Thomas Desmond Headshot
Thomas Desmond
Sitecore Developer Advocate

What I am most excited about after attending Microsoft Build 2017

Microsoft Build 2017 Logo

I was lucky enough to attend Microsoft Build 2017 this year. A ton of great products were announced and released at Build. And I want to list out some of the ones that got me the most excited while at the conference.

Microsoft Visual Studio for Mac

This is a big deal as I am using a Mac every day for development. Previously we had been using Xamarin Studio for Mac but with Visual Studio (VS) coming out for Mac we will definitely be switching over. Even though I do want to switch over it is not entirely a choice. Now that VS for Mac is released it seems that Xamarin Studio will be phased out. This is not a bad thing as VS for Mac is supposed to have all the Xamarin Studio features and more.

Having all the power of Visual Studio while doing Xamarin development on Mac is very exciting.

Visual Studio for Mac

Xamarin Live Player

Xamarin Live Player is an app for Android and iOS that allows you to pair your Visual Studio (VS) instance on Windows or Mac to your phone. To pair your phone to VS you simply scan a QR code and now you can build your app, push it to the phone, and test all wirelessly. It is even capable of showing your changes in VS live on the phone.

I have not had a chance to try this yet but I am really excited to give it a shot in the next few days. Note that the VS 2017 preview is required to use this feature. The app is available now in your phone's app marketplace. As of now, it is still in beta, so give your feedback if you see anything buggy or difficult.

Xamarin Live

Visual Studio Mobile Center

This is Microsofts all in one build, test, and deploy engine. It is in preview right now and estimated to be GA in the Fall of this year. For mobile development, the mobile center sounds perfect. It can connect directly to Github, TFS, and vsts to start builds, tests, and deployments on every push.

There are plenty of other services available like this but the features included and ease of integration are intriguing. One thing my team likes is the ability to notify specific users via push notifications when successful deployment happens. This lets us easily notify users with release notes included of new things they can try and test.

Visual Studio Mobile Center

Story Remix Video Editor

This one will not be out until the Fall creators update of Windows 10 but still, I am excited about it. From the demo, during the keynote of Build, it looks like it should make my GoPro video editing streamlined. It can take a series of videos and utilize artificial intelligence to determine how to organize the videos. It makes cuts and transitions all on its own. It can even recognize faces in the videos so if you want the video to feature a particular person it's as easy as selecting them as the main focus in settings.

I am really looking forward to seeing what Story Remix can do for me and my GoPro footage.


Microsoft Build 2017 was an eye-opening experience. The conference had a few main foci two of which were cross-platform development and utilizing artificial intelligence. I look forward to what the future of these two things means for myself as a developer and all other developers in the Microsoft sphere.