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BUILD2018 Begins Today

BUILD2018 is upon us, what can we expect? BUILD is the annual Microsoft Developer Conference and whilst in past years, we have seen a lot of end-user oriented announcements in addition to the slew of  amazing APIs, SDKs, apps and improvements to existing Dev platforms, rumors expect BUILD2018 to be strongly developer oriented.

So what are expectations and predictions?

Anticipate a strong keynote by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. He will no doubt highlight and reinforce the progress in realizing his vision for Microsoft. So far, this journey has delivered major increases in stock price, high customer satisfaction in consumer and business verticals and made Nadella one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential in 2018.

In the wake of this success and the public debate following Facebook / Cambridge Analytica we can probably expect more in the keynote on developer responsibility for technology impact. No doubt we will also see presentations on social good thru technology and innovation, building on the success of Project Emma from BUILD2017:

WINDOWS 10: Whilst Microsoft has made it abundantly clear that cloud not desktop is the present and future focus, we are certainly going to hear about the outstanding Windows 10 Spring Creators Update that rolled out last week.

Expect to hear roll out metrics, major feature improvements and where we can expect Windows 10 to go from here. Expect to hear about Fluent Design, the new app UI. Which features of the OS have it, and which major apps are implementing it. Of course, it being BUILD2018 Developers should anticipate that Fluent Design, Universal Windows Apps & the Windows Store will all receive a strong developer focus. Microsoft is going to want you to build your apps with Fluent Design so be ready.

We can also expect to see Cortana mentioned, now not just on Windows 10 but fully cross-platform on mobile. I predict new devices, more app integrations (and integration tools), more services and a possible announcement of a changed UI / UX for Cortana coming soon. This is one more example of Microsoft continuing to build on their Windows on Mobile strategy.

OFFICE 2019: I predict a firm release date an even a demonstration of new version of Office at BUILD2018. If so, we can expect a focus on inking, more real-time collaboration and customization. In addition, the Microsoft Graph for Windows and Office will gain increased abilities. The star features will almost certainly be Slack killer, Microsoft Teams and improvements to the Office web apps.

Popular and growing services like IOT, BOTS, AI and Microsoft’s Cognitive Services should expect mention with improved SDKs and expanded abilities. Watch these demos because the Cognitive Services will blow your socks off.

Center stage will be Azure, Satya Nadella’s baby that effectively catapulted him into the CEO seat at Redmond. We anticipate continued expansion on services, partnerships and other improvements. This is where we expect to hear more about Containers and much on DevOps in Azure.

The big Azure question is, will we finally receive an Azure Serverless competitor for Google Firebase? Come on Microsoft, Azure Functions hasn’t gained the traction that Firebase has and there is a huge opening here with all the issues Firebase has cross-platform. BUILD2018 is a huge chance for Microsoft to onboard every last developer attending the conference or watching the livestream onto a robust, easy to integrate, serverless solution.

The other big money maker is Xbox.  What developer offerings will we see? Tough to speculate but expect a mention of the ongoing success of Xbox.

MIXED REALITY (XR): There is a chance we will hear something definitive about HOLOLENS 2, even if this is just a teaser. Expect more of a focus on OEM Windows 10 VR headsets and a presentation by Unity of what’s coming for Microsoft Mixed Reality.

Obviously, both Visual Studio and SQL will be getting a lot of attention in terms of new versions, new features and new integrations for all the platforms mentioned. Expect more improvements to cross-platform development on Xamarin.

I expect that we will get a hard launch date if not the launch of Visual Studio App Center, the replacement for HockeyApp which until now has been in Beta with several major features not implemented. BUILD2018 is the ideal opportunity to launch this to release and demo the full set of features here for “continuous everything – Build, test, deploy, engage, repeat …”

BUILD2018 - Visual Studio App Center 1

BUILD2018 - Visual Studio App Center 2

In short, this conference is going to deliver more excitement to the developers who work on these platforms. What’s missing from all this?

