Microsoft Build 2020 cancelled in Seattle: Digital event planned

Microsoft has announced that its Build 2020 event will not be taking place in Seattle this year. Rather, the company has made the decision to make its upcoming Build conference a digital event, meaning you'll have to tune in from your favorite streaming device. The decision was made in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Washington where multiple people have died.

The Build 2020 event was scheduled to take place in Seattle, Washington, from May 19 to May 21. The conference would allow developers to get together, attend panels, participate in hands-on projects, network with others in the industry, and more. The event is held annually and, as expected, it will not proceed as planned due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement late on Thursday, Microsoft said that it will switch its Build 2020 event over to digital in order to prevent people from congregating together and potentially spreading or being exposed to the virus. The company doesn't have all of the details available at this time, however.

In a statement on its Build conference website, Microsoft says:

In light of the global health concerns due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Microsoft is monitoring public health guidance in relation to in-person events. We are looking carefully at our event calendar as well as our presence at industry events in the coming months. We are not taking decisions lightly, but the health and well-being of our customers, partners, guests, suppliers, and employees remain our ultimate priority. We will continue to monitor and make any necessary changes as the situation evolves.

The decision to change the event isn't surprising. Google recently made a similar announcement involving its I/O developer conference for the same reasons. Other companies like Facebook have elected to cancel planned events entirely, whereas others have been postponed until later, indefinite, dates. The news comes amid a bunch of movie premiere cancellations, as well, from Disney and Paramount Pictures.