PDC offers glimpse under Vista's hood

Microsoft's annual Professional Developers' Conference lets developers dig into upcoming technologies

Not since two years ago, when attendees of Microsoft’s annual Professional Developers’ Conference (PDC) got their first look at Longhorn, has Microsoft promised a conference so jam-packed with groundbreaking new technology. PDC 2005, kicking off this week in Los Angeles, promises to be the hottest Microsoft event in years, giving software professionals a chance to dive into core Windows Vista APIs, including WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation, formerly code-named “Avalon”) and WCF (Windows Communication Foundation, previously called “Indigo”). Also planned are sessions on the next versions of C# and Visual Basic, both of which will include support for the new .Net Language Integrated Query Framework, which provides tools for easily managing multiple data types, including objects, relational data, and XML. In addition, C# 3.0 will include syntactic improvements to the language itself.

Microsoft surprised developers earlier this month with a beta release of WinFS, Windows’ next-generation file system. PDC is expected to deliver still more goodies, with an emphasis on new technologies associated with Vista, Longhorn Server, and the upcoming Office 12 productivity suite.

Rounding out the conference are additional sessions on other key Microsoft products, including the latest versions of SQL Server, Visual Studio, and IIS. And if security is a top concern for you, there’s even an hour and a half on “building security into each phase of software development.”

The trick, apparently, is to follow Microsoft’s example -- believe it or not.