If we look at the wave of tech dating cancellations that has occurred this week, there is no doubt; the organizers of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona made the right decision. In the past few days, more than a dozen major events have been canceled, reduced, or postponed for fear of possible coronavirus infections .
The last one: Google I / O , the great international developer conference that Google celebrates every year next to its headquarters in Mountain View in the middle of May. This year’s edition was to take place between May 12 and 14 at the Shoreline Amphitheater auditorium but will eventually be replaced by online workshops and sessions .
“Due to concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19), and according to the CDC (US Center for Disease Control) health guide, the WHO and other health authorities have decided to cancel the event physical Google I / O, “the company has announced.
The event attracts more than 7,000 developers from all corners of the world every year and is Google’s biggest event, the moment in which it announces the applications and services it plans to launch throughout the year. During the three days of the event, attendees have the opportunity to speak personally with the company’s engineers to answer questions or attend classes and workshops specialized in new technologies and services offered by Google. Now they will have to settle for doing it by video conference.
The company has announced that it will donate more than a million dollars to different organizations and local businesses to compensate for the losses that the cancellation of the event will entail.
Google’s decision is unlikely to have caught anyone in Silicon Valley by surprise. In recent days, and due to the coronavirus, the organizers of other events have also announced cancellations. Facebook, for example, will not hold its F8 conference this year , which usually takes place a week before the Google event in the city of San José.
The organizers of the Games Developer Conference , an appointment for video game developers that was going to be held in San Francisco in the middle of this month, have also decided to change the plans. The event has been postponed. Its organizers hope to celebrate it now in the summer, although even that decision is in the air waiting to see how the situation evolves.
In Austin, Texas, the SXSW (South by Southwest) show continues, but with major cancellations. In this event, technology shares space with music and cinema every year, but in this edition both Twitter and Facebook have announced that they will not be present.
In addition to Google I / O, Google has also decided to cancel Google Cloud Next , a cloud computing fair that was to take place in early April.
Thus, at this time there are two major unknowns: Microsoft and Apple . Both hold their international developer conferences (Microsoft Build and WWDC) in late May and early June respectively. In principle, both continue with their plans but the situation could change in the coming days. Microsoft Build is slated to take place May 19-21 in Seattle.
Apple had not yet announced the final WWDC dates or opened the registration period. The company has announced internally today that its employees will not be able to travel to Italy, South Korea or China as a measure to prevent new infections.