Microsoft Renames WPC, Combines Envision and Ignite Events

Microsoft announced some changes to its 2017 conference lineup on Wednesday, including a rebrand of its flagship partner event.

The Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is now called "Microsoft Inspire," announced Chris Capossela, Microsoft's chief marketing officer, in a blog post. The switch from the previous WPC branding to Inspire "reflects how Microsoft and our partner community inspire each other to innovate and deliver powerful new solutions to customers," he said.

The old WPC 2017 Web site, which had been live as recently as Tuesday, now redirects visitors to the Inspire Web site. Other than the name and the Web site, however, the logistics of the partner conference don't appear to have changed; it is still scheduled to take place on July 9 to July 13, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

More significant changes are on hand for Microsoft's business-centric Envision conference. For 2017, Microsoft plans to fold Envision into the more developer- and IT-centric Ignite conference. Envision, which had its inaugural event just this past April, was Microsoft's replacement for the now-defunct Convergence conference, which was heavily focused on Dynamics partners and technologies.

The 2017 Envision conference had originally been scheduled for Feb. 28 to March 2 in Los Angeles, but that plan has now been scrapped. Instead, Microsoft will incorporate the Envision content into Ignite, which is set to take place roughly seven months later (Sept. 25 to Sept. 29, 2017) and on the opposite coast (Orlando).

"The partnership between business and IT leaders has never been more important, so Microsoft Ignite will now cater to both audiences and help foster collaboration between the two," Capossela said, adding that Microsoft will share more information about the event "in the coming months."

Finally, Microsoft has officially given the date and location for its 2017 Build developer conference: May 10 to May 12 in Seattle, Wash.

Based on Wednesday's announcement, Microsoft's major conference lineup for 2017 is as follows:

  • Envision: Feb. 28-March 2 in Los Angeles, Calif. -- CANCELLED
  • Build: May 10-12 in Seattle, Wash.
  • Inspire (previously WPC): July 9-13 in Washington, D.C.
  • Ignite: Sept. 25-29 in Orlando, Fla.

Microsoft is also restructuring some of its internal company events, according to a report by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. Citing unnamed sources, Foley said that the company is combining its sales-focused MGX, TechReady and Solution Specialist Sales Summit events into one, in keeping with its "One Microsoft" philosophy.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.