What To Expect at Microsoft’s Annual Build Developer Conference

Starting Wednesday in San Francisco, Microsoft's annual Build developer conference will likely offer a lot of news about something unveiled at last year's event: the HoloLens augmented reality, holographic computing technology. In fact, the first widely available version of the technology -- the $3,000 Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition -- is set to begin shipping on the day Build 2016 opens.

More than 5,000 attendees are expected to attend this year's conference, being held at the Moscone Center. Despite the $2,195 ticket price -- a $100 increase from last year -- the event sold out even faster than it did in 2015. Tickets were unavailable within a minute after going on sale, according to Microsoft's chief evangelist Steven Guggenheimer.

Other topics set to get a lot of attention at this year's event include Windows 10, which could include new features for Live Tiles and the Cortana smart digital assistant; the Azure cloud platform; and Xbox apps and games. Keynote talks and sessions will be available for viewing via livestreaming online and after-the-fact videos.

Kickoff Reception for Women in Tech

Web developer Michael Gillett, who works on Microsoft projects (though is not employed by the company), has created a "Build Bingo" game board to offer his take on some of the highlights at this year's Build. The board features a variety of randomly generated phrases -- ranging from "HoloLens" and "Surface Pro" to "Hey, Cortana," "Ninja Cat" and "Cloud first, mobile first" -- that are likely to be uttered during the three-day event.

Microsoft also plans to host a women's Build reception the night before the main conference opens, during which women in technology will "share career-inflection moments." The reception will feature a keynote address by TEDx speaker and startup executive Karen Catlin, as well as a panel discussion featuring women from Microsoft,...

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