Microsoft is consolidating its TechEd, Microsoft Management Summit, SharePoint, Lync and Exchange conferences into a single, new unified tech conference.
Microsoft execs announced the new event -- minus its name -- on the Channel 9 blog on July 21.
Microsoft execs said the new conference will be held the week of May 4, 2015 in Chicago. They said they would provide more details in September 2014 about the event.
There have been rumors circulating for a while that Microsoft planned to phase out its TechEd conferences the same way that the company discontinued the Microsoft Management Summit.
I am thinking that Build, Microsoft's Windows development conference, will still happen independently of this new unified event, though there is nothing that promises that in today's announcement. Microsoft execs already have said there will be a separate Worldwide Partner Conference in 2015 in Orlando.
There's no official word as to why Microsoft is combining its various IT pro events. One reason probably involves cost-cutting, given the company is looking to tighten up its spending, as last week's layoffs of 18,000 made clear. Or it may be a case of Microsoft attempting to better align its admins and devs across its whole family of products (similar to what Oracle does with Oracle OpenWorld or Salesforce with Dreamforce.)
I've asked company officials whether Build will remain a standalone event and also what will happen with TechEd Europe after this year's event in Barcelona in October. I will update this post when and if I hear back.
Update: Build will remain a separate event, a spokesperson confirmed. As to what happens to TechEd Europe in 2015, "we have nothing more to share at this time," the spokesperson said. And as to what the new name of the unified show will be, Microsoft will share those details "in the coming months."