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(Pocket-lint) - Most tech companies hold developer conferences, and Microsoft is no exception.

Every year, Microsoft spends a few days trying to bring developers and software engineers into its fold with a developer conference called Build. During the multi-day event, the company typically announces updates for its services and platforms - whether that be Windows 10, Office 365, or the Azure cloud computing platform. But the pandemic has forced Microsoft to change the conference so that it's entirely online and free to anyone who registers.

What is Microsoft Build?

Build is Microsoft's annual developer conference. It typically starts in May. The first day is live-streamed and features the most consumer-facing announcements, while the remaining days are for developers to take training sessions (which can also be viewed online). Last year's Build was a free, virtual-only event over two days. This year, the same holds true. Build 2021 is entirely virtual, along with many of Microsoft’s 2021 events.

When is Build 2021?

Build 2021 starts Tuesday 25 May and ends Thursday 27 May 2021. The three-day show began at 8am PT (11am ET/4pm UK time) on Tuesday with an "Introduction to Build". The keynote with CEO Satya Nadella and other Microsoft executives commenced 30 minutes later, at 11:30am ET. Typically, developers need to pay a $2,395 entry fee to attend Build in person. But, now, they (and you!) can view everything free of charge.

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Can you watch Build 2021 online?

You can watch the Day One keynote from the embedded video above. 

Developer sessions will be available from Microsoft's Build 2021 site here. To view them, Microsoft recommends you register to "attend" Build here. It's free to do so. Currently, Microsoft has over 300 sessions on its calendar. Like last year, the sessions will stream live or be prerecorded.

Want to know more?

Stay tuned to Pocket-lint's Microsoft hub for what's next at Build 2021.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.