Microsoft Cancels In-Person Build Developer Conference and Moves Event Online

Microsoft has announced that the 2020 Build developer conference will not go ahead as an in-person gathering and will take place online this year instead, owing to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


The tech giant had planned to hold the annual conference in Seattle from May 19 to May 21, but Microsoft has decided to make it an altogether "digital event." A Microsoft spokesperson provided The Verge with the following statement:

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.

Like Apple's WWDC, Build annually brings together thousands of developers from all over the world, and Microsoft typically uses the event to preview its latest software and services updates. This year, Microsoft is expected to share more details about its dual-screen plans for Android and Windows 10X.

It's not the first tech company to cancel a major developer event in light of the pandemic. Facebook's F8 and Google's I/O developer conferences have been canceled due to the coronavirus. On Wednesday, organizers for both the E3 gaming convention and NAB trade show also announced cancelations.

Other public events and sports seasons in the U.S. have been either canceled or suspended amid the viral outbreak, in an effort to limit the possibility of a rapid rise in infection rates. Similar containment measures have been implemented or are actively being considered in many other countries.

Apple hasn't provided word about its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, which is normally held in San Jose, California, in June, but it now seems only a matter of time before Apple announces that the event has been canceled or will be held in some digital capacity.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
7 months ago
Apple's WWDC should have gone online 5 years ago (or earlier) anyway, just due to the fact that they have had to go to using a lottery to dial back attendance numbers. Forcibly reducing attendance is the antithesis of the purpose of a developer's conference anyway. Sure, going online messes up the ability for companies to use the WWDC as a promotional event, but it accomplishes the goal of educating as many developers as possible. Put the WWDC online, and if you must, create a separate event (Hello Macworld Expo?) that centers on the social aspects of the business.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago
A very sensible thing to do, imho. I am just surprised that other big tech companies (Facebook & Google) have not gone the same way, cancelling their events altogether instead.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago
Can't say that I'm surprised - it seems that life in the US and the world are on hold.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago
Probably a little unrelated but I love how Microsoft is shining again. The user experience is getting better, the features are even richer. I love tech regardless of the company but I have a sweet spot for Microsoft.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago
Apple hasn't announced WWDC yet, so they don't need to cancel it. They'll likely hold the event online so they'll announce it eventually. I guess they're still organising the online event so they're waiting to announce it.
Bummer for the fellow iOS developers who already booked the hotel in San Jose guessing the dates, hope they'll be able to get a full refund but booking in advance is always a risk if you're not sure about the dates.
They'll miss the networking opportunities and the labs, but save money. I couldn't afford to go there, so to me it would be the usual WWDC with online sessions.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago


Can't say that I'm surprised - it seems that life in the US and the world are on hold.

Well of course!

People’s health > everything else in the world
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 6:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...

AT&T Already Working on 6G, Says 5G iPhones Might Not Be 'Massive Event' Due to Economic Uncertainty

Monday September 21, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming launch of 5G iPhones might not be a "massive event" due to economic uncertainty amid the global health crisis, AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a paywalled interview published by CNBC. "I do believe that you will see many of the iPhone subscribers move to upgrade to the device," said McElfresh. "But I wouldn't forecast that it's going to be a massive event. I...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....

iOS 14 Adoption Surpasses 25% Across iPhone and iPad Five Days After Release

Monday September 21, 2020 9:06 am PDT by
Five days after Apple released iOS 14, adoption of the software update has reached approximately 26 percent of active iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, according to mobile analytics company Mixpanel. This includes iPadOS 14. iOS 14 adoption appears to be outpacing iOS 13, which was installed on approximately 20 percent of active devices one week after its release last year, according to...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...