Together with about 25 other developers from Belgium, Olivier Matis (C# MVP) is at the Build conference in San Francisco this week. He’s sharing his experience at the conference in a series of blog posts.

The MSDN Belux team


As I expected yesterday, the news at Build is mostly on the hardware front. We start to see hardware that really uses the power of Windows 8. Is Windows 8 disappointing? No. The OS is not perfect, but I think the main problem was not having the right hardware. Start to save your euros now, the Christmas season will be hot!

Keynote Steve Ballmer


Here’s a quick review of the sessions I followed:


- What’s new in WinRT for Windows 8.1

This was a very general session. They talked about 9 new or improved areas, and gave you a link to sessions covering them in deep. A nice session to have an overview!

Apps that use camera What's new in WinRT for Windows 8.1


- Building Apps That Use The Camera

I was a bit disappointed about this one. Not the session or the new apps are bad, but I was expecting more of an augmented reality session. If you’re interested in camera APIs, you might want to check it out.


- What’s new in XAML

Well, Tim Heuer and his team did it again! There are lots of improvements … Mainly new controls that make generic stuff like an app bar with buttons, setup flyouts, etc. … It’s easier because it manages all the design guidelines itself, removing that burden from developers. They also mentioned some nice performance improvements to the rendering/panning of lists. Grenderbitmap control and behaviors. Enough said!

This session is also linked to some other sessions that go deeper in some areas (like big listviews/gridviews performances).

Too bad nothing was said about the new snap views and how to manage them. It is probably in another session …

What's new in XAML


- Apps for Bluetooth, HID and USB Devices

I am not that much into Bluetooth, but I was curious. They showed a demo of serial Bluetooth. The session only took 20 minutes, but at the end they gave away a Sphero to the ones who got tickets at the entrance (and I was one of the lucky few Glimlach …)

Sphero


Goodies!

- Surface Pro 128GB with Type Cover

- Acer Iconia W3 64 GB + Bluetooth Keyboard + Micro USB to USB adapter

- USB Key with Windows 8.1 Preview and Visual Studio 2013 Preview ISOs

- SkyDrive 100GB one year subscription

Surface Pro Acer Iconia


Some pictures of the demo area, etc. … more pics will follow tomorrow!

Nokia Lumia 920 wall

200 Nokia Lumia 920s showing a selection of apps (made by Rudy Huynt)
Food

Healthy (?) food
Waiting line

Glimpse of the insane waiting line for the goodies
Goodies

Team ready to distribute the goodies
Geek games

Geek games …

Fruit 

Food during pause between sessions

Pixelsense Phone

Successor of the Phablet: the Pixelsense Phone

Olivier Matis Olivier Matis
C# MVP
MEET member
.NET Architect