Microsoft Shifting Build 2020 Conference To A Digital Event

The company won't hold its annual developer conference in Seattle as planned in response to the coronavirus outbreak.


Microsoft announced plans to turn its Build 2020 developer conference into a digital event in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The conference had been scheduled to take place May 19-21 in Seattle.

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"The safety of our community is a top priority. In light of the health safety recommendations for Washington State, we will deliver our annual Microsoft Build event for developers as a digital event, in lieu of an in-person event," Microsoft said in a statement provided to CRN.

"We look forward to bringing together our community of developers in this new virtual format to learn, connect and code together. Stay tuned for more details to come," Microsoft said in the statement.

King County—the home of Seattle—has seen a severe outbreak of the coronavirus with 270 confirmed cases and 27 deaths as of Thursday.

On Wednesday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban on public events with more than 250 people in counties including King County, at least through the end of March.

At last year’s Build conference, Microsoft introduced a wide array of new offerings spanning the Azure cloud platform and the Microsoft 365 productivity suite.

Numerous other upcoming tech conferences have also been canceled, postponed or shifted to become online-only events in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Dell Technologies announced this week that its largest event of the year, Dell Technologies World 2020, will become a virtual conference.

Other vendors that have canceled or postponed in-person events have included Google, Intel, AMD, HP Inc., Eaton, Ingram Micro and Synnex. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is canceling or postponing most of its events through April due to concerns around the outbreak, although HPE Discover Las Vegas in June and its Discover More London conference on April 22 are still scheduled to go on as planned.