It's that time of year again: Time to look ahead to 2013 and figure out which Microsoft conferences and launch events are worth attending in the coming year.
No doubt, like the case this year, there will be some surprise additions to the tried-but-true show calendar. Microsoft is taking a page from Apple's book and creating more of its own dedicated launch events for specific products -- primarily, if not exclusively, on the consumer front -- rather than attempting to shoe-horn its announcements into bigger shows, like CES. (The exception to this is Mobile World Congress, which the Windows Phone team continues to use as a venue for new product and technology announcements.
There are plenty of scheduled and rumored Microsoft conferences and launches already slated for the coming year. Here's my list so far.
Microsoft Office 2013 launch
Late January (location and exact date unknown)
MVP Summit (invitation only)
Feb 18-21 Bellevue and Redmond
Lync Conference 2013
February 19-21 San Diego
Mobile World Congress 2013
February 25-28 Barcelona
March 18-21 New Orleans
Game Developers Conference 2013
March 25-29 San Francisco
Microsoft Management Summit 2013
April 8-12 Las Vegas
Microsoft Hosting Summit 2013
May 21-23 Seattle
TechEd North America 2013
June 3-6 New Orleans
TechEd Europe 2013
(No exact dates avail yet, but expected at end of June) Madrid
June 11-13 Los Angeles
Worldwide Partner Conference 2013
July 7-11 Houston
Microsoft Global CIO Summit (invitation only)
September 17-19 Redmond
SQL PASS 2013
Microsoft Build 2013
Fall 2013 (exact dates/location unknown)
Xbox 720 launch
Fall 2013 (exact date/location unknown)
Anyone know of other noteworthy Microsoft-specific launch/show events that I'm missing?