Microsoft, which late last month cancelled its in-person Inspire 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has now scheduled a digital-only version of this year’s annual partner conference for 21-22 July.
Microsoft Inspire 2020 will be a free online event, with registration set to begin in June, according to a company blog post.
“Although we won't be gathering together in person this year, I'm still really excited about how this virtual event will bring everyone together in new and innovative ways,” Microsoft channel chief Gavriella Schuster said in a video recorded at her home near the technology giant’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters. “We're now able to bring the Microsoft experience to everyone, anywhere in the world -- more connections, more partners and more ways we can help you with business opportunities. To be honest, taking Microsoft Inspire virtual is giving us the opportunity to truly reimagine how we do things. With the virtual format, we’re reimagining how we can give partners the opportunity to learn and engage with our entire global network of business leaders and partners.”
The conference will be aligned to the Pacific time zone, and there is no limit to the number of employees that organizations can register for it.
Microsoft Inspire is the company’s largest partner event, attracting almost 130,000 people from 150-plus countries in the last 10 years. Microsoft on 23 March announced the cancellation of the in-person conference that was slated for 19-23 July in Las Vegas due to health safety recommendations tied to the coronavirus, which first hit Microsoft’s home state. At the time, Microsoft said it was exploring alternative ways to bring together the partner community.
Microsoft also previously announced that its in-person Build 2020 developer conference, originally scheduled for 19-21 May in Seattle, instead would be turned into a free, 48-hour digital event on 19-20 May.
Microsoft Ignite, an annual conference for developers and information technology professionals, also will be launched as a complimentary digital event in September.