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Microsoft, Apple open virtual dev conferences to all

Microsoft and Apple have both opened their annual developer conferences to all and will not charge admission for the virtual events.

Microsoft will host its Build confab May 19-21 and Apple will start its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 22. Apple did not say how long WWDC will run, but historically the conference has gone from Monday to Friday. June 22 is the second-to-last Monday of the month.

Previously, the companies had announced the cancellations of their usual physical events and replacement by all-digital versions. Both firms cited the ongoing pandemic as the reasons for their moves.

“In light of global health concerns due to COVID-19 and related government actions in Washington State, we will deliver our annual Microsoft Build for developers as a digital experience, in lieu of an in-person event,” Microsoft said in March.

Apple said something similar a few weeks later, blaming the “current health situation” without using either “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” in its statement.

Free Build

Build registration, which last year cost $2,395, will be free for 2020. “It’s not the Build we thought it would be, but it’s gonna be special,” wrote Scott Hanselman, principal program manager, in an April 20 post to a company blog. The two-day conference will start Tuesday, May 19, at 8 a.m. PT/ 11 a.m. ET, with the keynote address preceded by a message from CEO Satya Nadella.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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