Microsoft to webcast BUILD keynotes, other content today

Developer conference runs through Friday, focuses on Windows 8, apps and design

Microsoft said it will webcast the two keynotes of its BUILD developers conference, starting with today's at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

The company has not published a list of keynote speakers, but with the conference's emphasis on Windows 8, it is likely that Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's top Windows executive, will kick off the event.

BUILD 2012 runs Tuesday through Friday, and will be held at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

Tickets for the second BUILD conference went on sale in August and sold out in under an hour. Prices for BUILD started at $1,595 -- for the first 500 -- with the full price at $2,095.

Microsoft's conference was just one of several that sold out in record time this year. In March, tickets to Google's I/O event ran out in 20 minutes, while a month later, Apple sold out its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) within two hours.

As promised last summer, BUILD will focus on the just-released Windows 8, with most developer sessions targeting the new operating system, or supportive technologies, software and services, such as Kinect, Office 2013 and SkyDrive.

BUILD's schedule, published Monday, also seemed to reveal a new term for what was once dubbed "Metro." That brand -- which Microsoft dumped in August, reportedly over a trademark disagreement with a German retailer, has been replaced at various times and by different groups within the company with "Modern" and "Windows 8" to describe the new user interface (UI) and apps in both Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Several descriptions in the BUILD agenda use the phrase "Microsoft design language" that seems to refer to the UI and user experience (UX) of the tile-based, touch-first apps.

One such session, for example, "The Microsoft design language," will cover "five principles that drove the experience design decisions for Windows 8." In the past, Microsoft has frequently talked about design principles in the context of the Metro design.

"Windows Store app," on the other hand, has replaced Metro in the session list as the tag for the actual software that dominates Windows RT and is a crucial part of Windows 8.

Among the 134 sessions, 23 used "Windows Store app" or a slight variation, such as "Windows Store games" or "Windows Store business apps."

Longtime Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, who blogs at ZDNet, first reported on BUILD's use of "Microsoft design language."

Microsoft has repeatedly declined to comment when asked since August what term or terms it has settled on to describe what had earlier been known as Metro.

Previously, Microsoft said it would offer a "world class online experience" for those unable to attend BUILD. Monday, the company promised to webcast the keynotes of today and Wednesday, as well as an unspecified number of "featured sessions" and other content.

All sessions will be available for on-demand viewing within 24 hours on Microsoft's Channel 9 website, the company said.

Today's keynote can be viewed from the Channel 9 home page starting at 9 a.m. PT, noon ET.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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