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Microsoft Build 2024 Recap: The Age of AI


Last week I attended the Microsoft Build 2024 conference in Seattle. This annual event, known for its groundbreaking announcements and insightful sessions, lived up to its reputation with a strong focus on artificial intelligence (AI). With keynote presentations from industry leaders like CEO Satya Nadella and CTO Kevin Scott, the event showcased Microsoft's vision for integrating AI into every facet of development and business productivity. Highlights included the much-anticipated updates to Microsoft Copilot and the innovative ChatGPT-powered Bing Chat, promising to revolutionize how developers and users interact with technology. Join me as I delve into the key moments and takeaways from this year's Microsoft Build, exploring how these innovations will shape the future of development.

Location and Convention Center

Microsoft Build 2024 Location -  Seattle Convention Center Summit

Held at the Seattle Convention Center, Summit, Microsoft Build 2024 benefited from its prime location in a hub of technological innovation. This central setting provided easy access for local and international attendees, allowing valuable networking opportunities. The state-of-the-art facilities ensured a seamless experience for keynotes, workshops, and collaborative sessions, enhancing the conference's overall learning and community engagement.

Day 1 – May 21st 

2024 Imagine Cup World Championship

Microsoft Build 2024 kicked off with an energetic keynote from CEO Satya Nadella, CTO Kevin Scott, and Executive VP Rajesh Jha. The spotlight was on AI, focusing on Copilot's new capabilities and deeper integration into Windows and Office. Microsoft unveiled new Surface Copilot+ PCs, including the latest Surface Laptop and Surface Pro, designed to enhance productivity with AI features like the Recall function. The day also featured the Imagine Cup World Championship, celebrating innovative projects from student developers. This blend of groundbreaking technology and creative showcases set a dynamic and inspiring tone for the rest of the conference.

Day 2 – May 22nd 

The second day continued the AI-centric theme with a keynote by Scott Guthrie, who introduced the next generation of AI tools for developers within the Microsoft Cloud. Sessions throughout the day delved into new AI features for Windows, including bringing advanced AI experiences to all Windows devices. Highlights included talks on designing for new Windows AI capabilities and navigating Win32 app development with WinUI and WPF. This day emphasized practical AI applications, demonstrating Microsoft's commitment to integrating AI seamlessly into their ecosystem. Outside of the talks and sessions, attendees could enjoy several activities. Personally, I visited the AMD AI Café for some coffee and a picture with an AI-generated background using the newly available AMD MI300X accelerator, and I also visited the Meta booth featuring the "Meta Mixed Reality Playground," where attendees could explore and interact with the latest in mixed reality technology.

Day 3 – May 23rd

Lumen Stadium - MS 2024 Build Wrap Up Party

The final day of Microsoft Build 2024 maintained momentum, focusing on wrapping up the conference's key themes. The day began with a series of deep-dive sessions on advanced AI and cloud technologies, showcasing practical implementations and future trends. Notable sessions included discussions on ethical AI development and the future of quantum computing in Microsoft Azure.

The conference concluded with a wrap-up party at the iconic Lumen Stadium, home of the Seahawks, where attendees enjoyed food and drinks, were able to walk down onto the stadium's field, kick a field goal, sing karaoke with a live band, and even dance with the group during a silent disco. 

Final Thoughts

Microsoft Build 2024 was an unforgettable experience, showcasing the forefront of AI and cloud computing. Working at the MESCIUS booth allowed me to connect with attendees one-on-one and learn more about their projects and needs. Our giveaway survey revealed that 69.60% of participants were .NET developers and 30.40% were JavaScript developers, with 52.90% using third-party libraries.

These interactions revealed key trends: many front-end developers are using React and there is a growing interest in Blazor and MAUI. There was also notable curiosity about our WPF controls, indicating a resurgence in WPF development. We were excited to share some notes with the WPF developer attendees about our C1 and Spread.NET teams at MESCIUS expanding their WPF controls. C1 is adding support for Fluent 365 Themes, while Spread.NET has plans to release an updated WPF spreadsheet control to support newer development environments and enhanced spreadsheet features and behaviors. 

These personal interactions, along with the cutting-edge revelations at the conference, left me optimistic about the future of technology. The event underscored Microsoft's dedication to innovation, promising a future where AI and advanced technologies make development more intuitive and productivity tools more powerful.

Mackenzie Albitz - Product Marketing Specialist

Mackenzie Albitz

Product Marketing Specialist
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