As I've been doing for the past few years, I've compiled a list of Microsoft-specific events -- and events where Microsoft typically makes some news (directly or indirectly) for calendar 2015.What's interesting this year is there are fewer shows on my list, primarily because Microsoft has consolidated a number of its events, including TechEd, the Microsoft Management Summit and the Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Project conferences, into a single event called Ignite.
It's also worth pointing out that Microsoft increasingly has been moving away from timing its product and strategy news to release during big industry mega-events. Microsoft has a very minimal presence at CES this year -- so minimal, I didn't even put CES on this year's list. Instead, the Softies increasingly are using their own orchestrated events to unveil new products and technologies. (See the upcoming January 21 Windows 10 day as just one example.)
Here's what's on the list, so far, for this year:
January 21: Windows 10: The next chapter (Redmond, Wash.) Invitation only event for press, analysts, but morning keynote will be live streamed.
February 3-5: TechDays Online 2015 (Reading, UK) Streamed, free event with tracks for developers, IT pros and more. Shameless plug: I'm keynoting this year on Feb. 3.
March 2-5: Mobile World Congress 2015 (Barcelona) Will we see any new flagship Windows Phones here (from Microsoft or other WP OEMs)? Got me, but hope so.
March 2-6: Game Developers Conference 2015 (San Francisco) Maybe we'll hear more about how Windows 10 fits in with Xbox One?
March 16-19: Convergence 2015 (Atlanta) Microsoft's Dynamics showcase for customers, partners. It's all about CRM/ERP.
March 18-19: WinHEC (Shenzhen, China) WinHEC, Microsoft's Windows hardware engineering conference, makes a comeback after a seven year absence. (Note: This is an invitation-only show.)
April 29-May 1: Build 2015 (San Francisco) Windows 10, Windows 10, Windows 10! Probably a bit too early for RTM, but no doubt lots of good Windows 10 info (and maybe new preview builds).
May 4-8: Microsoft Ignite (Chicago) Ignite replaces and brings under a single umbrella a number of Microsoft conferences including TechEd, the Microsoft Management Summit, the Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Project conferences. Lots of big-name Microsoft execs are on the speakers list.
June 2-6: Computex 2015 (Taipei). Another OEM/device showcase.
June 16-18: E3 (Los Angeles). Games galore -- perhaps for both PCs and Xbox.And maybe the debut ofthat rumored Microsoft gaming helmet, a k a "Project B."
July 12-16: Worldwide Partner Conference 2015 (Orlando) Microsoft's annual show for its partners usually features some interesting product and strategy announcements.
Some time in Q3 2015: Windows 10, Office 16 launch(es) Remember, launch doesn't coincide with release to manufacturing, which -- at least for Windows 10 -- could still occur around late spring/early summer if the tipsters are right. The launch will likely be an orchestrated marketing event.
September 4-9: IFA 2015 (Berlin) Another consumer electronics show w. PC/device showcase
October 27-30: SQL PASS Summit 2015 (Seattle). Some Microsoft data platform/database announcements typically happen here.
Before anyone asks, I don't know when Build registration opens; I'd think it should be soon.
Update (January 13): Microsoft Build 2015 registration opens at 9 a.m. PT on January 22.
And as to whether there will be some kind of TechEd Europe replacement this year (other than Ignite in Chicago), I do not know, but have heard a non-virtual show is looking unlikely.
Any other shows you'd suggest I add to the list?