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Microsoft officially makes all events digital-only until July 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic

 Microsoft has officially announced to its partners that the company will make internal and external events digital-only until 2021.

According to an email sent by the company to its partners, obstacles created by a coronavirus pandemic are the impetus behind its decision

'In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, Microsoft has been closely monitoring the developing global situation and re-assessing the overall company-wide in-person event strategy,' reads an email posted to Twitter.

'As a company, Microsoft has made the decision to transition all external and internal events to a digital-first experience through July 2021.'

Notably, the decision to go digital-only until halfway through next year will affect the company's attendance of major tech events like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the biggest yearly trade in the world.    

Its decision also encompasses major gatherings like Microsoft Ignite which was scheduled to take place in September and acts as a springboard for developers and other IT professionals.

Already Microsoft had announced the cancellation of its Build developers conference as well as its Inspire conference slated for July that usually attracts about 40,000 attendees.  

The move mirrors those by other major tech companies including Google and Facebook. 

Google has already called off the remaining plans for one of its biggest conferences of the year, its annual I/O conference in San Francisco.

In a statement earlier this month, the company said I/O won't be taking place 'in any capacity this year' after cancelling an in-person conference earlier this month. 

'A GoogleIO update: Out of concern for the health and safety of our developers, employees, and local communities — and in line with “shelter in place” requirements by the local Bay Area government — we sadly will not be holding an I/O event in any capacity this year,' wrote the company on Twitter.

Microsoft will call off in-person events for the coming year amid an ongoing coronavirus pandemic that is forcing people around the world to remain isolated 

Google had previously said that it was looking into an 'alternative format' for the conference - most likely an online-only event.

Facebook announced last month that it was canceling its convention, the F8 developer's conference, which was due to take place in San Jose, California, in early May.

Facebook's Konstantinos Papamiltiadis cited 'growing concerns' around the virus, leading the tech giant to cancel the 'in-person component' of the conference.

Last year the event had drawn crowds of around 5,000 visitors. 

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