Microsoft to replace Mix with a new developer conference

Microsoft is doing away with its annual Mix designer/developer event. This year, instead, the company is planning a developer conference likely to focus on Windows 8.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

The rumors were true: Microsoft is doing away with its annual Mix conference for designers and developers after a six-year run. Microsoft officials finally confirmed that there will be no Mix '12 -- and no future Mix events -- via a blog post on January 24.

There is, however, going to be some kind of Microsoft developer event in calendar 2012, though Microsoft officials said they haven't yet decided on its name, date or location. I'd bet whatever it is will be anchored to the releases of Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012. (It sounds like this mystery event isn't happening any time soon, so don't expect it to be timed with the delivery of the beta/"Consumer Preview" of Windows 8, which is expected by late February, 2012.)

Microsoft also will continue to hold smaller, local and Web-casted developer events throughout the year, as well, today's blog post noted.

When Microsoft replaced its Professional Developers Conference with BUILD in September 2011, there were some rumblings that BUILD also might end up replacing Microsoft’s annual Mix conference.

"As we look ahead to 2012 and beyond, the goal is to ensure that global Microsoft developer events are of the caliber that many of you experienced at BUILD last September," blogged Tim O'Brien, General Manager of Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE).

Microsoft execs aren't linking the death of Mix to anything to do with Silverlight, despite the fact that Mix got its start largely as a promotional vehicle for Windows Presentation Foundation and WPF/e (a k a Silverlight). Microsoft officials didn't share today any new information about what's next for Silverlight. (Yes, I asked again.)

Instead, the Softies are attributing the end of Mix to the fact that the company has largely addressed the shortcomings that Mix originally was created to fix. Internet Explorer is no longer a Web standards laggard. Microsoft's Web platform and open-source tools/platforms outreach is on far more solid footing than it was back in 2006. And, as O'Brien acknowledges, Microsoft is trimming back on the number of major conferences it is sponsoring -- and, I'd add, in some cases, attending, like the Consumer Electronics Show.

I think developers who've been starting to work on Windows 8 apps -- and those who are raring to do so --  will agree that more information, documentation and time meeting with Microsoft engineers will be welcome.

Let's see if Microsoft times the coming dev event (DEVELOP? WRITE? BUILD 2.0?) with the Windows 8 Release Candidate, its RTM or its launch... And if we potential attendees get to vote on location/timing, I vote Seattle in September. Anyone else have guesses/suggestions for the timing/content/location of the coming devcon?

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