Microsoft Build 2022 – News & Announcements

18 min read
18 min read

Hey there! It’s that time again – the yearly developer-focused conference is upon us again. Microsoft Build 2022 kicks off today and will run for three consecutive days. Expect a lot of announcements, Microsoft Docs updates, tweets, and a flurry of tidbits on all things Microsoft in the coming days. If you spot any errors or missing information, don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter (my direct messages are also open), and I’ll be happy to fix them!

This blog post aims to gather together all necessary announcements, and I will sprinkle additional insights and thoughts to try and bring order to the chaos of information. The traditional Book of News is out (at 6:00 pm EEST), and it’s a good reference for most announcements. Sadly, and somewhat oddly, it does not have anything regarding security-related announcements. Perhaps those are left for a separate Security Summit-spirited event.

I’ll update this post throughout the evening during the first day of Build. Many keynotes are now somewhat shorter again, down to just 30 minutes each. I’m thankful for this as I can now find a few precious minutes in-between to fetch more coffee. Or ask my 4-year-old to bring a cup of coffee with just the right amount of oat milk added into the mix. Also, the core theme sessions (short keynotes, in essence) overlap each for 5 minutes. Forget about fetching the coffee then! I guess this is to save on time and to avoid us leaving the comfort of our sofa and snacks.

I’ll also have a list of announcements gathered here in one listing:

Announcements throughout Microsoft Build 2022

So, now that you’re here let’s get seated and start with Mr. Nadella’s core theme session first!

Satya Nadella: Core theme session: Build opening (6:15-7:00 pm EEST) (link to session)

And here we go! It’s precisely 6:15 pm (EEST), and we’ll get started now.

He has good energy, as usual. The DALL-E mentioned an OpenAI-based service.

The ten themes for Nadella’s opening session. He talks about VS Code and the Codespaces (on GitHub) offering, which is now available. Azure Dev Box was announced, and I think it builds on top of Windows 365. Fits in between a plain old Virtual Machine and Codespaces (dev environment in a browser).

GitHub Copilot is generally available in late Summer.

I think he realized it was only a 30-minute session, so the pace was fast. Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance Business Critical is generally available, and app services for Azure Arc are in preview now.

A few customer stories are injected now. I have time to sip coffee. Thanks.

Microsoft Store next. Ads are supported now. See details here. Switching between local PC and Cloud PC is possible – I recall this was announced perhaps slightly before Build.

Cloud-native app development next. We are not spending too many moments on the main topic, but at the same time, it’s good to get a quick run-through of all hero announcements.

Azure Containers Apps is GA now. See details here. Azure Kubernetes Service gets plenty of updates also – nothing we went too deep on, so I’ll update once I get the announcement blogs available.

Azure Confidential Computing gets updates, such as a private preview for Confidential containers in Azure Container Instances. Also, DCsv3 VMs available with Intel SGX. To put it shortly, it’s more secure now ;-).

Next data governance – these days, it essentially means Microsoft Purview and its numerous subservices. But instead, we have a new announcement called the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform. This looks like a rebranding or re-packaging of Azure-based database services, Azure Synapse Analytics, Power BI, Machine Learning, and Microsoft Purview.

Next, Models as platforms theme. I guess this implies Microsoft AI. It’s a tricky topic without resorting to super deep tech.

See all Azure OpenAI announcements here. I couldn’t get anything tangible from this but a lot of promise. It is moving on to Hybrid AI. The Hybrid Loop development pattern was announced — a cross-platform pattern for building AI experiences. And this ties to Project Volterra, a neural processing unit for building apps. It’s Arm-powered. See the announcement here.

We are moving to low code/no-code. Express design in Power Apps announced. Also, Power Apps Portals are now Power Pages.

Next is Microsoft Graph. The Graph API gets enhancements, such as embedding chats and channel messages from Teams into your custom apps. The talk goes everywhere with this, hopping from Teams to Loop to Graph API, so perhaps see the official announcement.

Live Share on Teams for interactive app experiences. It’s essentially a dev capability utilizing the Fluid Framework and Azure Fluid Relay.

Lastly, the Metaverse. It revolves massively around Teams. We got a sneak peek at Mesh for Teams last year.

Nothing to share on this — just a reminder that Metaverse is still something we are not sure what it is, but perhaps we certainly need it at some point. And Microsoft Teams and funny cartoon characters are at the center of it. I’m anxious to both see this become a reality but also quite skeptical about whether this is a paradigm shift for all – of the few.

And that was it. There are 50 or so updates during Build, so perhaps less than in previous years. And I’m yet to find the actual hero announcement, even if Azure Dev Box looks like a viable candidate!

