Microsoft Build 2020 – What Day 2 Brought Us


Another day at the 48-online Microsoft Build event! Microsoft delivered some more exciting updates and we are happy to share them with you in this blogpost. Did you miss the announcements from yesterday? You can still read those back here.

Spoiler Alert: Microsoft is giving away vouchers for free certifications, continue reading to find out how to get yours! 

The Future of Tech

Kevin Scott, Microsoft’s CTO, delivered a great session about how he, and Microsoft, envision the future of our industry. At this point it is no surprise that Microsoft is profoundly committed to AI in the long run. But, in order to succeed, he recognises that AI must become a platform that allow developers to build their own solutions on top of it. Therefore, the future is in the hands of developers.  

As part of the evolution in AI technologies and tooling, self-supervised learning models are becoming more and more relevant: when computers don’t require labeled data in their learning process, much more can be achieved in less time. This is especially interesting in natural language processing (NLP), and Microsoft announced yesterday that Turing NLG will be open sourced 

MS Supercomputer and Turing NLP

Microsoft created a cloud-hosted supercomputer, which ranks in the top 5 worldwide. It’s hosted in Azure and it was deployed in just 6 months. Surprisingly, this new supercomputer is still part of the carbon-footprint plans of Microsoft.

The purpose for such a powerful machine was also unveiled yesterday: Microsoft is partnering up with OpenAI to train their AI models. During this announcement, OpenAI showed a demo of their AI model being used for code generation in Python – this was by far one of the peek moments in the day: Software writing high quality software. Did we just witness the future of software development?  

You can read more about this exciting topic here. 

C# 9

At this time of the year, we are always excited about the shiny announcements Mads Torgersen will surprise us with. This time, the team announced the new features that will be part of C# 9. There are certainly a lot, most of them focused on immutability and records: init-only properties will be included, which will allow developers to mark properties as immutable. Also marking a class with the “data” keyword will make the entire object immutable. Important note: records will have a value-based equality by default.  

In order to take the “immutable” experience to the next level, a “with” expression has been added to the language. It will allow developers to instantiate a new object based on an existing one with some edits. 

The experience for new developers will also be simplified: the boilerplate required to create a “Hello World” will be drastically reduced 

Pattern matching has also received many improvements and new possibilities, such as type, relational and logical patterns.  

Read more about all the announcements regarding C# 9 here.

Surface Duo

Yesterday Microsoft also offered more updates on app development for Surface Duo devices. It offers a wide UX approach with different navigation patterns, such as Extended canvas, Master-detail, Two page, Dual-view and Companion pane.  

The good news is that existing apps will just run, as expected, but there are additional capabilities that developers can add to get the most out these devices. Here, all developers are welcome: Kotlin and Java, Unity for games, React Native, Flutter, Web technologies, Xamarin.Forms and Xamarin.Android 

Surface Duo offers an innovate approach to mobility and UX. We are very much looking forward to seeing what developers will create in this new platform. You can read more about it here.  

Q&A with Scott Guthrie

Scott Guthrie, the Executive Vice President of Microsoft, provided a talk which highlighted the unity and alignment of the company under a single vision. As usual, he transparently improvised his talk with questions from the community. 

He talked about how C# offers productivity, performance and library reutilisation and how we are now able to solve problems that were labeled as “Science Fiction” only 30 years ago. The combination of Supercomputer and AI is what makes this possible, and we are super excited to be a part of that! According to Scott, Microsoft’s goal is to not only make users productive, but also to keep a “human touch” with a dash of humor 

Did you know that if Scott Guthrie would not be working at Microsoft, he would have been a history professor? We would enroll in his classes immediately!  

2nd Day and Beyond...

The focus on the “human touch” in this conference was very noticeable, we very much value how speakers drive their talks from their homes with full transparency. How did you enjoy the conference? And what was the best announcement in your opinion? 

At last, we want to share you a great jackpot opportunity: Microsoft launched a Cloud Challenge that has been uploaded to the Learn Platform. If you complete this challenge before the 2nd of June, you will receive a voucher for a free certification! 

Did you miss the announcements of the first day of Microsoft Build 2020? Read them back in yesterday’s blogpost.