Most tech companies hold developer conferences, and Microsoft is no exception.

Every year, Microsoft spends a couple days trying to bring developers and software engineers into its fold with a developer conference called Build. While at the multi-day event, the company typically announces updates for its services and platforms – whether that be Windows 10, Office 365, or the Azure cloud computing platform. But 2020 isn’t a typical year.

The pandemic has forced Microsoft to change this year’s conference. Build 2020 will only be online, and it’ll be free to anyone who registers. On 30 April, the company opened online registrations. It’s unclear if those who previously registered (and were later refunded) will still need to register. But here’s everything else you need to know, including what to expect.

What is Microsoft Build?

Build is Microsoft’s annual developer conference. It typically lasts about four days and starts in May. The first day is live-streamed and features the most consumer-facing announcements, while the other days are for developers and feature training sessions that can also be viewed online. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Build 2020 will be much different.

This year’s Build will be a free, virtual-only event over two days — and it’ll be all about developers. Many reports are speculating that Build 2020 will have few consumer-facing announcements. ZDNet even said there won’t be a “long visionary keynote” from CEO Satya Nadella on day one.

The keynote will reportedly be much shorter, with other execs planning to do “more of an AI and futuristic look-ahead keynote” on day two.

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When is Build 2020?

Build 2020 is happening from (Tuesday) 19 May to (Wednesday) 20 May 2020. Typically, developers need to pay a $2,395 entry fee to attend Build. But, now, they’ll be able to view all the content available free of charge. The 48-hour workshops will even be held on Twitch this year.

Some of the developer sessions will be live; others, prerecorded. Microsoft will likely release a full session list closer to the conference.

Can you watch Build 2020 online?

Yes. We will post the live-stream here once it’s available. You will likely also be able to watch from here.

What to expect at Build 2020

During last year’s keynote, Microsoft teased a new Minecraft AR game, Cortana improvements, the Chromium-based Edge browser, new privacy controls and the Collections feature in Edge, Microsoft Ideas for Office apps, the Fluid framework for creating and collaborating, and the Windows Terminal app. This year, the topics will still include the full gamut, according to ZDNet.

Expect to hear an update on the new Microsoft 265 plans, plus discussions on IoT, edge computing, bots, and AI. But, from what we can tell, there won’t be any hardware announcements or anything too interesting for consumers. The show will be all about developers this time around.

Want to know more?

Stay tuned to Pocket-lint’s Microsoft hub for what’s next at Build 2020.



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