Build 2013 being a submissive affair left an unimpressive mark on developers. No new announcement of hardware and no surprise for its developers made the Build more of a learning session about Windows 8.1, Kinect, Azure, Redmond and Visual Studio.

The three-day affair offered to take a deep dive into its coding architecture and updated Windows 8.1.


Windows 8.1 Preview

The preview of the 8.1 has definitely fallen short of luster because of extensive previous information about the same beforehand but it surely relieved people when they noticed the return of the start button. With some interface alterations like new smart search and multiple modern app views as well as improvements like built-in SkyDrive sync, expanded PC settings, IE11 in preview, an improved Xbox Music and new snap views for Windows Store apps, Windows 8.1 is going to be cherished.

Rapid release cycle

CEO Steve Ballmer announced about the plan by the company on bumping its release cycles in order to transition from just a software company to a hardware maker. Microsoft is expected to be in the midst of moving beyond software into a device and service company to set its eye on more tablets, phones, PCs and other products announced more frequently from Build forward.

Focus on Apps

With no apps announced in last eight months, Microsoft is more focusing on apps to keep up the trend. Chief Evangelist Steven Guggenheimer showed off a preview version of a Foursquare tablet app to be the first of its kind from the check-in company. With the revelation of Facebook, Flipboard, Songza, OpenTable and Rhapsody apps already, Microsoft managed to pack in the cleaner look coming with the Windows 8.1 Store to add auto-updating for the apps.

Internet Explorer 11

One of the main highlight of the event was to present IE11 as more than just a browser at the Build. The browser has been optimized to the max for touch, and in such a way that there’s less strain on a machine’s CPU and battery life. There’s added 2D and 3D graphics support because of the addition of WebGL, and IE11 also backs up Google’s SPDY protocol. This should mean faster website download speed in IE, a bonus that’s hard to blunder. But Internet Explorer 11 on Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 7 still lies under covers.

For Xbox One development

The next-gen console still houses a kernel of Windows 8, and Guggenheimer hinted that those looking to get a jump on Xbox One apps can lean on OS. He further provided an ample clue as to what Microsoft is thinking, and that common core could prove pretty hands for devs and gamers alike down the road.