Google I/O 2020 Falls to Coronavirus Too

Posted on March 3, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Dev, Google, Mobile with 12 Comments

Google has predictably canceled its annual I/O event, which had been scheduled for May, because of the Coronavirus outbreak. I expect Microsoft to cancel Build 2020 soon as well.

“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,” an email from Google to I/O attendees reads.

Attendees will receive a full refund from Google by March 13, the email adds. And the firm is looking into ways to “evolve” Google /IO to “best connect with [its] developer community.” That seems to suggest that Google will no longer host live I/O events in the future, either.

Google I/O was originally scheduled for May 12-14, which is the week before Build 2020. And while Microsoft has yet to announce it’s canceling that show, it almost certainly will.

“In light of the global health concerns due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Microsoft is monitoring public health guidance in relation to in-person events,” a message on the Build website notes. “At this time, global health authorities have not issued guidance to avoid travel to this location. We are looking carefully at our event calendar as well as our presence at industry events in the coming months. We are not taking decisions lightly, but the health and well-being of our employees, partners, customers and other guests remain our ultimate priority. We will continue to monitor and make any necessary changes as the situation evolves.”

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Comments (12)

12 responses to “Google I/O 2020 Falls to Coronavirus Too”

  1. lvthunder

    Such as shame. So many people are going to lose work over this. I would think a majority of the attendees wouldn't even get that sick if they contracted Coronavirus. By then it'll either be everywhere already or gone for the summer.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to lvthunder:

      Wow I guess worrying about people's jobs is enough to get down votes around here. My best friend runs a company that builds stages, and does all the other setup and tear down for these conferences here in Las Vegas. For something like Google I/O you are talking about 400-500 people without work. That's just to build and take it a part. That's not even the people who cook the food and everything else attendees take for granted.

  2. darkgrayknight

    So far the Coronavirus is pretty good at killing conferences or converting them from in-person to online-only. Also may impact companies to move toward more remote work options.

  3. wolters

    I honestly don't know what to think about all of these cancellations...



    I just hope SpiceWorld 2020 is still going to happen...that's one of my favorite conferences...

  4. rmlounsbury

    I'm guessing the LinuxFest event I attend at the end of April will get cancelled. I'm hoping SharePoint Fest Seattle is safe since it isn't until August.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to rmlounsbury:

      It probably depends on where it's at and if the organizer can afford to cancel it. Just because you cancel the show doesn't necessarily mean you can get out of the contract you signed with the host. These big companies like Google and Adobe can eat that cost, but it could wipe out a little company.

  5. bart

    "..... we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event...."


    Physical. So Google will do an online event

  6. Paul Thurrott

    Perhaps we didn't get the memo on personal attacks or trolling comments. Guys, please. We gotta grow up.

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