Microsoft held its annual Build developers conference in May 2017, in Seattle. As you would expect, the company made several announcements and released more than a few new platforms, features, and tools developers can use to create modern applications of all shapes, sizes, and capabilities.
But there was something more to Microsoft Build 2017 than readily meets the eye. There was a subtle difference in the overall tone of the conference—a difference you might not notice if you don't follow Build conferences year after year.
The platforms, features, and tools discussed at Build 2017 were no longer abstract, nearly pie-in-the-sky concepts, but usable, physical things that developers can take advantage of right now. Microsoft is no longer selling dreams of the future to developers—it is selling the current reality—and developers, businesses, and just about everyone else better take notice.
No more excuses for developers
When discussing the principles of physics, inertia is just a fact of bodies in motion—it is neither good nor bad. In the business world however, inertia can be disastrous to enterprises, especially when it comes to the deployment of new and better technologies.
If there was any lesson to be taken away from Build 2017 for businesses, it is just this: There are very few plausible and defendable excuses for not modernizing your systems and applications anymore.
Of course, cost versus benefit is always plausible, but you may want to run the numbers again, because some of the variables have changed. Enterprises can no longer play the "development would be too time-consuming and difficult" card and call it a day. Microsoft's Azure intelligent cloud product, in particular, provides the tools that make deploying applications and even entire systems as simple as a few mouse clicks.
Have an old application that is dependent on .NET runtime protocols? Put it into a container and deploy it to Azure. Need to create a globally distributed database for your enterprise? Create it in a few clicks with Cosmos DB. Need to deploy one hundred more virtual machines? A few clicks at the web-based Azure Portal, and it is done.
If you want to explore some of the new platforms and tools shown at Microsoft Build 2017, check out the videos available at MSDN Channel 9. Some of the highlights include:
- Windows 10 on ARM
- App Diagnostics #2: Targeted app profiling
- Bot conversations for apps
- Innovate faster with Windows as a Service (WaaS)
- .NET Core and Visual Studio for Mac
- Azure Container Service for your cloud native, data intensive, or modernization needs
- How to build globally distributed, fast, billion-user applications with Azure Cosmos DB
Cloud computing, and all that goes with it, is no longer something other enterprises do—it is just the way business gets done. Whether it's Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, or any other platform, it is difficult to imagine any modern business that would not benefit to some degree from cloud services.
The products displayed and demonstrated at Microsoft Build 2017 prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that development for the cloud is no longer a mere vaporous dream but instead a stark reality. If your enterprise is not embracing and developing for the cloud and the way business works today, you are falling behind your competition. The tools are ready, the cloud is ready—why aren't you ready?
- Windows Server on ARM: Microsoft moves beyond Intel in its Azure cloud
- Build 2017: Microsoft promises a turnkey globally distributed database service, Azure Cosmos DB
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition reveals Microsoft's true business strategy
- Microsoft Azure: The smart person's guide
Is your enterprise taking advantage of cloud computing? Why not? Share your thoughts and opinions with your peers at TechRepublic in the discussion thread below.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.