Angela Lang/CNET

Microsoft laid out plans Tuesday to further support healthcare workers and scientists fighting the the coronavirus pandemic as part of its first all-digital Build developers event, being held amidst the crisis.

The tech giant said it’s building new software to help hospitals and doctors hold virtual visits with patients, as well as handle scheduling and other paperwork, as part of a larger effort to help fight the pandemic. Microsoft is also supporting science efforts, such as [email protected], which uses people’s idle computer power to help analyze the coronavirus and hopefully help find a cure.

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The virus, which was first detected in December, has already disrupted daily life for billions of people, many of whom have been ordered to shelter in place in an effort to slow the virus’s spread. Organizers have in turn had to cancel or postpone many events, including the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)SXSW music festival, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

Some companies, such as Microsoft and Apple, have decided that instead of cancelling their large developer events, they’ll switch them to an online-only format. Microsoft is holding its developer event May 19 and 20.

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Microsoft’s Build conference is being held May 19 through Wednesday, May 20. According to Microsoft’s posted agenda for the conference, CEO Satya Nadella delivered a keynote address, followed by Microsoft’s Imagine Cup student developer competition and announcements about Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology at 10:15 a.m. PT / 1:15 p.m. ET.


The conference will be streamed on Microsoft’s website. CNET’s global team will cover the event, as well as other conferences that have shifted online, just as we always do — by providing real-time updates, commentary and analysis you can only get here.

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