Thanks to Microsoft’s Channel 9 for the live keynote and recording of sessions, it feels like I was there 🙂

It was great to see Scott Guthrie talk on Azure advances in the last year and what’s coming. I am amazed how much Azure has come in the last two years. Just the portal advances from the first bad Silverlight version to the new beta Dev+Ops portal is worth the price of admission.

What’s more amazing is to see Linux and Oracle offered as Azure VMs and it strives to be a more inclusive platform. Azure’s offerings like Active Directory, Websites, Cache, Cloud Service and Compute now match or exceed what other cloud vendors offer. And third party offerings like MySQL, Redis and MongoDB in Azure make it a stand out offering. And they also dropped Windows from their name.

It was also great to see the C#/VB compiler being open sourced and C# on iOS/Android being promoted on stage and in it’s own session. It had a lot more attendees than my session at the Silicon Valley Code Camp in 2012 🙂

Windows 8.1 Update 1 (What’s with the naming, do we have to wait until Scott Hanselman is the CEO to fix this) partially fixes jarring Metro/Desktop disconnect by allowing Metro apps to appear in the taskbar and window switcher. Once Microsoft allows Metro apps to run in a desktop window, this problem will finally go away for desktop users.

While Microsoft improved the UX on Windows and Windows Phone, both are playing catch up in a Touch market dominated by iOS and Android. Microsoft is moving in the right direction after several mis-steps. It great to finally see an Universal app that runs from the phone to the tablet to the desktop. Still don’t understand why it took three versions of phone and windows to make it happen.

It’s easy to move your cloud to Azure compared to getting your customers to move from iOS or Android to a Windows Touch device, even when you have Cortana on it. Hopefully, the Enterprise features and Developer toolset will help them bridge the market gap.

Finally, I am glad to see Satya Nadella in the CEO spot and the focus on working with partners and competitors, including getting Office on the iPad. Build 2014 showed that Microsoft is going back to the basics instead of trashing iPads and we should see more results in the future with the new direction.

Disclosure: MobiWeave is a Bizspark Plus and Microsoft partner but these thoughts are my own.