Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Build conference kicks off today, and the company will be streaming its keynote speech live. The speech will focus on Windows 8.1 and the upcoming changes the company will make to the operating system, which most agree has some shortcomings, at least in terms of the desktop version.

The keynote speech is set to start at 12 p.m.


Expectations For Windows 8.1

When Microsoft unveils Windows 8.1 today, there are a few things that developers will be looking for. First, they’ll be looking for the iconic Start button to return to Windows. Also a right click is expected to make it easy to perform some of the tasks that can be done through the Start menu on previous Windows version.

It’s also expected that users will be able to bypass the tiled Windows 8 screen and view the desktop on startup. For some, this will be helpful because the learning curve when switching to Windows 8 has been rather steep.

Clues From Microsoft’s Blog

On Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s official blog, Developer Platform and Evangelism VP Steve Guggenheimer provided some other details about what to expect in this year’s keynote speech. He said they will show off how developers and companies can create complete experiences for customers using the Windows platform and other Microsoft products. He highlights just how much developers can do with the Windows platform, especially when it is used across numerous devices.

The concept sounds somewhat similar to the Windows Stores only at Best Buy. Microsoft partnered with the retail chain earlier this month to create the concept stores inside Best Buy locations. It seems clear that Microsoft wants to spend this year focusing on how its Windows platform can be used to enhance every part of users’ lives.

Other Expectations From This Year’s Build Conference

In addition to Windows 8.1 updates, we are also expected to hear more about Xbox One, which will also be running on Windows. We also might hear about the next upgrade to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Surface tabley.

The annual Hackathon is also going on right now, providing developers with hands-on coding experience which enables them to learn how to build apps from the groud up using Windows Phone or Windows Azure.