Microsoft intends to point developers to a Windows future next week at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in San Diego. Historically, the PDCs have always been used as a way to teach developers about upcoming technology, but this PDC promises to be even more far-reaching than usual. Microsoft will be pushing such upcoming technologies as Windows NT 5.0, Component Object Model version 3 ("COM+"), Distributed Network Architecture (DNA), Active Server Pages (ASP) 2.0, Visual Studio 98, and Windows CE 2.0.

Most of these technologies are not due until at least mid-1998, but developers need to get going far earlier than end users.

Other expected technology discussions include digital certificates for NT 5, the new Encrypting File System (EFS) APIs for data encryption, and the Security Configuration Editor, which makes administering security settings easier on IT managers.

Expect extensive coverage next week as the conference unfolds