In March Microsoft announced that the physical Microsoft Inspire (formerly WPC)  annual partner conference set to be held on the July 23 in Las Vegas was being cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.

At the time Microsoft did not announce any plans for a virtual event, but today Australian publication ARNnet confirmed that Inspire 2020 will now be held as a digital-only online event between the 21-22nd July 2020.

Registration will be open in June and will be free to all attendees, a significant discount from the $2,295 to $2,595 normal asking price.

In a message to their partner ecosystem,  Gavriella Schuster – corporate vice president of One Commercial Partner at Microsoft – said the conference will be “absolutely free” for partners across the world.

“That means you can invite as many people from your organisation as you like, so they can be a part of this very special experience,” added Schuster.

The move echos the plans for Build 2020, which will similarly be held online with pre-recorded and also live, interactive presentations and press rooms held in Teams.

Inspire is normally used to announce Microsoft’s channel strategy for the year ahead, alongside showcasing innovative partners from across the world. This year Microsoft is expected to be more flexible in their approach and more responsive to partner needs.

“Every day, we are learning more and more about the global impact of the coronavirus,” Schuster acknowledged at the time. “For decades, Microsoft partners have been at the centre of how we deliver technologies and business transformation to customers.

“Today, more than ever, we need to collaborate and co-innovate to meet those customers’ needs. For our part, that means ensuring that we’re giving you the support you need in the weeks and months to come.”

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