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Coronavirus: Google, Microsoft among companies forced to cancel tech summits

Apart from Google and Microsoft, other companies including Facebook and Intel were forced to cancel their upcoming tech events due to the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Published: March 3, 2020 3:31 PM IST

The novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has shaken more flagship tech summits as Google and Microsoft on Tuesday announced the cancellation of their upcoming US events. For Google, this was the Cloud Next event in San Francisco in April. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s MVP Summit in Seattle in March now stands canceled. Both companies have made those events ‘digital-first’. Also Read - Coronavirus outbreak: Oracle postpones OpenWorld Asia event in Singapore

“We are transforming the event into Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect, a free, global, digital-first, multi-day event connecting our attendees to Next ’20 content and each other through streamed keynotes, breakout sessions, interactive learning, and digital ask an expert’ sessions with Google teams,” Google said in a statement. Also Read - Google moves Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 production to Vietnam due to Coronavirus outbreak: Report

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Google also said it would refund attendees both the cost of tickets for the event and hotel stays. Further, all registered attendees will be given access to the digital version of the event. Microsoft‘s MVP Summit, a networking event for its “Most Valuable Professional” program in March, has also turned into a virtual event. Also Read - GDC 2020 delayed as major companies back out over coronavirus fears

Who else is affected besides Google and Microsoft?

The two companies also have more events coming up. Google I/O 2020 and Microsoft Build conferences are slated for May. These events also stand a chance of being canceled. Facebook has already canceled its F8 developer conference in May. Recently, cloud major Oracle announced it is postponing the flagship, OpenWorld Asia. The event, currently scheduled for April 2020 in Singapore, owing to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.

“In the light of the ‘COVID-19′ outbreak and the recent pronouncement of a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation, we are postponing Oracle OpenWorld Asia,” the company said in an email.

Google has also canceled it’s Global News Initiative’ summit in northern California in April. Meanwhile, Microsoft canceled its ‘IoT in Action’ conference in Melbourne. Further, even Intel has canceled briefing sessions for its flagship conference. In mid-February, Cisco canceled its flagship Cisco Live conference in Melbourne and later in the month, Salesforce canceled its physical regional World Tour event for Sydney.

Meanwhile, Amazon has confirmed that two of its employees have been infected with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in Italy. Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener said that the company was “supporting the affected employees, who were in Milan and are now in quarantine”. Amazon has halted all non-essential travel, including trips within the US. Twitter also did the same

A Google employee in Switzerland was tested positive for COVID-19 last week at its office in Zurich, Switzerland.  The death toll due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China has risen to 2,943, authorities said on Tuesday, while the number of confirmed cases has reached 80,151.

(With inputs from IANS)

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  • Published Date: March 3, 2020 3:31 PM IST

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