Microsoft cancels pre-conference sessions at Build Windows 8 event

Microsoft cancels pre-conference sessions at Build Windows 8 event

Summary: If you're among those going to the Windows 8 Build conference next month, be advised the scheduled pre-conference is no longer happening.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Windows

It's just over a month until Microsoft's much-touted Build conference. There's still no session list or speakers list. There's also -- as of the past day or so -- no pre-conference.

Microsoft's original plan, as documented on its Build Web site, was to host a pre-conference on Monday September 12, followed by four days of sessions.Here's a cached version of the Build page showing the scheduled pre-conference:

Thanks to a tip on August 9 by one of my Twitter buds (@preconsult), I saw the pre-conference had been removed from the agenda.

I asked Microsoft officials why the preconference was removed. Here's the official statement:

"In order to better focus on all the new content that will be covered at BUILD, we decided to optimize for the four main days of the event, which will include an enormous number of speakers and sessions. Registration is open on Monday but there will not be any formal sessions for attendees that day. We’re communicating the change now so people have the option to change their travel arrangements."

That's it. I'm not sure what kind of content was due to be presented or by whom, but it's moot at this point.

Build is sold out, but Microsoft is planning to stream the keynotes live and make available publicly all of the session content a day after they happen.

Microsoft has positioned the Build show as a replacement for its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) and WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference) — at least for this year. There’s no word as to whether Build will be a recurring event or how much (if any) Windows Phone, Xbox/XNA and/or Azure development content will be included as part of the conference.

Build is expected to focus on Windows 8 and the Windows 8 development platform. Microsoft officials have said attendees will have a chance to play with the Windows 8 bits. Company officials have not confirmed whether the company will release a beta or developer preview build of Windows 8 client and server at the conference, but this is widely expected.

Update: A few folks have suggested to me on Twitter that Microsoft couldn't hold a pre-conference if they wanted to save their big surprises and secret content until Day 1 of the show (Tuesday the 13th). I thought the pre-con might include things like HTML5/JavaScript tutorials and information for those steeped in .Net and Silverlight.... In any case, the pre-con is gone....

Topics: Microsoft, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • For me, it was 9/11

    I didn't sign up for the pre-con because that would have meant travelling on the 10th anniversary of 9/11... who wants to do that?

    Perhaps attendance was too low to make the Monday session worthwhile...
  • WinHEC rolled into Build Windows

    I don't think you will find enough driver development content at Build Windows to attract driver writers that would normally go to WinHEC. IMO the WinHEC that is being rolled into Build Windows is the marketing roadmap type of information. If my hunch is correct then it makes me wonder how Microsoft will support ARM in Windows 8 if the driver writers don't have the information they need to build drivers.
  • What are they thinking?

    I bet everyone who signed up for the conference has already made airline and hotel reservations. Not a lot of choice but to go early because you would have to pay a $150 cancellation fee to the airline and for the room since it was a prepaid hotel.

    They could have had sessions on Windows Phone, TFS, Parallel Programming or even Windows Azure so no big secrets were exposed.

    I never expected total cancellation.
    • Thinking?

      You're joking;-) it so much fun watching MS these days. Can't even organise a conference without upsetting people.
      Richard Flude
      • RE: Microsoft cancels pre-conference sessions at Build Windows 8 event

        @Richard Flude It's so much fun watching trolls these days. Gotta slam companies over silly things like conferences.
      • Flude....

        @Richard Flude, at least your parents had the foresight to name you appropriately.
  • RE: Microsoft cancels pre-conference sessions at Build Windows 8 event

    Maybe the internal battle between the WinDiv and the DevDiv has heated up again thanks to all the "feedback" they've been getting and they don't know what they're going to be presenting? Or maybe the bigwigs have finally figured out you can't create real applications in HTML and they don't know what they're going to be presenting? A developer can hope, can't he?
    Sir Name
  • RE: Microsoft cancels pre-conference sessions at Build Windows 8 event

    I thought the biggest mistake MSFT has ever made was bundling IE into the OS core. then they spent years getting rid of it. seems like they are back at it again?
  • RE: Microsoft cancels pre-conference sessions at Build Windows 8 event

    On the bright side, now I can go to Disney on Monday. :) Microsoft had better not slight .NET developers, or they are going to have a rotten tomato problem at the keynote.
  • RE: Microsoft cancels pre-conference sessions at Build Windows 8 event

    @MaryJo I am looking forward to meet you up at Windows 8 Build conference.. i hope you would be there during 13-16 Sep
  • Good article, so how about this...

    There are thousands of organizations with legacy VB6 code, and untold numbers of their customers who run the programs and will eventually upgrade to Windows 8.

    I cannot overemphasize the value to those folks of knowing now as to whether existing VB6 apps will run on Windows 8. Rumors abound - no it won't; just install the VB6 runtime and it will work; etc.

    I would love to see you use you knowledge of the "inside" to put out something solid for the rest of us to work with.

    Any software developer(s) who wait until Windows 8 is almost out to start figuring this out will not have time to migrate VB6 legacy code to .NET.

    Is that really what MS wants to have happen, and the PR disaster that would follow?
    • MSBassSinger

      @MSBassSinger , you've got to be kidding. .NET has been out for over 10 years and MS has offered help, tutorials, documents, webcasts and many other forms of instruction for free to help people migrate to .net.
      Why would any company or developer still be using VB6 code after a decade of knowing it would be in their best interest and make their code vastly more secure?
      • RE: Microsoft cancels pre-conference sessions at Build Windows 8 event

        @xuniL_z, you've got to be kidding. How long did it take to move off COBOL code - oh wait, some big companies still haven't done that.

        Why would any company or developer swap out working VB6 code that's worked flawlessly for 10 years to replace it with something unproven? Sure, they know they have to do it *sometime*, but the value proposition is just never there and the risk is always less to just leave working code alone.

        First rule of engineering: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  • RE: Microsoft cancels pre-conference sessions at Build Windows 8 event

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