Today developers gathered at The Moscone Center for the second day of Build 2013, where Microsoft demonstrated that the developer opportunities on the Windows platform.
Keynotes delivered by Satya Nadella, president, Server and Tools Business, and Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist, Developer Platform Evangelism, showcased how commonality across the Windows platform enables developers of all types to build apps spanning devices and services.
Developers today are building multidevice, multiscreen, cloud-connected experiences. Windows Azure spans infrastructure and platform capabilities to provide them with a set of services to build pplications, using the tools and languages familiar to them.
"Developers are increasingly demanding a flexible, comprehensive platform that helps them build and manage apps in a cloud- and mobile-driven world," Nadella said. "To meet these demands, Microsoft has been doubling down on Windows Azure. Nearly 1,000 new businesses are betting on Windows Azure daily, and as momentum for Azure grows, so too does the developer opportunity to build applications that power modern businesses."
Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Azure Mobile Services. Mobile Services enables developers building Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android apps to store data in the cloud, authenticate users and send push notifications.
Microsoft also announced the general availability of Windows Azure Web Sites, which allows developers to create websites on a flexible, secure and scalable platform.
Guthrie also highlighted Microsoft's enterprise cloud momentum by demonstrating several platform advancements, including previews of improved auto-scaling, alerting and notifications, and tooling support for Windows Azure through Visual Studio. In addition, he previewed how Windows Azure Active Directory provides organizations and ISVs, such as Box, with a single sign-on experience to access cloud-based applications.
Guggenheimer announced the availability of the Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Release Preview, which extends Windows 8.1 technologies and provides additional flexibility to meet the needs of industry devices. Onstage, Guggenheimer demonstrated the Avis Select and Go app running on a Windows Embedded 8 Industry tablet and a Windows Embedded 8 Handheld device to illustrate the opportunity for developers to capitalize on the shared Windows codebase and enable industry-specific branding, peripheral support (such as mag stripe readers and barcode scanners), and lockdown capabilities.
Through a series of partner demos, Guggenheimer demonstrated the common core of the Windows platform spanning PC, tablet, phone and embedded devices.
Foursquare previewed an Windows 8 tablet app that goes beyond check-ins to use location data in a way that helps users find interesting places and things to do around them.
Adobe Systems Inc. is bringing its Digital Publishing Suite product to Windows 8.1 devices in late 2013. Publishers and brands will be able to design and publish content to multiple devices with interactive experiences.
Guggenheimer announced the availability of OpenTable, Rockmelt and Rhapsody apps for Windows 8 in the Windows Store and previewed five Disney games.
Finally, Guggenheimer highlighted a few of the popular apps available in Windows Phone Store today, including ABC News, Xfinity by Comcast, TV Remote, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Walgreens, as well as the live push-to-talk and multimedia messaging app, Voxer.
PayPal's software development kit, now generally available, allows developers to integrate the payment experience for 128 million account holders into a Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 app. In addition, Unity Technologies announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to make it easier for developers to bring games, entertainment and apps to Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Xbox One for Microsoft Studios publishing partners.
Microsoft also demonstrated the developer productivity enhancements of the .NET 4.5.1 runtime that enable developers to build the next wave of modern applications that run across devices and cloud, while also extending their existing line-of-business applications. The updates include improved coding, designing, testing and optimizing of XAML applications in Windows 8.1.
Finally, Microsoft showcased how Bing as a platform can extend across a broad set of devices and client app experiences using Bing Developer Services. Guggenheimer demonstrated these platform capabilities by showing Microsoft translation technology in Twitter for Windows Phone, which now provides instant, single-click translation of tweets.