Microsoft to beat the drum for Windows Phone at Build

Struggling smartphone platform will get a lot of play at this week's developer conference, including possible introduction of Windows Phone 8.1

While Microsoft has kept silent on what it might actually introduce at its Build developer conference this week, it is clear from the event's presentation schedule that Microsoft will push hard on its Windows Phone smartphone platform.

Windows Phone, of course, pales in comparison to Google Android and Apple's iPhone platforms in terms of market share and overall industry buzz. But undaunted, Microsoft is not ready to concede this battle. Developers at the San Francisco conference will be able to attend a slew of sessions ranging from "The New Windows Phone Application Model" to "Windows Phone and Windows: Store and Dev Center" and "Diagnosing Issues with Windows Phone JavaScript Using Visual Studio."

Speculation is that Microsoft will introduce Windows Phone 8.1 at the event, but the hole remains deep despite Microsoft's best efforts. Market analysis firm comScore's March report on smartphone platform market share had Microsoft with 3.2 percent of the market in January -- the same as the company had in October. Android led with a 51.7 percent share followed by Apple iOS with a 41.6 percent share.

A description of the Windows Phone application model session at Build cites the addition of new programming models: "The new release of Windows Phone dramatically expands the ways in which developers can build applications and games, by adding several new programming models and also expanding the application model to support a broader set of developer scenarios."

Also on the conference session docket are sessions entitled, "What's New with Windows Phone Silverlight Apps," "Windows Runtime for Windows Phone Developers," "Sensors Platform Enhancements in Windows Phone," and "New Security Features for Windows Phone." Even sessions not mentioning Windows Phone in their actual title are listed as being pertinent to the phone platform, such as "Practical Design for Windows Developers," "Deploying and Managing Enterprise Apps," and "Navigation Model for Windows XAML Apps."

Other topics that will get the spotlight at the conference include HTML5, JavaScript, Windows Store, the so-called Internet of things, and Windows itself, of course. Developers also can get the lowdown on building for different-sized hardware, in a session entitled, "From 4 to 40 inches: Developing Windows Applications across Multiple Form Factors."

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