Microsoft's developer conference sells out at $2,095 per head
But get on the waitlist and you could still get lucky
Proving that you don't have to be Google to generate frenzied hype around an otherwise staid and – to the layman – obscure tech event, Microsoft has announced that tickets for its annual Build developer conference have sold out.
Microsoft's frenzy didn't quite match Google's, however. This year's Google I/O show sold out in less than an hour. It took Microsoft two days to fill all of the seats at its event.
Build 2013 is set to take place from June 26 to 28 at San Francisco's Moscone Center – the same venue Google uses for its event – which will mark the first time Redmond has held a major developer event in the Bay Area since its Professional Developers Conference in 1996.
The location is a big improvement over last year's Build. Last time, Microsoft cheaped out and held the event at its Redmond campus in November. Attendees had to suffer the interminable drizzle of autumn in Washington while they waited for buses to shuttle them between keynotes and breakout sessions, which were held in two buildings located a mile apart from each other.
You can't really blame Microsoft for wanting to save some coin, though. All 2,000-plus attendees of Build 2012 received a 32GB Surface RT and a Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone running Windows 8, which surely drove up costs.
Tickets for Build 2013 were going for an eye-watering $2,095 – or $1,595 if you were lucky enough to be one of the first 500 to register – so it's entirely possible that Microsoft is planning a similar goodie-bag giveaway for this year's conference. If it is, though, no one is saying what will be in it.
So far, the most highly anticipated announcement of the event is expected to be about software, rather than hardware. It's believed Microsoft plans to use the conference to debut a preview version of its new Windows update pack, codenamed "Blue" and to be known as Windows 8.1 when it ships.
Redmond hasn't even fessed up to that yet, though. All Microsoft corporate VP of developer & platform evangelism Steve Guggenheimer had to say about it in March was:
At Build, we'll share updates and talk about what's next for Windows, Windows Server, Windows Azure, Visual Studio and more. Build is the path to creating and implementing your great ideas, and then differentiating them in the market.
Few surprises there.
One thing that is a little odd about Build 2013, however, is its timing. The conference will overlap all but one day of Microsoft's TechEd Europe 2013, set to take place in Madrid, Spain, which also features content for enterprise developers. How much overlap there will be between the two shows' programming is unclear.
Assuming you weren't able to secure a ticket for Build 2013 – and let's face it, that's a fairly safe assumption – you have two options. First, you can sign up for the waiting list and hope that additional seats open up before the event.
Failing that, or if you don't expect to have $2,095 lying around when your number is called, you can watch the conference programming online. Microsoft says it plans to broadcast live streams of Build keynotes, sessions, and Channel 9 talks. More information will be revealed on the Build website as the conference approaches. ®