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Microsoft Abandons Its Mix Conference To Build A New One

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

Microsoft has cancelled its Mix 2012 conference for Web developers and designers in favour of a bigger event later

Microsoft has announced it is killing off its springtime Mix developer conference to hold another major developer conference later in 2012.

Microsoft launched the Mix events in 2006, with the last one running April 12-14, 2011, in Las Vegas. Microsoft heralded the conferences as “conversations” with developers, primarily Web developers.

Mixing with other developers

A description of the 2011 Mix event read: “Mix is a gathering of developers, designers, UX experts and business professionals creating the most innovative and profitable consumer sites on the Web. Sessions range from technical, code-based topics to expert advice on content strategy, usability and design. Explore the future of the standards-based Web – join the conversation at Mix11.”

However, in a blog post, Tim O’Brien, general manager of Developer and Platform Evangelism at Microsoft, said, “We have decided to merge Mix, our spring Web conference for developers and designers, into our next major developer conference, which we will host sometime in the coming year. I know a number of folks were wondering about Mix, given the time of year, so we wanted to make sure there’s no ambiguity, and be very clear… there will be no Mix 2012.”

O’Brien noted that Microsoft launched Mix in 2006 after coming up with the idea for the event at the close of the 2005 Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC). The plan at the time was to focus on the Microsoft Web platform, which featured Internet Explorer 6 at that time.

“The notion that the ‘Web community’ is somehow separate and distinct from the community of developers we care about no longer makes any sense,” O’Brien said. “Some had even called out the existence of a separate Web event as proof that we don’t ‘get’ the Web… it’s a fair point… when we get developers together to talk about what we’re doing in the platform, the Web discussion should be part and parcel to everything we talk about.”

In September 2011, Microsoft held its Build conference in Anaheim, California, to begin to give developers a look at the development environment for the upcoming Windows 8 environment. But that remains an on-going initiative for Microsoft. The next Microsoft developer event will take that message further and will purportedly include messaging about developing for the Windows Phone and Windows Azure cloud platform.

O’Brien added, “As we look ahead to 2012 and beyond, the goal is to ensure that global Microsoft developer events are of the calibre that many of you experienced at Build last September, in addition to the thousands of online and local developer events we host around the world to support communities and connect directly with developers. We will share more details of our next developer event later this year. In the meantime, know that we are we are hard at work and will look forward to seeing many of you there.”