Build 2023: Microsoft shows Windows developers some love

Dave W. Shanahan

build 2023

At Build 2023, Microsoft unveiled its latest advancements in response to invaluable feedback from developers. With a renewed focus on productivity and performance, Microsoft introduces a dedicated hub on Windows that promises to streamline the entire development process. From setting up machines to managing workflows, these exciting features are set to reshape the developer landscape. Let’s explore these groundbreaking innovations that are currently available for preview.

1. Dev Home: Empowering developers with a personalized dashboard

Dev Home serves as a centralized hub, providing developers with a seamless setup experience and efficient workflow management. This open-source and customizable platform allows users to tailor their development environment with a personalized dashboard and the necessary tools for success. By integrating GitHub widgets, developers can effortlessly track projects, while system widgets enable real-time monitoring of CPU and GPU performance. With Dev Home, developers can now truly take charge of their development journey.

2. WinGet configuration: Simplifying software setup

The Windows Package Manager has undergone a significant transformation with the introduction of WinGet configuration. This powerful feature streamlines the setup requirements for an optimal development environment on Windows machines. By utilizing a WinGet configuration file, developers can bid farewell to the arduous process of searching for specific software versions, packages, tools, and frameworks. Additionally, the hassle of individually configuring settings is eliminated. The WinGet configuration file simplifies the entire process, allowing developers to execute a single command to set up their desired environment swiftly.

3. Dev Drive: Performance and security combined

Addressing the unique storage needs of developers, Microsoft introduces Dev Drive, a novel storage volume engineered for both performance and security. Leveraging the Resilient File System (ReFS), Dev Drive offers a significant enhancement in build times for file input/output (I/O) scenarios, surpassing the performance limitations of the current Windows 11 version. When combined with the new performance mode capability in Microsoft Defender Antivirus, developers can experience up to a remarkable 30% improvement in build times. Dev Drive strikes the perfect balance between security and performance, outperforming folder or process exclusions commonly employed for developer workloads.

4. Intelligent Windows Terminal with GitHub Copilot X

The Windows Terminal takes a leap forward in intelligence with the integration of GitHub Copilot X. This innovative integration empowers developers with the prowess of natural language AI within the Terminal app. Now, GitHub Copilot users can harness the power of AI both inline and through an experimental chat experience. With this AI-powered feature, developers can benefit from command recommendations, error explanations, and automated actions, significantly enhancing the functionality of the Terminal app. Microsoft is actively exploring opportunities to integrate GitHub Copilot-powered AI into other developer tools such as WinDBG, promising a substantial reduction in developers’ workload.

5. Developer Delighters: Enhancing developer satisfaction

Microsoft goes the extra mile to ensure developer satisfaction by incorporating dev delighters. These include taskbar improvements and enhanced support for archive compression. The revamped taskbar provides developers with an optimized workspace, allowing quick access to essential tools and applications. With enhanced support for archive compression, developers can efficiently handle compressed files without compromising productivity. These small but impactful enhancements aim to delight developers and contribute to an overall seamless development experience.

Build 2023: Microsoft helps developers

With its unwavering commitment to developers, Microsoft has raised the bar yet again with its latest innovations at Build 2023. By introducing a dedicated hub on Windows 11, developers can now navigate the development process with unparalleled ease. From Dev Home’s personalized dashboard to the streamlined software setup with WinGet configuration, Microsoft ensures developers can focus on what they do best: building exceptional software. With Dev Drive and the intelligent Windows Terminal powered by GitHub Copilot X, developers gain powerful tools that enhance both performance and security. Dev Drive, built upon the Resilient File System (ReFS), offers developers a storage volume specifically designed to meet their requirements, resulting in faster build times and improved productivity.

Meanwhile, the intelligent Windows Terminal, integrated with GitHub Copilot X, harnesses the capabilities of natural language AI to provide developers with intuitive recommendations, error explanations, and automated actions, reducing their workload and accelerating their development process. These innovative solutions from Microsoft announced at Build 2023 exemplify their commitment to empowering developers and driving the evolution of software development on Windows 11.