Microsoft Build 2022: Expectations for Teams, Edge and Windows

Microsoft Build 2022: Expectations for Teams, Edge and Windows

Tech Highlights:

  • Microsoft Build is free to attend this year and is an all-virtual event due to the pandemic. You can register online to listen to or watch various keynotes. The most important keynote kicks off on May 24 at 8:00 a.m. PST. Microsoft has a webpage dedicated to streaming that keynote. You can expect to hear from Satya Nadella in this keynote. Microsoft specially mentions that the CEO will explain how “Microsoft is creating new opportunities for developers across our platforms.” Windows 11 is the future for Microsoft, even with Windows 10 still being around until 2025. The operating system hit broad deployment status, which means almost everyone can try it out now on supported PCs. That said, we’re looking out for Microsoft to announce Windows 11-related features and updates at Build 2022.

  • Unlike Google and Apple, Microsoft Build is traditionally a developer-focused event. This means there will be more on-stage coding and developer workshops, as well as fewer Surface announcements. You can expect to learn more about how developers may design experiences for Windows and other Microsoft 365 services, such as Microsoft Teams. Microsoft teased what we now know as Windows 11, as well as numerous major additions for Teams and Microsoft Edge, at last year’s Build conference. This year, we’re expecting a little bit of the same, and here are a few highlights to keep an eye on.

Leading our list is a big update for the Widgets experience in Windows 11. Based on a tweet from a Microsoft leaker, we do believe that third-party widgets could be on the way soon for the OS. We’ve also heard from Windows Central that developers were already briefed on how third-party widgets might work. So, what better time to announce it than Microsoft Build, where developers are front and center? Other than that, there could be big news about the next big update for Windows 11. We say this because Microsoft recently made an interesting move in the Windows Insider program to “merge” the Beta and Dev testing channels to get the same builds of Windows — only to split both up again in the weeks before Microsoft Build.

It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we do think that the update brings multiple features. Folders in the Start Menu, tweaks for tablet mode, a new task manager, improved search, and live captions are just a few things that could be confirmed for the first major Windows 11 update during Build. Microsoft has repeatedly mentioned most of these features as coming “soon” to Windows, most recently at an April Windows Powers the Future of Hybrid Work event, so chances for a solid release date for these and also mentions of Windows news at Build are high.

The merge was rumored as a way for Microsoft to quality-test the first featured update to Windows 11 with a wide audience, though the company never confirmed that. An additional tweet from a Microsoft leaker suggesting that this update could RTM soon adds to the speculation. RTM is typically when Microsoft is ready to declare a specific build of Windows stable for release to laptop makers (though it doesn’t do this much anymore). So, with the two major Windows 11 testing channels now split and RTM coming on the first day of Build, there could be a window for Microsoft to announce the first update for Windows 11.

We also hope to hear more about Tabs in the File Explorer too, which Microsoft hasn’t talked about much since first revealing it back in April. There are currently 51 different Windows sessions scheduled for Build across various languages, including one with Windows Chief Panos Panay slated for later on May 24. Microsoft Teams has been on the boom due to the pandemic and the rise of hybrid work. That said, we expect to hear Microsoft talk about Teams a lot during Build 2022. Microsoft last reported in January 2022 that Teams has 270 million monthly active users, so Build is a great chance to show developers what they can build apps and services for that massive Teams audience.

 

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