Spring is just around the corner, which means the calendar is filling up with high profile tech events. And the newest addition? Microsoft today confirmed that its online-only build developer conference will be held between May 25-27, although it is not yet known when registration will open. (If last year is a clue, our money is “late April”.)
“In Microsoft Build, developers, architects, startups and students learn, connect and code together, share knowledge and expand their skills as they search for new ways to innovate tomorrow,” explains the company’s events page.
Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t updated its build-specific webpage with any information on this year’s priorities or schedule, but we are almost certain to be watching another full event. Last year, Microsoft went into (among other things) improved collaboration tools for its suite of office productivity apps, an AI-focused supercomputer running on its Azure cloud platform, and new cloud tools that specially developed for doctors.
In the past, spring and summer have been packed with large face-to-face events where app and software developers get a first glimpse of upcoming platform and strategy updates, attend workshops and code reviews, and generally chat with their peers. As of last year, the global coronavirus pandemic has forced companies orchestrating these events to rethink their approaches quickly.
Some, like Microsoft and Apple, quickly switched to informative online affairs that included days’ worth of meetings, demos, and fireside chats. (Apple announced this week that its own global developer conference will also be held online only from June 7-11.) In the meantime, Google has not yet confirmed whether it plans to stage its Google I / O developer conference at all This year – the company completely canceled the show in 2020 but said last month it plans to host a version of its annual Google Cloud Next event in October.
Between a surge in COVID-19 vaccine production and the news of looser restrictions on vaccinated travelers, Build 2021 may be the last all-virtual developer conference Microsoft will ever have to hold. With a bit of luck, developers will continue their pilgrimages to Seattle next year, and who knows – maybe those tiny emotional support horses from Build 2018 will reappear too.