Microsoft will shift all of its key remaining events for 2020 to a digital, online-only model, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
While the vendor had already made the announcement surrounding the cancellation of its 2020 Inspire conference in late March, its event websites for Microsoft Build, Ignite and its Business Applications Summit now all bear notices highlighting that they will be run digitally, “in lieu of an in-person experience”.
The dates of the digital events are as follows:
- Microsoft’s Business Applications Summit - May 6,
- Microsoft Build - May 19-21,
- Microsoft Ignite - September 2020.
The strategy was indicated by a Microsoft spokesperson on Wednesday in response to questions from Microsoft blogger Mary Jo Foley, of ZDnet.
“In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, we are adjusting our event calendar and strategy. For the remainder of 2020, we are embracing the opportunity to experiment with new platforms to provide our partners, customers, and developers the highest quality, digital-first experiences,” the Microsoft spokesperson told ZDnet.
Foley went on to write that, according to her contacts, Microsoft's major public events would also be cancelled into the first half of 2021.
In response to the coronavirus crisis, Microsoft in March launched a new microsite featuring information on resources for remote working, education, and its efforts in community and technical support.
The site also linked to an email sent by Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella to company staff in late March highlighting some of the individual ways the company was working in its global community in response to the crisis.