Thanks for following. Now take a breather before the next session begins in ~15 minutes!

Rapidly code, test and ship from secure cloud developer environments (7:15-7:40 pm EEST)

I’m unsure how much net new content these follow-up sessions bring after Nadella’s session seemed to touch upon many of the key themes already. Yet I’m hopeful we’ll get more announcements and ideas!

Amanda Silver will next talk about end-to-end developer experience.

GitHub has more than 83 million developers, and Visual Studio has more than 25 million monthly active users. Not sure if Visual Studio Code is included in that figure. GitHub Copilot was mentioned again. I’ve used it on and off again during the private and public previews, and it’s pretty great – but perhaps not something that takes away the coding altogether, but very helpful when you need to do one of those random number generators for the umpteenth time.

GitHub Codespaces and Azure Dev Box are mentioned again also. The latter is still in non-public preview. Also, .NET MAUI is generally available now. The demos are not demos here, more of breezing through a few clicks in Visual Studio to imply how easy everything is.

Donovan Brown is back to talk about GitHub Advanced Security.

This feels like a Microsoft Learn module, an essential rundown of what GitHub Advanced Security is. Functional, yes, but perhaps not precisely Build core theme worthy.

Finally, an announcement. GitHub OIDC with Azure AD Workload Identity Federation. Specific, but needed at the same time. I think this builds on the previous announcement from April on Azure AD Workload Identity Federation. See details here. And that was that.

Scale cloud-native apps and accelerate app modernization (7:35-8:00 pm EEST)

Next, ScottGu.

Scott is urging all of us to build cloud-native apps. I agree. Avoid virtual machines and build elastic, secure, and scalable solutions.

See Scott’s announcement blog here. A quick demo on Azure Container Apps, where we pull code from a GitHub repo and deploy it.  Admittedly, super easy – just a oneliner. The end-to-end experience here is impressive, as this also automatically configured the CI/CD pipeline using GitHub Actions. The new thing here is that Azure Container Apps is now generally available. As a side note, GitHub REST API documentation is updated.

A bunch of AKS updates also. See technical details here.

“From code to Kubernetes in just a few commands” is the tagline today.

We are moving from containers to Cosmos DB. The serverless capacity is increased to 1 TB.

Nice to see Azure Arc evolving so rapidly. Azure Spring Apps Enterprise announced, available at the end of June. And that’s a wrap for this bit.

Accelerate innovation and achieve agility on a trusted, integrated platform with hybrid and multicloud capabilities (7:55-8:20 pm EEST)

Next, data! Rohan Kumar to talk about data and governance.

The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform:

Azure Synapse Link for SQL is available in public preview. Also, Power BI Premium data marts are now in preview. And the rest of the session seems to be a customer showcase with KPMG. A few highlights on Cosmos DB updates also.

Create next-gen experiences at scale with Windows (8:15-8:40 pm EEST)

Next, Panos Panay and Windows.

As a refresher, all Windows announcements can be found here. First is the OneNote app. It’s getting a refreshment – lovely – on visuals, pen and touch, and similar.

During Nadella’s opening session, Microsoft Store is highlighted more prominently now. Ads will be there. Win32 apps can be published on the Store. Amazon Appstore (Android apps, essentially) will now preview in select countries. You can also use your own “commerce engine” (billing, I think) in the Store.

Kevin Gallo is next. Project Volterra first. As I wrote previously, it’s Arm-based, so that Visual Studio will be available on Arm too (later in 2022).

This also means ARM64-based containers will be supported in Azure in the future. No further details on this yet. A quick demo on using Visual Studio on Project Volterra. I wonder if laptops in the future, based on Qualcomm chips, would finally bring good battery life to Windows-based devices. The first bits for the Arm-based Visual Studio are coming in a few weeks. Project Volterra purchase form I couldn’t find.

Innovate with collaborative apps and low code (8:35-9:05 pm EEST)

And lastly, we get to Jeff Teper with collaborative apps and low code!

Jeff talked through the overall architecture of building collaborative apps using low code tooling and capabilities:

Teams JS 2.0 SDK is out in preview now. Also, Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio 2022 is out in preview. A quick demo on using the latter.

Live Share next, which was mentioned once in one of the previous sessions tonight. In essence, a demo on this is a capability you can build into your Teams-enhanced apps. Power Automate RPA managed cloud virtual machines announced, to scale automation. Also, Azure Bot Framework in Power Virtual Agents is now in technical preview.

And that’s it! We are done. I hope you enjoyed reading through this. There is plenty to digest in the coming days in the breakout sessions – see you online!

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