Build 2016 Highlights for Startups

Build 2016 was a big week for developers as Microsoft got deeper into open source, cloud, mobile tools, and more. If you missed Build this year, we’ve gotcha covered! A few examples of the releases and announcements we made include Holoportation, Skynet for Pizza, and Bash running on Windows. Below are some items we wanted to highlight especially for startup developers.

Build 2016 Highlights for Startups

Azure & OSS Innovations

If you’re developing on Azure, these takeaways are for you:

Bash Shell on Windows Cross-platform development has always been a schizophrenic experience involving a mix of OSes and toolsets. Now, developers can live in Windows full-time while coding for all platforms. In the words of Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, “In our journey to bring free software to the widest possible audience, this is not a moment we could have predicted.”

Xamarin. For Free! For those unfamiliar, Xamarin is a tool that developers can use to build cross-platform apps with C# that run on Windows, iOS and Android. Microsoft acquired Xamarin just weeks prior to Build and wasted no time in announcing that Windows-based developers can now target all major platforms—Windows, Android, and iOS—from a single OS, using a single developer environment, Visual Studio. And they can do it for free.

Azure Functions Azure Functions preview extends Azure’s application platform by offering server-less computing for event-driven approaches common to web and mobile applications, IoT, and big data solutions. It includes an open-source runtime that will allow companies to run it in their own data centers. Supports functions written in C#, Node.js, Python, F#, PHP, batch, bash, Java, or any executable.

Microsoft Power BI Embedded You no longer need to build custom solutions to visualize data for your users. Microsoft Power BI Embedded enables you to integrate Power BI reports into your web or mobile applications. Developers can use the default reports to build their own customized visuals.

Azure & OSS Innovations

Internet of Things (IoT) Three new Azure IoT products were announced at this year’s Build:

  • Azure IoT Starter Kits are now available for purchase from partners. Five new kits – each of which include Azure Certified for IoT development boards, actuators, sensors and simple, and user-friendly tutorials – enable anyone with Windows or Linux experience to quickly and inexpensively build IoT prototypes.
  • Azure IoT Hub device management, available later this spring, makes it easier and more cost-effective for global businesses to remotely maintain, interact with and manage IoT devices at scale from the cloud.
  • Azure IoT Gateway SDK preview, also available in late spring, to enables legacy devices and sensors to connect to the Azure cloud without having to replace existing infrastructure.

Microsoft Developer Love

For those of you using the “classic” Microsoft stack, we’ve got some highlights for you as well. Developers can now write apps for anything—from Iot to Hololens—with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Other Build announcements included Visual Studio 2015 Update 2, UWP Desktop App Converter, and Azure Tools for Visual Studio.

New Technologies

If you want to maintain your geek cred, you can’t miss the demos for these incredible new technologies.


Cognitive Services


The new innovations and updates announced at Build will help startups create scalable products. Our goal is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, and this starts by empowering every developer.

There are many more announcements and updates for startups from Build that you don’t want to miss. Make sure to check out the Build site and Channel 9 for more information.