Microsoft Raising the Roof Ahead of Windows Developer Conference

Tricia DuryeeMicrosoft constructs a gigantic tent ahead of its developer conference Oct. 30.

Now that Microsoft’s developer conference is just 10 days away, there are signs of it sprouting up on the company’s Redmond, Wash., campus.

Under construction is a one-acre tent, roughly the size of a dozen basketball courts. It stands about three stories high and will seat 2,000 people. During a visit to campus yesterday, I snapped a couple of photos of the massive structure located on Microsoft’s athletic fields. For a much closer look, check out a video by Geekwire’s Todd Bishop, who got a view from the inside.

The white-roofed structure is reminiscent of a super-sized wedding hall, which is fitting since Microsoft is hoping that developers will be married to the idea of building apps for the Windows 8 platform by the end of the four-day affair. It is the first time that the developer conference, called Build, is being hosted on Microsoft’s own campus. Last year, it hosted the event in Anaheim, Calif., and threw a number of mini sessions around the globe, including Belgium, Denmark, Dubai, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Sweden.

Jeff Sandquist, Microsoft senior director of developer relations, told me that they decided to host Build this year in Redmond so that more employees could present various sessions.

The event takes place just days after the Windows 8 launch. Windows 8 is designed to create a single user experience that runs across several devices, including the phone, tablet, PC and Xbox. In other words, employees from all over campus should be able to appreciate the launch and event.

If Microsoft is lucky, developers will consider the trip to its headquarters a treat — even if is during the wettest and gloomiest time of the year. Of course, an enormous tent will help a lot with that.

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