This morning Microsoft announced a grip of new developer tools and other goodies at its Build conference in San Francisco. Crowd reaction during the lengthy keynote appeared to be mostly friendly to the stage show.
I sat with Microsoft’s corporate vice president Soma Somasegar this afternoon after the dust had settled some, to get his take — report card, if you will — on how developers viewed Microsoft’s newly unveiled efforts that he had a large hand in. He rates response thus far as “extremely good.”
Specifically, Soma indicated that work announced to allow for so-called “universal apps” that will see code shared between Windows and Windows Phone applications greatly rise, has been popular. That’s fair, matching what I’ve heard myself.
Soma also said Roslyn was receiving strong response from developers. What’s a Roslyn, you ask? Soma called it a compiler-as-a-service, and Microsoft announced today that it will become an open-source tool. Compilers have been, in Soma’s eyes, akin to “black boxes.” The idea with Roslyn is to change that by giving developers full access to the guts of the thing.
I asked Soma about momentum with Azure, Microsoft cloud storage and its computing service. In his estimation, when Azure introduced infrastructure as a service (IaaS) capabilities, it reached a turning point of sorts. Market interest in Azure is now growing by “leaps and bounds.”
What the above indicates is that Microsoft is optimistic that what it built and released and announced today is sitting well with the very people it is strenuously looking to court.
What’s fun is that we’ll be able to vet market reaction independently: If development rates pick up, and more apps are released for Microsoft’s platforms, its bets succeeded. If we see a flattening, or even decline, Microsoft will have failed. Furthermore, a minor incline is not enough. Microsoft needs to greatly increase the pace at which developers build and release apps for its greater Windows platform.