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Microsoft scraps in-person Windows conference

Company had planned a Windows Summit in Redmond but will make the event a series of online presentations instead. Those who signed up are getting refunds.

Microsoft has canceled plans to hold a Windows Summit event in Redmond next month, opting instead to turn the conference into a series of online presentations. On Wednesday afternoon, the company began notifying those who had signed up for the three-day conference that they will be getting refunds.

"To meet a variety of needs for folks looking for information on Windows, we decided it was in the best interest of both current and future designers, testers, developers, and engineers to make the information more broadly available," Microsoft said in a statement to CNET. The company declined to say how many people had registered for the event.

As for the online content, the first wave of presentations will be aimed at device makers and posted on May 25 and then made available for on-demand streaming. Microsoft also plans June 2 and June 16 online sessions focused on system makers and software makers, respectively.

The Windows Summit had only been announced a few weeks back, with Microsoft quietly posting details of the event to its Web site. The in-person event had been slated to run May 25-27 and was to feature a keynote from Windows ecosystem general manager Mike Angiulo.

Microsoft had said that the event was aimed at those who make software and hardware based on Windows, would focus on currently shipping products, and that no details of future Windows versions would be discussed.

The event sounded somewhat similar--but not identical--to WinHEC, the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference that Microsoft last held in 2008. That year's event focused on Windows 7, then still in development. Microsoft said last month that it hadn't decided when to next hold WinHEC.

"We are currently evaluating the best timing for the next conference for this audience," Microsoft said in a statement.

Late on Wednesday, Microsoft updated the Windows Summit Web site to reflect the change in plans.

"We've moved online," Microsoft said. "Windows Summit 2010 has become a virtual event! This is a special opportunity to learn--straight from the Windows team--how you can best use Windows 7 and Internet Explorer to enable great solutions for your customers. This event is designed for people who want to build great products on Windows 7."