Microsoft times Build conference to fall outside Apple's shadow

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Microsoft will return to San Francisco in April to reprise its Build developers conference, the company announced today.

Build 2014 will run April 2-4, and again take place in the Moscone Center, the facility Microsoft used last June and the same one Apple has planted its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for 11 years running.

Registration for Build 2014 will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 9 a.m. PT on the conference’s website.

Microsoft has not posted an agenda, but in a blog post Friday, Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft’s chief evangelist in the company’s developer and platform group, said: “We’ll talk about what’s next for Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure, Windows Server, Visual Studio and much more.”

Speculation has swirled that Microsoft will launch an update for Windows Phone 8 and push out tweaks to Windows 8.1 around the timetable for Build. Microsoft is also expected to introduce a smaller-screen Surface tablet in 2014, perhaps at the conference.

Assuming analysts have scoped out the company’s CEO selection timing correctly, Build could also be the first forum for a new chief executive to step on stage, address developers and provide his or her take on the company’s strategies.

The scheduling move from June, when Microsoft held Build this year, gets the conference out of the shadow of WWDC, the annual Apple event that garners massive attention from bloggers and grabs mainstream media headlines because the Cupertino, Calif. company usually introduces new operating systems and some hardware on WWDC’s first day.

In 2013, WWDC took place at the Moscone Center two weeks before Build.

Prices for Build remained flat at $2095, the same as for 2013’s conference. Microsoft did not say, however, whether it would offer a $500 discount for the first 500 who register, as it has done in the past.

Developers should expect that Build will sell out—this year’s version did in about 24 hours—and plan to register when Microsoft opens its virtual ticket office early on Jan. 14.

This story, "Microsoft times Build conference to fall outside Apple's shadow" was originally published by Computerworld.

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