build.

You might have expected Windows 11 version 22H2 this year. After all, Windows is back, it’s a higher priority, and there’s little reason to give it a dedicated launch. But that’s not the case.

Build is a developer show, and Microsoft wants to emphasize that the news is aimed at developers. Google and Apple are showing more consumer-related news at their shows, but Microsoft doesn’t want to do that anymore. Of course, this is a very convenient way to avoid talking about Windows. This is because the news in Azure is pretty much the same.

I also have emotional problems.Consumer news teeth Developer news. Apple will announce new versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS at WWDC for just over a week. You can adjust to see what new features your iPhone will get this fall. Is it developer specific? Probably not. It has little to do with new features, coding examples, or anything like that that actually allows you to tune your app. The same is true for the Google I / O keynote.

But that’s why this is still important for developers. It shows the momentum of the platform. The fact that Microsoft does not show Windows features has historically shown that Windows is not just a priority. Watching the Google I / O or WWDC keynote, there’s no doubt that Google is running in earnest on Android and Apple is all-in to iOS. And if they’re all-in, you should be a developer too.

Still, I think Microsoft has put together a solid Windows show, even if Windows 11 feature updates haven’t been discussed.

Build had a lot of new Windows stuff

The show has been different since it was virtualized in 2020. Even if you didn’t talk about Windows, there were talks about other products in sessions such as “What’s New in OneNote,” “What’s New in Edge,” and “What’s New in Outlook.” , “What’s new in OneDrive” and more. Those sessions no longer exist. Hopefully it will change when these events return face-to-face and are of real value that must be provided to convince people to provide resources to attend their bosses. When Build met in person, the ticket cost almost $ 2,500, which does not include travel or accommodation.

But while new consumer features haven’t been discussed, the Windows news was actually pretty important.

Finally take Arm64 seriously

Since it was announced in December 2016, I’ve been a fan of the Windows on Arm concept. Windows has traditionally been run primarily on x86 processors. The entire ecosystem is built around Intel. The idea of ​​supporting the new architecture was exciting to me.

The platform started late. Qualcomm’s hardware was scarce until recently, but more importantly, Microsoft has always treated it like a second-class citizen.For example, the first time Windows on Arm PC When launched, I couldn’t even compile a native app unless it was a UWP. Support for compiling Win32 apps as Arm64 native was planned for later. Another example is that x64 emulation support was not available until October 2021 when Windows 11 shipped.

Development software logo

Windows on Arm was a big part of the build announcement. The Microsoft headline was called Project Volterra, but the most important announcement for me was the Arm native developer toolchain. In addition to those that run natively on Arm, such as .NET 6, the classic .NET Framework, and VC ++, Microsoft will also release an Arm64 version of Visual Studio 2022. The Windows subsystem for Android and Hyper-V is already on Arm, everything is in place.

This is a big problem as Visual Studio 2022 is one of the most complex applications offered by Microsoft. The idea that a Windows on Arm machine could be everything needed for software development is barbaric and shows a commitment from Microsoft.


Windows image on Arm development unit

Project Volterra

That’s where Project Volterra comes in. Volterra is actually hardware. This is Microsoft’s new development box that uses the Snapdragon processor and that’s all we know. However, it is different from the Arm64 development box announced last year. Last year’s development kit with Snapdragon 7c was for testing rather than building apps.

It’s all about building an AI experience. According to Microsoft, almost every PC in the future will have a neural processing unit like the one built into the Snapdragon chipset. Combined with Azure using the new hybrid loop pattern, developers will be able to use Volterra to build these new AI applications.

Qualcomm has been promoting Arm’s AI angle for some time. In fact, the early value propositions for Windows on Arm were cellular connectivity and battery life. But now, almost all WOA PCs are based on Wi-Fi only, and battery life isn’t as promised. However, San Diego companies have consistently said they are far superior to Intel in AI tasks using AI engines.

Introducing third-party widgets

Windows 11 third party widget

When Microsoft first reintroduced the concept of widgets in Windows 11, only what was provided was available. Later this year, all developers will be able to embed widgets in their Win32 apps or PWAs.

In one session, the company briefly stated that it was looking for other places to display widgets on Windows. This means that widgets may be returned to your desktop, much like the search bar was added in recent Insider Preview builds.

You can restore the app from the Microsoft store

What’s interesting is that all previous versions of Windows are starting to feel like new things already exist. One of the features that has returned from the days of Windows 8 is the ability to restore apps with a fresh install of Windows 11.

Of course, this only applies to apps downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Windows cannot get Google Chrome exactly, so you have to handle it yourself.

This is a feature that has been around for many years on mobile. When you upgrade your smartphone, all apps are easily and automatically installed. Microsoft is now trying to do that on Windows.

Fortunately, anyone can put the app in the Microsoft Store right now and no changes are needed. Microsoft has also announced that it will remove the waiting list for Win32 apps.

Windows subsystem for improving Android

The Windows subsystem for Android has been improved. For one, it’s running on Android 12.1. However, the big news is that it will be supported in five new countries, along with the Amazon Appstore on Windows 11.

WSA is currently only available in the United States, but will be available in France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the timeline is “until the end of the year”.

Microsoft store ads

OK, so none of us are excited about advertising, and that’s OK. Still, it’s important to think that Microsoft is investing in the store. It provides developers with the originality and opportunity to distribute their apps through the market.

Microsoft store ads

First, developers will be able to promote their app in the store. To do this, you need to be a public developer. This is common in app marketplaces and search engines.

There is also a new pop-up store feature on the web. Here, developers can probably promote their app on their website and install it directly from there.

And finally, a list of Microsoft stores will appear in the results of Windows Search. It’s not really an ad, but it’s still a call for action to download the app.

To be clear, advertising isn’t bad, probably because many of us have an immediate reaction when we hear the word “advertising.” This is all good because the thriving commerce ecosystem needs advertising.

Microsoft Build 2022 was exciting

As I said, there was no talk about Windows 11 version 22H2, or the features it offers. Even if the timing is right, that’s fine. But overall, Microsoft Build 2022 was an exciting show for Windows enthusiasts like me.

Microsoft has been interested in Windows on Arm since the platform was introduced. Indeed, it was introduced as a way to trigger innovation from Intel, which was producing almost old products at the time. However, Apple is using the Arm processor well, so it seems that a big investment is required.

If you just wanted to know the next new feature in Windows 11, this wasn’t a show for you. But if you’re a fan of the platform and it’s heading, build 2022 was great.

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