Social media was abuzz with reaction from developers on Tuesday when registration information for Microsoft’s Build 2016 conference revealed that (gasp) there would be no hardware giveaways at this year’s confab.
In the past, those freebies have helped offset the steep price of admission; last year’s attendees got a free HP Spectre x360 convertible Windows notebook. One commenter on WindowsCentral had this to say about the lack of giveaways this year:
As a manager deciding where to send my staff, I can say that this absolutely plays a part in my decision. This conference is considerably more expensive than others I can send people to. By returning with new hardware that we can develop for, and test on, it makes my ROI calculation work out. Otherwise, I’m not sure it’s worth the high cost.
But doubts like that didn’t stop the $2,195-a-pop tickets from selling out in a record-breaking one minute on Tuesday, according to a Tweet from Microsoft executive Steve Guggenheimer. (The conference takes place March 30 to April 1 in San Francisco. If you wanted to go but didn’t get to sign up, you can put your name on the waitlist or watch the live stream.)
Microsoft promises that resources are instead being directed towards providing “a deeper technical experience for developers” including “Code Labs providing hands-on coding time with Microsoft experts [and] dialogue with speakers in our Expert Zone.”
The company also announced a one-day mini-conference focused on the Microsoft Edge web browser for April 4:
Also in San Francisco, the Microsoft Edge Web Summit will be free to attend. Registration opens later this month.