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Microsoft’s biggest event of the year to go virtual

Microsoft Build scheduled for May in Seattle will move online

The Verge is reporting that Microsoft’s Build developer conference is the latest tech event to be affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The annual developer conference was to run May 19th to May 21st in Seattle, but Microsoft has decided to make it a “digital event.” A Microsoft spokesperson sent along this statement to The Verge:

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. 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.

Build is one of Microsoft’s biggest news events of the year and typically serves as the platform for announcements and reveals on the latest changes to Windows, Office, and other software and services. Microsoft is planning on disclosing more about its dual-screen plans at Build this year, for both Android and Windows 10X.

Canceling or virtualizing events is an important step in improving public health and stemming the spread of the coronavirus, as Nicole Wetsman explains to The Verge:

Applying social distancing measures to the extent the system allows, though, is the best defense against the spread of the novel coronavirus, particularly without vaccines or treatments available. The goal isn’t to eliminate the disease entirely, but to keep cases from appearing all at once. During a pandemic, that can mean the difference between a severe outbreak and one that’s more manageable.

How exactly each big tech company will pivot its conference to a virtual one remains to be seen. Summer developer conferences are a place for big keynotes and announcements, but they’re also essential for developers who get a chance to mingle with engineers who work on big platforms and with each other.

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