The Coronavirus outbreak has already been wreaking havoc in the tech community around the globe. After Facebook was forced to drop the F8 conference, now Google has become the latest victim of the issue. The company has decided to cancel its I/O 2020 event in May due to the health threat. Also Read - Coronavirus: Google, Microsoft among companies forced to cancel tech summits
Google was originally supposed to hold the I/O 2020 event from May 12 to May 14 in Mountain View. Now the event has been canceled. Further, there is no word about what plans Google has, if any, for an alternative. However, the company does leave the possibility open. Also Read - New Google Home skill lets you 'talk' to PVR Cinemas to get movie listings, prices and more
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“Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre,” Google said in a statement. Also Read - Google Wear OS could soon get a bunch of health-centric features including SPO2 tracking
“Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with and continue to build our developer community. We’ll continue to update the Google I/O website,” added the company.
Unlike Google’s Cloud Next conference, the company has given no date or news about a later date or online-only version of the event. This leaves the door open to the fact that we may not see an I/O event at all this year. However, Google has left the option open for now. Further, the company has, however, pledged a sum of $1 million for small businesses and to increase STEM and computer science opportunities in Mountain View schools.
This marks the first time the Alphabet-owned company canceled its annual I/O conference. The company first held the event over 10 years ago in 2008. Further, it is not the only event to have been canceled or pushed back this year due to the outbreak.
Other affected companies besides Google
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.