Microsoft officials claim Build 2016 sold out in five minutes

Microsoft's Build 2016 conference sold out in under five minutes, company officials say. But given all the registration problems, it's hard to declare victory.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

If you were one of the developers hankering for a spot for Microsoft's upcoming Build 2016 conference, you may know the registration process that kicked off at noon ET on January 19 didn't go too smoothly.


Actually, "fiasco" might not be too strong of a description.

Microsoft opened Build 2016 registration at noon, as planned, but anyone who registered immediately was told the conference was sold out and they were wait listed.

I didn't hear from anyone who got a registration confirmation until about 45 minutes after registration was opened. Then I heard from a few folks who registered within the first 15 minutes or so who were getting belated confirmations that they had, indeed, registered -- even though they had been told they were wait listed.

Microsoft's official statement is Build 2016, its annual developer conference, sold out in under five minutes. Microsoft officials are not saying how many registrants it planned to let into the show.

The statement from a spokesperson:

"We're excited to see the continued interest in Build. The conference sold out in under 5 minutes, but we encourage developers to register for the wait list should additional tickets open up. Keynotes and select sessions will be also be streamed live starting at 8:30am on Wednesday, March 30. The conference sold out in 45 minutes last year."

(Last year, for what it's worth, there were problems with the Build registration process, too.)

A new and interesting footnote regarding this year's build is that Microsoft will not provide any hardware giveaways at this year's show. I wasn't expecting Microsoft to give away the HoloLens augmented reality goggles to attendees, given the HoloLens developer kits cost $3,000 a pop, but I guess some people were.

A statement on the company's Build web site -- confirmed by the aforementioned spokesperson -- is no hardware freebies this year for attendees. (Thanks to Morten Neilsen for tweeting this.)

"This year, we will forgo hardware in favor of delivering a deeper technical experience for developers. In addition to great sessions from technical leaders and technology experts, you'll discover Code Labs providing hands-on coding time with Microsoft experts, dialogue with speakers in our Expert Zone, or visit The Hub to see the latest in technology from Microsoft and select partners," the Build site noted.

I'm thinking there will still be giveaways at Build. But probably more software and services type stuff. What's a developer show these days without some kind of giveaways?

Build 2016 will be held in San Francisco from March 30 to April 1, 2016. A one-day developers conference for those interested in the Microsoft Edge browser is slated for April 4, the Monday after Build concludes.

Microsoft is expected to talk more about VSCode, its light-weight cross-platform code editor, its Visual Studio developer tools, Windows 10 and the Universal Windows Platform and more at Build this year. Hopefully, we'll also get an updated status report on the bridges Microsoft is working on to help bring apps to Windows 10. Microsoft will likely post the session list for the show very shortly before it begins, as in previous years.

Editorial standards