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Microsoft's Entire 2020 Event Lineup Going 'Digital-First'

In response to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Microsoft is transitioning all of its big conferences in 2020 to be online only.

That information comes from a Wednesday ZDNet report by Mary Jo Foley. A Microsoft spokesperson issued a statement to Foley indicating that Microsoft is changing its event approach "for the remainder of 2020" to use "digital-first experiences."

The statement implies that events scheduled for this year, such as the Microsoft Business Applications Summit (May 6), Microsoft Build (May 19), Microsoft Inspire (July 19) and Microsoft Ignite (Sept. 21), all will be accessible online only.

Microsoft Ignite was the only big Microsoft live event this year still in question. Its event page now bears the following message:

The safety of our community is top priority. In light of global health concerns due to COVID-19, we will deliver our annual Microsoft Ignite conference as a digital experience, in lieu of an in-person event.

All of Microsoft's big live events this year, except for Microsoft Inspire, its partner conference, include a note about the event going digital.

Microsoft's blanket statement also implies that Microsoft Ignite the Tour events this year will all go digital. However, plenty of venue cancellations have already been announced. Its main event landing page currently lacks a statement about Ignite the Tour going digital.

Foley, from contacts with unnamed sources, expects Microsoft to keep its events digital throughout its fiscal-year 2020, which spans July 2020 to June 2021. If so, she noted that the MVP Summit 2021 and Build 2021 events could also be held as online-only events.

For a broader view of events and cancellations as they occur, see RCP's "2020 Microsoft Conference Calendar."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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