Microsoft cancels major developers' conference

Microsoft has cancelled its autumn Professional Developers Conference, citing bad timing in light of the launch of important infrastructure and platform products.

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Microsoft has cancelled its autumn Professional Developers Conference, citing bad timing in light of the launch of important infrastructure and platform products.

Microsoft dropped the bombshell about PDC, which was to be held in October in Los Angeles, in a posting on its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) site.

"As the PDC is the definitive developer event focused on the future of the Microsoft platform, we try to align it to be in front of major platform milestones," the company said in the post.

However, Microsoft already will have its key new platform technologies - including Windows Server 2008; the next major release of SQL Server; the next release of its Visual Studio toolset, code-named Orcas; and the new Silverlight technology - available before the show. Microsoft said it wants developers to focus on those in the near term.

The PDC is usually held every other year and is timed to give developers an early look at new releases of some of Microsoft's most strategic software products. For example, at the last PDC, held in 2005, developers got an early look at the new Microsoft Expression toolset for building rich internet applications, which was only released last month. However, Microsoft has cancelled the PDC in the past if it didn't think it had the right products to show developers at the event.

One Microsoft partner who often speaks at the company's developer conferences said the move seems to make sense.

"Microsoft's reasoning for this, essentially, is that between MIX, TechEd Orlando and Barcelona, and (I suspect) its Business Intelligence Conference held two weeks ago - and a slew of recent and soon-to-come alpha and beta releases - developers have enough to chew on for a while," Andrew Brust, chief, new technology for consulting firm Twentysix New York, said in a post on his blog. "If my memory serves me correctly, Microsoft made the same decision two PDCs back and, with hindsight, people appreciated the decision and judged it wise."

TechEd Orlando is scheduled for 4 June, while TechEd Developer is planned for November in Barcelona.

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