I have the pleasure of being here in San Francisco to experience //build first hand, and it has been amazing so far. A lot was talked about yesterday, so I put together this recap to give you day 1 in a nutshell.

Notable announcements of day 1

  • Windows 8.1 update is available today via MSDN, and on April 8th via Windows Update for all
  • Visual Studio 2013 update 2 RC released, get it here.
  • Windows Phone 8.1 available this month for developers registered with Windows Phone Preview for Developers, June for end users (depending on carriers…).

Universal apps

  • New model in VS2013 update 2 to create apps for both Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1, and later Xbox One as well (so “Universal” in the terms of Windows…)
  • Today you can create an app that shares XAML, C#/C++, Javascript code across your Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 projects.
  • A new touch version of Office is being written as an universal app
  • “Shared app identities” allows users to purchase an app once and use it on Windows and Phone!

Windows 8.1 Update

  • Series of enhancements for better mouse/keyboard integration with Metro and the desktop (at least!!)
  • Default boot to desktop mode for non touch systems!
  • Desktop: Pin Windows Store apps to the taskbar, right-click context menus, …
  • Start menu is back with vengeance and tiles support!
  • Windows free for 9” and less screen devices!

Windows Phone 8.1

  • Cortana (beta): new digital personal assistant for WP8.1, replacing the Bing search button.
  • More customizable lock screen + API
  • Action Center, a pull down notification bar that allows quick access to app info and settings
  • Support for multi-SIM phones
  • New workflow keyboard with swipe interface
  • Support for Bluetooth LE (i.e. Fitbit)
  • New Nokia devices: Lumia 630 (with on-screen buttons) and Lumia 930

The 15 Minute Highly Recommended Video To Get You Up to Speed

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Click to watch.

More Goodness

Check back tomorrow for the recap of day 2!