The Warptest POV

While I would like to bet that Microsoft are going to announce new hardware or new versions of existing hardware under the Surface brand, I’m not feeling it. I hope but don’t expect an announcement about any Surface Mobile device. Even with all the rumors of Andromeda, a folding ARM tablet/ phone that can run full Windows 10, it’s hard to believe that Microsoft are ready to drop this bombshell this week. This was the Warptest POV on Microsoft and their future in mobility.

The big announcements will be certainly Azure and Visual Studio focused but expect Progressive Web Apps to be mentioned more than once in the context of UWP. We can certainly expect more announcements focusing on open sourcing of development related technologies.

If I had to sum up my predictions, it would be that Microsoft are going to demonstrate a strong investment in building an even better Developer Community. Everything about BUILD2018 is going to be about driving more developers to invest in creating apps for the Windows and Office Stores but also to continue to force the competition to innovate at the same pace as Microsoft has been doing over the last few years.

Above is my latest video where I speak about all this. What do you expect or predict to hear this week?

IncrediBuild Launched Their Latest Version Just After Windows 10.

Many of us take for granted that when Microsoft launches a new OS that there are Developer tools like Visual Studio and TFS (Team Foundation Server) that need updating to support it.

Windows 10 - TFS - Visual Studio 2105 - IncrediBuild

These allow all the software and apps we use to be updated in line with the OS, to add new features and to change the look and feel to match that of the Operating System, and of course to create incredible new applications that leverage all the power behind Windows 10.

Microsoft isn’t alone in these endeavors and works hand in hand with many partners and 3rd Party Solution Providers. IncrediBuild is one of these and they didn’t waste a moment, while others are scrambling to go to market with their solutions for Windows 10 and Visual Studio 2015, IncrediBuild are already out of the gate with their offering.

So, what is IncrediBuild?

To quote their product overview,

A simple and speedy way to accelerate builds, compilations, and development processes 30x faster or more.

Windows 10 - IncrediBuild - Visual Studio 2015 - Product

After reading this, I caught up with their Marketing Manager, Avi Hein (disclosure: Avi is a friend) and in addition to the official press release (embedded in this post as a PDF) I decided to ask him some questions all about IncrediBuild 7 for Windows 10 and Visual Studio 2015:

Adobe AcrobatPDF of Press Release: IncrediBuild 7 For Visual Studio 2015 and Windows 10


  1. How long did IncrediBuild’s team work on this release? 

IncrediBuild has been around since 2002 and we are continually working to update and support the latest operating systems and versions of Visual Studio.

The last version before IncrediBuild 7.0 was released in March, so we have been dedicating ourselves exclusively to 7 for the past 6 months. But we are always working on continuous improvement.

Since the first alpha of Visual Studio 2015 and Windows 10, we have been working to ensure compatibility. We have a very strong relationship with the development team at Microsoft and have been constantly working. In addition, we were Visual Studio 2015 Sim-Ship partners, so we were in constant communication to ensure early support for Visual Studio.

Incidentally, we also have some great things planned for the future as well.

 2. Who is it intended for, large companies, startups or a single developer?

The great thing about IncrediBuild is there is a solution for any size dev team.

A single developer can use our “FreeDev” version on his or her local machine and will gain performance improvements at no cost. 

Startups, medium companies, and even large enterprises can also benefit from IncrediBuild. The more cores added to IncrediBuild’s coordinator, either on the local network or via cloud integration with public clouds like Azure and AWS, the more speed improvements. We have customers who have a small dev team using it as well as hundreds of users in large enterprises who are running it in their whole company. 

One of the advantages of IncrediBuild is ease of use and installation. Just install and run. There is no need for professional services or to change your code or your software toolchain. Continue using the same tools, but faster.                                              

3. What is the added value in a nutshell for me as a developer to having IncrediBuild?

We spend too much time waiting, and not enough time building and testing software.

