Today Microsoft announced they are bringing back the WinHEC conference. WinHEC stands for Windows Hardware Engineering Community. The conference is for OEMs, ODMs, IHVs, and IDHs who are currently or interesting in working with Windows technology. WinHEC will be hosted in Shenzhen China, which was the location of the first WinHEC in 1992.
Microsoft wants to be in Shenzhen because that is where the device manufacturing happens in China. There are a lot of big names headquartered in Shenzhen such as: BYD Electronics, Coolpad, Huawei, OnePlus, and ZTE. Some of these companies you have heard of but others you may not have such ase Ainol, Hasee, G’Five, and Shenzhen NORCO Intelligent Technology. These companies are responsible for making the phones and PCs we use every day. Lots of engineering resources are housed there as well. Companies like Nokia and Motorola have their phones manufactured in these third party factories. Creating the chips, motherboards, power supplies, etc for a huge range of companies happen at these factories in Shenzhen.
Microsoft having a conference in the city would bring their technologies to the doorstep of Chinese technology manufacturing. This is important for two reasons. Microsoft has their own hardware now, so they need a close tie with their manufacturing. Also Microsoft develops software for a range of emended devices. These devices most consumers never see, but are used behind the scenes to run companies. These devices also play a big role in manufacturing. While some of these companies are creating Windows technology, most are probably using Windows technology to create their products.
Microsoft has been leaning into their strengths lately. With rumors of a massive focus on enterprise with Windows 9, it is not surprising that Microsoft is reevaluating their partnerships and their current standing in the manufacturing industry. Maintaining their standing in manufacturing is important for Microsoft remaining relevant in the future. WinHEC is another sign that Microsoft is returning to their roots, and that is a good thing.