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Microsoft Cancels Inspire, Its Partner Conference

Gavriella SchusterMicrosoft announced that it is canceling Inspire 2020, the firm’s annual partner conference, which was set for July.

“The safety of our community is a top priority,” Microsoft corporate vice president Gavriella Schuster writes in a new addition to her original Inspire post. “In light of health safety recommendations from public health authorities, we will not be holding Microsoft Inspire 2020 as an in-person event. We are exploring alternative ways to bring our partner community together to connect and learn. Stay tuned for more details to come.”

Inspire is the second major Microsoft conference to fall to the Coronavirus this year: The firm canceled Build 2020, which had been set for mid-May, about ten days ago. That event will be held virtually, and as indicated in Ms. Schuster’s comments above, the firm could obviously go in that direction with Inspire too.

This leaves Ignite, Microsoft’s biggest conference, as the final piece of the company’s major in-person event schedule for the year. Ignite was held in November last year, a change from the normal schedule, but this year it’s scheduled again for September, in New Orleans. Microsoft will obviously make a decision on Ignite soon, but I can’t imagine an event as big as Ignite continuing as-is, regardless of what happens with the Coronavirus in the intervening months.

As I wrote previously, there are powerful factions withing Microsoft that would like to kill Build and make Ignite the company’s single major conference for customers. This doesn’t impact Inspire, as that event is for partners, not customers.


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