The first months of this year have been marked by sudden cancellations of events and conferences as the world tried to come to grips with the COVID-19 threat. By this time, however, many companies have already adjusted to the new world order and have even developed strategies to move forward despite physical and geographical locations. Most of the time, that means holding events online or broadcasting from people’s houses. Microsoft’s annual developer conference this year will be doing exactly that and more.
Yes, Microsoft Build 2020 is still going to happen and it’s going to happen in less than three weeks. Yes, it will be held online, so don’t be surprised if some cute kid suddenly barges into the presenter’s home office. Yes, registration is also being offered for free, which is already a big deal for developers, but that’s not all that Microsoft is offering them this year.
Taking play on May 19 and 20, Build 2020 isn’t just a simple livestream. It will be a 48-hour livestream but it’s not exactly that either. As Microsoft Principal Program Manager Scott Hanselman explains, sessions are repeated three times every 8 hours so that people from any part of the world has a chance to join live. If not, everything will be recorded anyway.
This year’s Microsoft Build is being sold (not literally, of course) as a sort of return to roots event. It will be putting a heavy emphasis on developers and their craft more than Microsoft programs and products. Then again, given how the industry has slowed down the past months, there might not be much of that to go around anyway.
Of course, you can still expect some product announcements and advertisements focusing on new tools and APIs developers can play with while stuck at home. Hopefully, we’ll also get a glimpse of future products like the Surface Duo and Surface Neo, the latter of which has reportedly been delayed to next year.