In brief: Microsoft originally planned to host its annual Build developer conference in Seattle in mid-May. The in-person portion of the event has since been scrapped due to ongoing concerns about Covid-19, or the coronavirus.
Earlier this week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee put a ban on events that attract more than 250 people. The ban is in effect for several counties across the state including King County, where Microsoft's hometown is located.
A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge that they will deliver Build as a digital event this year. "We look forward to bringing together our ecosystem of developers in this new virtual format to learn, connect and code together," the spokesperson added.
More details will be released as they become available, we're told. It's unclear how Microsoft will handle access to the digital event as tickets to the in-person experience are quite pricey at $2,395 each.
As we get deeper into the pandemic, it is becoming clear that the leading line of defense in the absence of a vaccine and medication approved to treat it is to take social distancing measures. This means that most events where people gather in large groups, like sporting events and tech conferences, are being suspended at unprecedented levels.
The approach won't stop the virus in its tracks, mind you, but could instead slow it enough to make it more manageable. One of the worst things that could happen is a sudden influx of infections that overwhelm healthcare facilities.
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