The dates of the Build conference have been the subject of several rumors over the past few weeks. Now it looks like it’s official: Build, Microsoft’s annual developer conference – which will be a virtual event again this year – will take place May 25-27.
Microsoft is now posting Build 2021 on its public events page. (Thanks to Donovan Brown, Microsoft Partner Program Manager, for the link.) Microsoft’s dedicated Build conference site, meanwhile, has yet to be updated to reflect this year’s official dates.
A spokesperson confirmed to me that these were the correct dates. Regarding the opening date for registrations, he did not have any information to share.
This year, Microsoft is complementing its major main conferences with smaller virtual “What’s Next” events. A “What’s Next for Gaming” event is expected in the coming weeks. From what I’ve heard, it’s not the same as the Game Stack Live event, which is also mentioned in the US events list.
It is also unclear whether the “What’s Next for Windows” event will be the Build 2021 conference itself, or a separate virtual event, which would take place just before it. Microsoft has chosen this year to split the announcements for some of the biggest products into separate virtual events. For example, Microsoft launched more of its vertical cloud offerings at the “What’s Next for Industry” event in February. The Spring Ignite conference also took the place of “What’s Next for Cloud”. Microsoft is also expected to host a virtual “What’s Next for Security” event later this year.
Microsoft is trying to strengthen engagement around Windows this year, after several years of declining energy and focus on promoting this business. So, the Build conference may actually include new features to highlight Windows 10X, Windows 10 21H2, and more. Recent Build events have focused heavily on Office, Azure, Power Platform, Internet of Things (IoT) and, to a lesser extent, Windows.