Arguably the most crucial challenge facing Microsoft's Windows 8 release is attracting outside developers to help populate an ecosystem well behind those of Apple and Google. This has been the primary goal of the Build Conference concluding today in Redmond, Washington, and Microsoft has invested a lot in ensuring that will happen, according to a report from Reuters
Between a broad range of new PC devices, the release of the Surface tablet, and the launch of Windows Phone 8, all of the resources are in place to create a thriving ecosystem across multiple platforms integrated with the new online Windows Store.
While most Build 2012 attendees are Microsoft devotees, the company feels it is poised with Windows 8 to regain lost ground from Apple and Google as developers see the advantages of its reinvented operating system.
Part of Microsoft's pitch to outside developers is that Windows 8 is tied to a set of tools in its Azure cloud service that enable easier development and data storage to create new applications.
To sweeten the pot, particularly as some attendees paid as much as $2000 for entry to Build 2012, Microsoft dispensed several of its latest gadgets, free of charge. Each paying attendee to Build 2012 received a Surface tablet, 100 GB of space on Skydrive, and a Lumia 920 smartphone running WP8, courtesy of Nokia.