Full disclosure: though I’ve been a Microsoft employee for a short while, I currently have no professional (or other type of) connection with the company.
Now that we have got that out of the way, I do believe that there has never been a better time to be a Microsoft developer than today! :)
Ok, I’ll bite… why do you think that?
Microsoft Build Developers Conference was held last week in San Francisco. On it, Microsoft showed it’s vision for the future, and it is a bright one!
Though this article only scratches the surface on all that was shown, these were my personal highlights of the event!
Windows 10 everywhere!
Yes, Windows 10 will be everywhere, from PC’s, Laptops and Tablets, the Xbox One and Hololens, and also powering IoT devices like the Raspberry Pi 2.
For developers this translates in the fact that apps you develop for Windows 10, will also run in any other device! Functionality may obviously differ from device to device given their capabilities (touch screen on a tablet, augmented reality in Hololens, sensors on IoT devices, etc.), but in the end it will be the same Windows 10 app running on all of them!
The amount of code made available over the last couple of weeks in Microsoft’s GitHub page is truly astonishing!
Microsoft went from a closed-source software company to open-source a big chunk of their code in order to get contributions from the community (comments, reviews, code contributions, etc.), just like in any other GitHub repository!
Say goodbye to the Microsoft you’ve know for years as a Windows and Office only company; “Mobile first, cloud first” is the new motto, and there was enough proof of that in Build conference.
If you’re a web developer, you should definitely give Visual Studio Code a spin - and here’s the twist: it runs not only in Windows, but also in Mac and Linux, as Visual Studio Code is itself built on top of open-source technologies!
The whole CoreCLR (.NET Core Runtime) was built for Windows but now runs in Mac and Linux machines, meaning you can run the same .NET based code in all these platforms!
iOS and Android apps are welcome!
Develop apps for iOS or Android? Well, there’s some good news for you too: with Project Islandwood and Project Astoria, you’ll be able to make those apps run in Windows 10 with just a few modifications, and even sell them through the Windows Store and make some money out of it!
Targeting the Windows platform is definitely a smart move, as it will enable you to reach more users and increase potential revenue from your apps.
All apps are now Windows Apps
The “older” .NET and Win32 desktop apps we use all day long will now have a place in the Windows Store, making life easier for users to find, download and use them!
Just package those apps as a Windows 10 app, ship it to the store, and you’re done!
One more thing
Hololens! If you don’t know what it is by now, then you definitely should!!
While other companies are investing Virtual Reality, Microsoft took a different approach with Hololens and went with Augmented Reality.
As the name might suggest, “Augmented Reality” adds information to your real environment, and it’s usages are quite diverse. Microsoft showed a couple of demos of usage for construction and health that I believe made some jaw’s drop!
“DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!!”
No one said it, but I’m sure a lot of people remembered this while watching Build 2015: