Microsoft sure knows how to fill a room. The company has had September 13 circled on everyone's calendar for months, promising to lift the veil on a host of strategically important technologies and initiatives at this week's show. Whether you are anxious for details on HTML5 and XAML development in Windows 8, or just want to know what the heck is going on with Silverlight, BUILD is the place to find out. Given the high stakes and transformative nature of Microsoft's strategy (at least, as articulated to this point), I have little doubt that BUILD will indeed be big.

I asked Daniel Jebaraj, vice president of product development at .NET component maker Syncfusion, if he thought BUILD would rank up there with some of the epic confabs of years past (for example, the 2000 Professional Developers Conference where a little thing called .NET Framework was announced). His take?

"I think the industry impact of this show will be bigger than anything seen in the past."

Jebaraj says the scope of today's announcements reach beyond Microsoft's platforms and existing customer bases, and therefore impacts a broader audience than those impacted by the .NET launch or, say, the Windows Azure announcements at PDC 08. The announcement at this week's conference could shake up the mobile phone and nascent tablet markets, and set Microsoft on a vital course toward ensuring the company's viability in an increasingly diverse computing landscape.

"BUILD could be the start of yet another software revolution powered by Microsoft," Jebaraj says. "If Microsoft is successful, competition will become much more intense and innovation will thrive. I am excited by the promise of what is to come at this conference."

Me too, Daniel. Me too.

I'll be at today's keynote address and will be blogging and tweeting (@MichaelDesmond) details as they occur. Got a question you want me to ask people while I'm here? Just leave a comment and I'll see if I can't get it answered.