As an example, one of our customers, GeoTeric, a UK-based geological software company, wanted to add automated tests. However, because their builds were taking over two hours (without tests) they did not want to add automated unit tests. However, after implementing IncrediBuild, they implemented Agile development practices such as automated testing and continuous integration and even with 2,000-3,000 automated tests (where before all tests were manual) build time decreased from 2 hours to 11 minutes.

Recently, we surveyed hundreds of developers. The results were astounding. Running multiple builds daily, the survey revealed that developers spend a minimum of two hours a day waiting for their software to build. I want to hear from your readers. How long do your builds take? 

4. How does this integrate with TFS?

IncrediBuild integrates easily with TFS. We integrate out-of-the-box with Team Foundation Server

Essentially, the Microsoft® TFS-IncrediBuild integration transforms each build agent into a 500-core machine.

Here is an old white paper that explains our TFS integration:  https://www.incredibuild.com/extrafiles/whitepaper.pdf 

5. Does it matter if I work Agile or Waterfall?

IncrediBuild accelerates any process and builds. So you can benefit regardless of what development methodologies. If you are a waterfall team with manual tests, but your builds and compilations take a long time, you will see a significant improvement.

Of course, if you are an Agile team doing Extreme Programming, doing continuous integration, running automated testing, those processes take a long time and so 

6. Is there a trial version, for how long is it good and can I have the link to sign up for it?

IncrediBuild offers a FreeDev version, which is free for life on up to 8 cores, on your local machine. For the full power of IncrediBuild, of course, the price depends on the number of cores you want to use to help you speed up your development.

You can learn more or download IncrediBuild at https://www.incredibuild.com/incredibuild-product-overview.html

We also just released a Linux and Android version, which accelerates Linux development as well.

Right now, that is free. If you are running Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, or Ubuntu, you can learn more or get it here: https://www.incredibuild.com/incredibuild-for-linux-solution.html

 7. So clearly you all have been using Windows 10, why should everyone be upgrading? Tell me for developers but also for the everyday user too? 

Many companies are beginning to upgrade to Visual Studio 2015 and Windows 10, especially companies that haven’t migrated from Windows XP or Windows 7. Therefore, it is important to be supporting anyone who is using the latest operating systems and Windows 10, from the first days.   

8. You mention an increased focus on gaming in the press release, what are the best games I should be playing right now? 

Visual Studio 2015 included some very nice gaming compilations. We also worked very closely with NVIDIA and are included in their AndroidWorks suite of tools for Android developers.

What many people do not know is that the world’s most popular games are developed with “IncrediBuild Inside.” We, personally, of course, love Halo & Age of Empires.

Also, there are some great games coming out of Indy studios. Check out Star Citizen (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/) if you like space battles, 

9. How much coffee did it take to launch IncrediBuild’s latest release?

While we love coffee here at IncrediBuild, one of the benefits is that we shorten your coffee break. Since our builds are so fast, there were a lot fewer coffee breaks.

Yes, that is the one downside for developers – faster builds and so shorter coffee breaks. (See https://www.incredibuild.com/how-much-time-does-incredibuild-save-incredibuild-vs-your-coffee-brea.html for a great video that shows how much IncrediBuild shortens your coffee break)

 10. Who do I contact to buy this now?

You can download IncrediBuild at https://www.incredibuild.com

If you want to buy IncrediBuild contact our sales team at sales@incredibuild.com or buy online https://www.incredibuild.com/ibonlinestore

Thanks, Avi.

The Warptest POV

If you are a Developer working with Visual Studio 2015 and Windows 10, whether you work in Enterprise, Startup or alone, this is something you should be seriously looking at. IncrediBuild are offering a way to turbo-boost your lifecycle / development mojo.

I’m going to be recommending to all the Windows 10 Developers I know to take a look at IncrediBuild 7 for themselves. If you know someone this could help then pay it forward.

Time to work faster and smarter. Oh and by the way, if you haven’t already upgraded to Windows 10 and want to, see this link.