/BUILD/. Now wasn’t that a conference of suspense! Wow. Windows 8, redefining our interactions and embracing not just the traditional computer, but tablets and other touch devices too. I have not seen such a bold statement of intent since PDC2000 when Microsoft announced it’s plans for a revamp of it’s code/application subsystem – .NET!

My tweet during Build Now there has been a lot of debate before, during and after /BUILD/ about Silverlight and WPF – people still seem to be looking for confirmation that these are dead technologies? I watched the keynotes and some of the sessions and quickly came to the conclusion – No.

Sure, emphasis has been given to Windows 8 and the greater adoption of HTML5 but if you ignore the new Metro style features, Windows 8 is still a Windows operating system. This is borne out of the one of the two most frequently quoted slides from /BUILD/ – the Metro vs Desktop runtime slide (see below). There is still nothing stopping you from developing and deploying a WinForms, WPF or Silverlight application on Windows 8. If you want your application to take part within the Metro-style framework, then you’ll have to expend a little bit of effort converting it over to the WinRT framework.

Windows 8  application frameworks

Honestly, Silverlight 5 was made release candidate a couple months ago so there is still commitment from Microsoft that the Silverlight runtime and tooling will continue. Windows 8 is still in preview and while most people seem to be treating it as a solid, fully functional OS, it is not.. and won’t be till release! Things can and most probably will change before it’s shipped. Consider then, that most organisations who are currently upgrading from Windows XP/Vista can only jump to Windows 7 at the moment – plus a significant number of them won’t jump to Windows 8 straightaway. So, despite Windows 8 backward capability, many organisations will remain on Windows 7 till it runs out of Microsoft product support on it’s 10th birthday (or thereabouts) so dare I say, we’ll have about the same longevity in our Silverlight or WPF applications.

I could go on, but I’ll save it for a Silverlight UK User Group night! I was not one of the fortunate people to attend /BUILD/ in person. Instead I had to watch the keynotes over the web – which gave some but not all the story or atmosphere of hype and anticipation. Thus I wanted someone who attended, to bring back and disseminate the knowledge of /BUILD/. Step in Derek Lakin from Pixel Lab. He’ll give us a round-up of the pertinent parts of /BUILD/ whether it was the keynotes, demos or the shiny new Samsung Windows 8 tablet that was given away as the free gift (or that the conference fee subsidised!).


Date: Wednesday 12th October 2011
Time: Registration @ 18:15, Kick off @18:30 – please don’t be late! Till about 20:30
Where: EMC Consulting 
Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9EU.

Registration is required, so please register by sending us an email.
Registered attendees will be notified with any final details by Monday 10th October. If you change your mind and decide on not coming, please be considerate of others and let us know in good time so that we can release the space to someone on the waiting list.



Registration @18:00

Welcome/Kick off @ 18:30

/BUILD/ Conference Roundup & First Hands On WinRT
with Derek Lakin from Pixel Lab

Since Derek went to /BUILD/ who better to give a roundup of the conference… the hype, the buzz, the sessions, the demos… the free gift! Giving his own personal thoughts and opinions to the event, Derek hopes to impart some of the more important and lighter parts to the conference. Since Windows 8 played a large part of the announcements, Derek will also perform his own demo to show the re-purposing an existing Silverlight application (from his website) into a Windows 8 Metro application on WinRT using the preview.

End. (officially the end, but no doubt we’ll find a nearby bar to continue any discussion!)


About Derek Lakin

Derek Lakin 

Derek Lakin is the Senior User Experience Developer at Pixel Lab. He has been writing desktop and web-based client applications using the Microsoft technology stack for over a decade. He is a talented developer with the ability to deliver high quality visual and interactive experiences. He has co-written training courses on client technologies such as WPF and Silverlight for Microsoft product groups and Microsoft Learning. He currently maintains the blog Windows Phone From the Trenches.

Derek Lakin’s blog | Twitter: @dereklakin | LinkedIn Profile

Many members of the Silverlight UK User Group are on Twitter, thus both myself and Michelle use it as our primary method of getting the relevant community or technology news out to the masses. So follow us if you like or take a look at the twitter hashtag we adopted, so that all the Silverlight UK User Group related stuff is neatly huddled together:

Please register and I hope to see you there!



 Want to join the discussion?
The event is geared to please/interest/inform both developers and designers alike, so if you are interested in coming along then please contact us and we will be glad to add you to our events mailing list.

Want to present or showcase?
We are always on the lookout for presenters for future sessions – whether it be a high or low level coding walk through, a workflow perspective or showcase demo. If you think that you have a topic/presentation that ought to be shared with the community then please contact me and I’ll see if I can get you scheduled in!


This is a cross post from my EMC blog, mainly for backup duplicity and to aggregate some of my past postings. My EMC blog used to be under the Conchango brand but was acquired by EMC so I’ve also retrospectively refreshed some of the old links and maybe a tweak a bit of content too.
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