Microsoft Cancels Its Biggest Annual Event – Build 2020 Will Be Online-Only Due to Coronavirus

Mar 13, 2020 06:49 EDT
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Microsoft has joined countless other companies in canceling events amid the ongoing global health concerns due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Microsoft's Build 2020 developers conference, which was scheduled for mid-May in Seattle, will now be a virtual-only event due to health concerns.

"The safety of our community is a top priority," the company said in a statement.

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

This decision comes after the Washington State put restrictions on events with more than 250 people. Microsoft's Build conferences attract as many as 5,000 participants every year.

Earlier in the month the company had said that it's monitoring public health guidance to make the right decision. "We are looking carefully at our event calendar as well as our presence at industry events in the coming months," Microsoft had said. "We are not taking decisions lightly, but the health and well-being of our customers, partners, guests, suppliers, and employees remain our ultimate priority."

Even though Build is targeted at developers and not users, it is one of the biggest news event for the Windows maker. 2020 was going to be an important year for the company as it was expected to focus extensively on Microsoft's dual screen products, including Windows 10X.

Several other events also canceled; companies start encouraging employees to work from home due to coronavirus concerns

Microsoft's Build 2020 event cancelation comes after Google announced the same decision to cancel its Google I/O developer event. Several other events have also been cancelled, postponed or moved online, including NVIDIA's GTC 2020 (online-only now), Game Developers Conference 2020, and Facebook’s F8 developer conference.

Tech companies are also strongly encouraging their employees to work from home. Twitter, Square, and Microsoft itself have issued statements advising their employees globally to work from home.

- You can find information on how to receive refund for Microsoft Build 2020 event over here. Note that this information was already posted to help people backing out of the event to get refunds; the page hasn't been updated yet after Microsoft's announcement. 

- Relevant: Out of Band Windows 10 Security Patch Released to Fix RCE Flaw in SMBv3.

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