PDC 2005 Set for September

Microsoft this week announced that it would hold a 2005 Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles from Sept. 13-16.

PDC 2003, also in Los Angeles, was a major event where Microsoft publicly introduced the Windows "Longhorn" operating system and laid out the fundamental components, called pillars, of that next-generation operating system.

Wildfires throughout southern California closed airports, adding drama to the event and making attendance at the show a challenge. The show was significant in that Microsoft was exposing a lot of detail on a product that was still very early in the development process. Microsoft handed out its first public release of Longhorn code, a technical preview known as PDC Longhorn, at the southern California show.

In 2004, as security concerns forced Microsoft to pour Windows development resources into the Windows XP Service Pack 2 effort, Microsoft pushed back the expected release of Longhorn from 2005 to 2006 and decided not to hold a PDC 2004.

Late in 2004, Microsoft made some hard decisions about Longhorn development that altered the pillars the company set out at PDC 2003. For example, WinFS or Windows Future Storage, an overhaul to the file system, has been removed from Longhorn. Instead, Microsoft plans to ship it as an add-on. Avalon, the presentation subsystem, and Indigo, the communications subsystem, have also changed from exclusive features for Longhorn to layered-on technologies like the .NET Framework. Avalon and Indigo are now planned to be available as downloads for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft's current roadmap calling for Longhorn client beta code in early 2005, Longhorn server beta code in late 2005, final delivery of a client Longhorn in 2006 and final delivery of a server Longhorn in 2007. While the PDC 2003 offered a taste of what could be coming, PDC 2005 ought to be much more grounded in specifics.

PDC 2005 will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Microsoft also plans two days of pre-conference sessions on Sept. 11 and 12. For Microsoft's official announcement of PDC 2005, click here.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.