What is all this hype about "big" Microsoft announcements at the 2015 Microsoft Build Conference? The rumors are running rampant about big announcements that will shock the application development world--rampant within the Web community and rampant within the walls of Microsoft. I cannot remember a more anticipated keynote or conference.

I have been to and been in a lot of Microsoft keynotes, dating all the way back to the Bill Gates keynotes in the mid-90s. Let me be clear about this, though: I really don’t know what the big announcements are.  Microsoft has hinted here and there, I’ve talked to many folks about it, and I certainly have my speculations. But they are just speculations. We won’t know until the opening keynote on April 29 at 8:30 a.m. PST.    

This is the conference that totally sold out San Francisco’s Moscone Center in about 45 minutes. That Internet flash of registrations even pushed the Microsoft registration site to its knees. Conferences that sell out that fast are typical of Apple or Google, not Microsoft. It really is exciting watching Microsoft transition back from the insignificant to the leader of innovation in the devices, cloud and app dev space. 

It’s been hyped so big that even at my company, InterKnowlogy, we are hosting a “Build 2015 live viewing party.”  Believe it or not, we are pulling everyone out of revenue to watch what is already being called the biggest keynote in Microsoft history. I believe it is important enough to the InterKnowlogy business that we all need to watch this keynote live.

If you are into speculation on what the big announcements are, you should read this post by the LLVM Project.

What are we to read into this? Well, LLVM is one of those open source successes we see in every dev platform, but not Microsoft. The gentleman who wrote the post is Russell Hadley, Principal Software Development Engineer at Microsoft. And if I am interpreting Mr. Hadley’s post correctly and then extrapolating the future of it, the LLVM's LLILC project is the basis for open source cross-platform development, not only server side (which Microsoft already announced), but also client side and all the devices.

Wow! 

According to Mr. Hadley’s linkedin profile, he is “part of the team developing next-generation compilation framework at Microsoft." He’s not in Microsoft Research. He’s not in developer evangelism.  He serves and leads on a product team. That should tell all of us a lot.

From the project wiki: “…providing the community with an accessible infrastructure for experimentation and porting to new targets. Our goal is to make it easy(-ier) to make new tools or take C# to new platforms.” I don’t know Russell Hadley, but I sure want to meet him now. If Mr. Hadley (or his team) is going to be a speaker at Build, I sure am going to watch his session.

Again, this is all speculation on my part, and I’m certainly not an investigative reporter. But, this type of post really intrigues me. And if my speculations are right, well, that is a huge announcement for sure.

As I said in last month’s column, it really has been years since the words "Microsoft" and "cool" have been used in the same sentence. But I'm hearing that combination more lately. If the announcements at Build are as big as we think they might be, then the Microsoft cool factor is going to skyrocket. 

What we do know about the build is that Microsoft will provide even more details on what has already caught the industry abuzz, including:

Open Source

Suddenly, with intense velocity, Microsoft is embracing open source projects. Developers within the Microsoft walls are educating each other about the importance of building a community around their products. And at Build I trust we are going to hear all about open source at Microsoft.

Windows 10

Even the new version of Windows, Windows 10, is subject to speculation. Is it that OS that runs native on the other guys' devices? Spartan is the code name for the new browser in Windows 10. And we all know Microsoft desperately needs a win in the browser battles. Spartan needs to be the final nail in the IE coffin. 

Hololens

I cannot get enough of this gizmo, and can’t wait to see it again at Build. This 3D interactive virtual reality hologram generator will be nothing short of spectacular if it’s programmable in .NET (and/or the universal API), and comes with a reasonable price tag. 

SurfaceHub

I trust we’ll be seeing a lot more SurfaceHub at Build. I hope so. We do know that the SurfaceHub is not just a big, 84-inch touchscreen with amazing 4k fidelity and touch. We know it is interactive. With 2D cameras, it “senses” when you walk in the room and wakes up to you. I’m readly for some jaw-dropping demos of this thing.

So, there it is. I have been caught up in the hype of Microsoft Build 2015. I sure hope I don’t get let down.