Expected coronavirus restrictions could force Microsoft to cancel Build 2020

Microsoft logo at Ignite
Microsoft logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Governor of Washington is expected to announce restrictions on gatherings of more than 250 people due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Microsoft's Build 2020 conference could be affected by potential restrictions.
  • Build 2020 is currently set to take place from May 19-21 in Seattle.

Washington's governor is expected to announce restrictions on gatherings of more than 250 people later today to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Seattle Times reports that Governor Jay Inslee will announce the restrictions later today and that they will affect gatherings in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties in Washington state. The move is aimed at sporting events, concerts, and other cultural events, according to the Seattle Times, but could also affect Microsoft's Build 2020 conference in May.

According to a source that spoke with The Times, Governor Inslee will announce the restrictions at a news conference in Seattle.

If gatherings of more than 250 people are restricted, it would likely cause Microsoft to cancel its Build 2020 conference. While some activities involving more than 250 people might still be allowed to occur, such as schools being open, it seems unlikely that a conference like Build 2020 would be exempt from restrictions.

Track COVID-19 using Microsoft Edge and this useful web app

Several Microsoft event websites have banners at the top about the coronavirus, which states that "Microsoft is monitoring public health guidance in relation to in-person events." Several major events have already been canceled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and it appears that more could be canceled in the future. Recent rumors state that the upcoming E3 conference could be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Build 2020 is currently scheduled for May 19-21, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).