Build 2022 Day 1

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Microsoft Build 2022

Ah! It’s my favorite time of year again. The Microsoft Build developer conference is here and boy do we have some great things coming this year from Microsoft.

Project Volterra

Project Volterra

Probably the biggest part of the day was the announcement of Project Volterra. This is part of their Open Hardware Ecosystem that aims to obfuscate platforms. From Wi-Fi and cellular chipsets that ensure you are connected, to GPUs and CPUs that share workloads. Now comes a new chip into that former scenario: the Neural Processing Unit (NPU from here on out as I can barely spell Neural). With this NPU in combination with CPU and GPU you can offload AI intensive workloads from either the GPU or CPU and let the NPU handle it. They showed that the NPU is capable of producing AI models faster than a CPU/GPU and while using less electricity.

Volterra is a development kit for AI powered by an ARM processor made by Qualcomm. This has an NPU built in and allows for developers to explore AI scenarios from the a new SDK called the Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK. Among those announcements came the big surprise that there will be a full version of Visual Studio 2022 optimized for ARM64 as well as VSCode. You can program in Visual C++, .NET 6, or Java. WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) and WSA (Windows Subsystem for Android) will also run on this device.

That’s not all. I hear some of you grumbling that that isn’t how you do AI workloads, well Microsoft is also helping the python, node, git, and LLVM community come to native ARM64 processors too. The sizzle video even points out that it will have Multiple Ports! Yeah, but ports from earlier this century. It shows a Mini-Display Port and USB-A on the back of the device. Here, watch the sizzle video for yourself. I particularly thought that the Earth shattering part was cringe worthy, but who knows maybe this is Earth shattering.

This is amazing stuff! However, going back to obfuscating layers of platforms, there’s something called the Hybrid Loop. With the Hybrid Loop you can have your AI workload offloaded to the cloud for processing. Panos Panay and Scott Hanselman likened this to the math co-processor of old.

Enough about AI for now. I’m not sure I’ll use it any time soon. What else came up at Build?

Copilot GA

Last year at Build, Microsoft introduced us to Copilot. Copilot is said to be an AI pair programming buddy. (Didn’t you say enough about AI for now?!?) Well This pair programming buddy can provide full code suggestions inferred from code or comments. Now it’s available for everyone that wants to try it, and you should. It’s an amazing experience.

Microsoft Dev Box

Last year introduced us to GitHub CodeSpaces. CodeSpaces spins up a development environment for your code magically at the press of a button. Literally. Just go to GitHub, find your favorite project, and press .. Magically Visual Studio Code appears and your development environment is ready for editing. But what if you need a heavier dev environment than VSCode? What if you need Visual Studio 2022 and a host of binaries and documentation. What if you need a real Dev Box. Well that’s where Microsoft Dev Box comes in. Imagine spinning up a Virtual Machine in the cloud for your development environment. You would only need a browser or a Virtual Desktop client on your local machine to take advantage of it. I can see it now, thousands of Chromebooks being used for Windows Development because the developer doesn’t need a $3000 computer anymore, just a relatively modest cost of a Windows VDM.

Microsoft Store

There were a couple of announcements around the store. The first was Microsoft Store Ads. A new product that allows developers to advertise their games or apps in the app store.

They also announced that if you bring your own payment gateway to apps in the Microsoft Store you don’t have to pay Microsoft a tax for using their store. This is Huge compared to Apple and Google forcing apps to pay a 30% chunk of their money just for the honor of being in that store. Shame shame.

Windows 11 Widgets

Speaking of things nobody uses in Windows, the Windows 11 widgets bar will soon allow developers to create their own widgets. This will be like a PWA that runs inside that Widgets bar that I turn off as fast as I can to recover that real estate on my task bar.


Okay this one isn’t new. In fact it’s about 2 years old now. But, I just learned about this amazing extension in Visual Studio Code called CodeTour . CodeTour takes a user on a tour of the codebase with extra modals highlighting your code. It’s like a first run experience for your code. And before you say you’d never use that, just imagine the first time you saw your current code. Wouldn’t you have liked a little guidance for where things were?


There was a lot more than this, but this is what really stuck out for me. What did you find interesting at Build 2022 Day 1? Let me know on Twitter . Thanks for reading.

BuildVisual StudioVisual Studio CodeWindowsDev Box

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Build 2022 Day 2

Chezmoi for DotFiles