On Monday morning, Microsoft will officially launch its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2008 in Los Angeles. The biggest news at the show is the public unveiling of Windows 7, the eagerly awaited successor to Windows Vista. But Microsoft will also unveil a number of other products at the show, including Windows Server 2008 R2, the Windows Cloud OS (final name TBD), and Office 14, among others.
Microsoft is billing Windows 7 as a major upgrade, and while the company has publicly told customers to expect it to appear in final form in early 2010, sources suggest it could come much sooner than that and perhaps as early 2009. It will likely be very similar to its predecessor, Windows Vista, because it is based on the same code base and keeps the same application and device compatibility model. But Microsoft is promising major changes in end user functionality, which should at least make Windows 7 more interesting to consumers.
Readers interested in Windows 7 will have to wait until Tuesday to find out details of that system, unfortunately. That's when Microsoft senior vice president Steven Sinofsky will take the stage at PDC 2008 for his keynote address. Before then, the company will show off its Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Cloud OS projects. Little is known about either. Windows Server 2008 R2 is being developed alongside Windows 7 and will include a virtual machine live migration feature for its Hyper-V functionality. Windows Cloud OS is even less well-known, for now.
As a developer show, PDC 2008 will specifically highlight the programming interfaces for all of these products as well as related products like Live Mesh, Office "14," and Windows Live.
I've been in Los Angeles since Saturday, and while I can't yet discuss the details of the briefings I've had, I'll be publishing a slew of information as soon as Microsoft allows. In the meantime, check out my live blogs, photos, and other highlights from PDC 2008 on the SuperSite for Windows. It's going to be a crazy week.