Microsoft Nixes MIX 2012 Conference

Microsoft won't be holding a MIX conference this year, the company said Tuesday, instead merging the annual spring event for software developers and designers with another, unnamed conference later this year.

"I know a number of folks were wondering about MIX, given the time of year, so we wanted to make sure there's no ambiguity, and be very clear… there will be no MIX 2012," wrote Tim O'Brien, Microsoft general manager, developer & platform evangelism, in a blog post.

O'Brien would only say that MIX will be merged with "our next major developer conference, which we will host sometime in the coming year."

Last year Microsoft held the new Build conference in September in Anaheim, Calif., where it debuted the developer's release of Windows 8. Microsoft has not said whether that conference will be repeated, but some kind of MIX-Build conference for developers now seems likely.

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Microsoft is slated to ship a beta release of Windows 8 later next month and the final release of the operating system for desktop PCs and tablet computers is expected before the end of the year.

O'Brien said Mix was conceived in the fall of 2005 as a way to engage Microsoft's web community -- Microsoft was shipping its Internet Explorer 6 at the time. The first MIX was held in the spring of 2006 in Las Vegas and it has been held every year since.

O'Brien cited several "slow and steady trends" for discontinuing MIX. He said the idea that there is a web community that's separate and distinct from the developer community "no longer makes any sense." And having multiple conferences is confusing for developers who don't know which event to attend and who risk "event fatigue." Multiple events also consume a significant amount of time for Microsoft employees who also attend the conferences.

"As we look ahead to 2012 and beyond, the goal is to ensure that global Microsoft developer events are of the caliber that many of you experienced at Build last September," O'Brien said. He offered few hints about timing, other than to say: "We will share more details of our next developer event later this year."