Microsoft Adds CxO-Themed Event to 2016 Conference Slate

With its new Envision conference, to be held in April, Microsoft plans to explore the cloud-enabled future of IT with business leaders.

Microsoft conference

Microsoft events are well-attended by developers, IT managers and administrators. Now the company is shifting its attention to the C-suite.

Envision, Microsoft's new conference for high-level executives, will take place April 4 to 6 in New Orleans, the Redmond, Wash., technology giant announced this week. Registration is currently open and requires a Microsoft account, which provides attendees access to the Envision mobile app and Schedule Builder.

"Microsoft Envision is designed for CxOs and their senior department and functional leaders who are driven to shape their own future and position their organizations and business for success in a mobile first, cloud first world," Chris Capossela, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Microsoft, said in a Jan. 14 statement.

The three-day event will include keynote addresses, interactive sessions and networking opportunities, Capossela added. Microsoft Envision joins the company's roster of yearly flagship conferences, including Ignite, the Worldwide Partner Conference and Build.

Aligning with Microsoft's goal to provide enterprises with a new, more intelligent generation of cloud services, attendees can expect Azure to feature prominently. Topics include big data analytics, the Internet of things, security and mobility, to name a few. Envision will also feature content tailored to specific industries, including finance, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and travel.

According to Microsoft Corporate Vice President Wayne Morris, the conference will provide "an opportunity for attendees to hear from some of the most forward-thinking minds in business and technology, with each day featuring prominent industry visionaries and business experts who will share the latest ideas, trends and innovations," he wrote in a company blog post. "Participants can explore the latest solutions, and discover the strategies that will help them, their teams, and their business achieve more."

Last year, Microsoft trimmed its conference schedule, replacing its Management Summit, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project and TechEd conferences with Ignite. The company wasn't done tweaking its events calendar, it turns out.

"The focus on the business leader audience is a natural evolution from the Microsoft Convergence event, which is now replaced by Microsoft Envision," stated Morris. "With this change comes the great news that now this community has even more opportunities to get the relevant Microsoft content and information that is best tailored to your needs."

For developers, Microsoft also announced that it is accepting registration for Build 2016 on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. This year, the conference again takes place in San Francisco's Moscone Center, March 30 to April 1.

Providing clues into Microsoft's focus for the upcoming event, Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Platform and Evangelism, noted in a separate blog post that the company has witnessed "the scale of Windows 10 grow to more than 200 million devices since launch. We've also seen nearly 100,000 new subscribers per month on Azure, and we are always adding new features, including the extension of data and machine learning as new platform services."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...