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Mix is Nixed

Microsoft axes its Web-focused developer conference, at which major announcements used to be made.

Microsoft continues its efforts at rebranding its conference offerings for developers, as it has dropped a popular Web-focused show. And as of right now, no replacement has been named.

The company has decided to shutter its annual Web developer-centric MIX conference in favor of a new and still-unnamed developer show that will take place sometime this year, the company said on Thursday.

"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," wrote Tim O'Brien, general manager of Developer & Platform Evangelism at Microsoft, in a TechNet blog post.

Instead, according to O'Brien, Microsoft is working on a new "major developer conference." He did not reveal when or where this new show will be held, saying only that Microsoft will begin sharing those details "later this year."

O'Brien indicated that MIX, which had been held in Las Vegas every spring since 2006, was originally intended to boost Microsoft's interactions with Web developers at a time when the company was still hammering out its Web standards and platform strategies. However, O'Brien said having a separate conference for Web developers no longer makes sense for the company. Additionally, attendees have complained about the glut of Microsoft developer confabs -- the company also holds multiple local and online events throughout the year -- and were confused about which to attend.

Microsoft has used past MIX conferences to make major product announcements. During 2010's MIX conference, Microsoft gave one of the first in-depth looks at its new Windows Phone mobile platform. At least year's event, Microsoft launched the platform preview of the next version of its Web browser, Internet Explorer 10. It also released a beta of Silverlight 5 and gave more details about the "Mango" update to Windows Phone.

Microsoft's decision to axe MIX comes just a month after it announced it was bowing out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). MIX is not the first developer conference Microsoft has cancelled; the Professional Developers Conference (PDC), which Microsoft has held intermittently since 1992, was unofficially replaced last year by the Build conference, during which Microsoft gave the first in-depth preview of the Windows 8 operating system.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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