Microsoft has quietly transformed its upcoming software developer and system integrator conference, Windows Summit 2010, from a physical event to a virtual one. Webinars, anyone?
The event, which aims to attract software, device and system "technical implementers" interested in developing or building systems on Windows 7, had been originally planned to be held at Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) corporate campus in Redmond, Wash. The confab was set to run from May 25 through 27.
However, with less than a month to go before the conference, the company decided to instead hold the summit online--ostensibly, to make the event accessible to a larger, more dispersed audience.
"In making this an online event, we have made the content more digestible by giving you a month of great topics, tools and resources," Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc said in a post to the Windows 7 Team Blog late Wednesday afternoon.
The Windows Summit 2010 will kick off on May 25 with a session track directed towards both firmware and software engineers interested in developing Windows 7 applications for devices. That will be followed by a track for system implementers that begins on June 2.
Finally, on June 16, Microsoft plans to roll out a session track for software developers and testers interested in Windows 7 and related technologies.
Among the topics to be covered in the software track, for instance, will be "touch, Windows desktop, libraries, the Windows sensors and location platform, Windows error reporting, and rich Web applications using Internet Explorer 9," according to a description of the track at the summit's site.
Some observers have opined that the summit is meant to make up for the lack of a recent Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, known as "WinHEC." Microsoft has held that event annually for more than a decade, but did not hold one last year.
However, WinHEC is primarily targeted towards hardware developers whereas Windows Summit 2010 addresses the core of Microsoft's developer and implementer partners and customers -- a much broader base than simply hardware.
Instead, the timing of the Windows Summit appears to be planned to help jump-start a surge in new Windows 7 applications, devices, and systems, that in turn will help support Microsoft's bottom line, moving into fiscal 2011, which begins July 1.
Last week, Microsoft reported that strong sales of Windows 7 helped its revenues and earnings to new records. At that time, the company said that ten percent of all PCs are now running Windows 7, which had its consumer launch on Oct. 22.
The conference is also likely to attract IT professionals who are gearing up to deploy Windows 7 in their businesses.
Online registration for Windows Summit 2010 has not started yet, but when it does, will be available at the summit's site.