Microsoft has axed its web developer-focused MIX conference, saying it no longer makes sense to separate such technologies out from the others it uses.
MIX has been running every spring since 2006, but on Tuesday Microsoft developer 'evangelist' Tim O'Brien announced that 2011's event was the last. Apart from the now integral nature of web technologies, he said Microsoft simply had too many developer events.
"We have decided to merge MIX, our spring web conference for developers and designers, into our next major developer conference, which we will host sometime in the coming year," O'Brien wrote in a blog post. "I know a number of folks were wondering about MIX, given the time of year, so we wanted to make sure there's no ambiguity, and be very clear… there will be no MIX 2012."
According to O'Brien, there are two reasons for the decision to scrap MIX: "event fatigue" and the now-redundant raison d'être behind the conference.
Microsoft runs many events, most notably the annual BUILD conference, but also smaller and more local gatherings. "Developers were confused, and asking us about which event to go to," O'Brien said, adding that the same could be said for reporters and analysts.
"Something that was more behind the scenes but very relevant to the time management aspect relates to our engineering teams," O'Brien continued. "If you've gone to a Microsoft developer event, you know that a non-trivial percentage of speakers and participants are from engineering […] their time is one of the most valuable resources we have in the company. We want to be more efficient with that resource."
The big reason, however, is that MIX was specific to web developers, and web technologies are now pervasive throughout Microsoft's portfolio, from HTML5 in Windows 8's Metro interface to the online nature of Office 365.
"The notion that the 'web community' is somehow separate and distinct from the community of developers we care about no longer makes any sense," O'Brien wrote. "Some had even called out the existence of a separate web event as proof that we don't 'get' the web. It's a fair point… when we get developers together to talk about what we’re doing in the platform, the web discussion should be part and parcel to everything we talk about."
O'Brien said Microsoft would give further information about its next developer event later this year.