We have been wondering in recent weeks what will happen with WWDC 2020 given the outbreak of coronavirus around the world. Several companies have already cancelled or changed the schedule of their conferences, such as Facebook F8 and Google I/O. Now it was Microsoft that announced the in-person Build Conference has been cancelled.
The report was first confirmed by Paul Thurrott on Twitter. Microsoft Build was scheduled to take place between May 19 and 21, 2020 in Seattle. The event brings together thousands of developers from all over the world, just like Apple’s WWDC. With concerns about the coronavirus epidemic, the company decided to cancel the event this year.
Thurrott said that the conference will be virtual this year. A similar approach was adopted by Google with the I/O conference, which will only have sessions streamed to developers. So far, there’s only one major tech company left to speak about that: Apple.
WWDC is held annually in June, but Apple usually confirms the event by March. However, the company has not yet commented on the situation. The Santa Clara County, which includes Cupertino and San Jose, has recently banned all mass gatherings for the next three weeks.
This order will take effect at 12:00 a.m. on March 11, 2020 and will remain in place for three weeks as more widespread testing becomes available and we are able to learn more about the spread of COVID-19. We are also announcing new, stronger guidance for the general public and for many specific groups designed to reduce the spread of the virus in our community.
What will Apple decide about it? Will the company also hold the event exclusively online? We cannot say that for sure yet, but an official statement should come out in the next few days.