During a keynote at the BUILD developer conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the company has sold 4 million individual upgrade licenses of Windows 8 in the four days that have passed since general availability last Friday. Emphasis on individual; this figure doesn’t include the corporate accounts which amount to tens of millions of additional users of the OS.
During the event, Microsoft showed off a number of different devices — on top of their own tablet, the Surface — to really promote the Windows 8 ecosystem. Both tablets and laptops built for Windows 8 were showcased, some of the latter coming in a convertible form factor, and/or offering a touchscreen. Microsoft also proudly announced that there were over 9,000 apps in the Windows Store by general availability.
It isn’t just about quantity though; they also celebrated quality apps on the platform, such as Skype, Netflix, and Angry Birds Space, while anticipating even more apps headed to Windows 8, such as Dropbox.
When registration for Microsoft’s BUILD 2012 conference opened up this morning, we warned those interested in attending that it will sell out fast, and it certainly did. In just under an hour, it was completely sold out. The site was then updated with a message instructing those interested to “keep calm and join the wait list.”
Microsoft’s Tim O’ Brien, general manager of developer and platform evangelism issued this comment to The Verge, further confirming that the event is indeed sold out (the official BUILD Windows Twitter account also noted it):
Build 2012 sold out in less than an hour. Build 2012 will be unlike anything we’ve held on our corporate campus in a long time. For those unable to attend, there will be a world class online experience and local developer events throughout the world.
I almost want to compare this to WWDC 2012 — which sold out in just under 2 hours — but it would be unfair to make such a comparision; we don’t know about the volume of people who will be attending BUILD 2012 as of yet. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft will be hosting the conference in Redmond, their home court. This probably means that they have space for less attendees than they would at a proper venue.
Good news for them though; Microsoft definitely needs to get all the developer support it possibly can for Windows 8.
Image Source: quickmeme
Just a quick reminder: If you’re a developer or enthusiast who plans to attend BUILD 2012, registration opens up today at 8AM PDT (or 11AM EDT.) We expect the event to fill up fast, so if you want to guarantee your attendance we recommend that you register as soon as possible.
While we’re still unsure about what the exact topics of discussion will be at the conference — a session list is yet to be published — it’s safe to say that they will be talking about new technologies such as Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Visual Studio 2012, and Windows Server 2012. What I find funny is that the event takes place just four days after Windows 8 becomes generally available. Microsoft couldn’t wait just four days to launch Windows 8 to the world at BUILD? Despite this, I’m sure that there will still be plenty of celebrating.
Registration will be opening up in roughly 30 minutes from the time of writing, so just head over to the BUILD website and vigorously refresh until you’re able to sign up.
UPDATE: It’s open! Gogogo!
It’s offiical: There will be a second BUILD conference, and it’s happening right on the heels of Windows 8’s general availability in late October. BUILD 2012 as it’s called will be taking place on October 30th through November 2nd, this time in Microsoft’s home city of Redmond, Washington (it took place in Anaheim last year.)
So far, details — in the form of a session list — are sparse, and MJF is still uncertain on whether or not they will publish one this year, but she points out that Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure, Windows Phone, and Visual Studio 2012 will very likely be the primary topics of this year’s developer conference.
Given the importance of apps in the eyes of consumers when it comes to a platform, Microsoft certainly needs to do everything in their power to continue drumming up developer enthusiasm. Windows Developer Jose Fajardo estimated based on the current Windows Store app count that we may see roughly 1200 apps by the time Windows 8 launches. There’s more to it than quantity, of course; on top of rallying up just about everyone who even has a sliver of interest in developing for Windows, the company also has to work to bring more established developers — from other platforms even — to Windows.
So, if you’re a developer or enthusiast, get ready; BUILD 2012 registration opens on August 8th.