Google, Microsoft turn mega tech summits into virtual ones because of coronavirus


Google, on Tuesday announced that it is going to cancel the physical part of Cloud Next. Cloud Next is a cloud-focussed event and Google’s largest annual conference. Instead of the physical event, Google will host the event’s digital alternative.

Google has said it will try its best to keep the digital event in line with the physical event. So, there will be keynotes, breakout sessions and the provision to interact with experts.

“We are transforming the event into Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect, a free, global, digital-first, multi-day event connecting our attendees to Next ’20 content and each other through streamed keynotes, breakout sessions, interactive learning and digital ask an expert’ sessions with Google teams,” Google said in a statement.

Cloud Next was slated to run from April 6 to April 8. The virtual event will be called “Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect”.

“Innovation is in Google’s DNA and we are leveraging this strength to bring you an immersive and inspiring event this year without the risk of travel,” Google added.

Google has announced a refund for all the tickets that were booked for the event. All hotel reservations will also be automatically cancelled through its conference reservation system.

Moreover, all the participants who had signed up for the conference will be registered for the digital conference automatically, free of cost.

In addition to this, Microsoft’s MVP Summit, an event for the Microsoft’s “Most Valuable Professional” programme scheduled in March, has also turned into a virtual event, IANS reported.

Only a few days back, Facebook announced cancellation of its F8 developer conference which was scheduled in May.

With the scare of the widespread endemic, several tech companies are cancelling their events. There is also uncertainty about Google I/O and Microsoft Build conferences that are scheduled for May.

Google has also cancelled its Global News Initiative summit in Northern California in April. Other than this, Microsoft has cancelled its IoT in action conference in Melbourne.

Amazon confirmed that two of its employees have been infected with the COVID -19 virus in Italy. Google, too, had an employee who was infected with the virus in its Switzerland office.

Twitter announced that it would restrict all business travel for its employees. It even strongly suggested to all its employees to work from home.


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