What the HEC? Microsoft resurrects its hardware engineering event – in CHINA

Shenzhen the new home for Windows device devs

Microsoft is bringing back WinHEC – its erstwhile Windows Hardware Engineering Conference – and this time it's holding the event closer to where the action is.

Redmond exec Matt Perry said on Friday that WinHEC 2015 will be held on March 18 and 19 in Shenzhen, China's booming tech capital, with a subsequent event to follow in Taiwan.

"The Shenzhen ecosystem consists of a diverse community of hardware companies covering electrical design, software engineering, integration, manufacturing, and all other aspects of the computing-device supply chain," Perry observed.

The relaunched conference will be going under a slightly different name, too, with the C in WinHEC now said to stand for "community."

"WinHEC will bring the hardware engineering community together in one place, providing a unique opportunity to interact with technical and business experts from Microsoft, other partners, and customers, facilitating exchange of ideas, best practices, and opportunities," Perry said.

Rather than presenting WinHEC as a single, large conference, Microsoft plans to offer a series of smaller technical events, coupled with "topic focused workshops that are local to the hardware ecosystem hubs."

The last big WinHEC show in the US was held in Los Angeles in 2008, where it focused on the then-upcoming Windows 7. The following year, Microsoft rolled the event into its Professional Developers Conference, which later merged with the MIX web development show to become Build, the software giant's current annual developer event.

Even when it threw a big WinHEC bash in the US, however, Redmond didn't neglect Asia. It typically followed up the main show with satellite WinHEC events in such places as Beijing, Taipei, and Tokyo. Next year, it will skip the US event and just focus on the markets where the hardware is actually made.

Tickets for the Shenzhen event aren't on sale yet, but you can sign up to be notified when more information is available on the show's official website.

Perry added that Redmond would have more details to share on the planned Taipei WinHEC event soon. ®

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