Gamefest has traditionally been held as a public event, but if you've tried registering for this year's conference you will notice that registration requires a username and password. Gamefest serves as the primary development conference for professional Windows game developers as well Xbox 360 registered developers and other Microsoft gaming platforms. This year with so much interest around Project Natal it was decided to make the event confidental. Only registered developers will be in attendance.
While this is somewhat unfortunate as there is a lot of great Windows-focused content at the conference, particularly around Direct3D 11, the good news is that most of the Windows content will also be presented at Game Developer's Conference at the Microsoft Developer Days and as sponsered sessions. If you were hoping to attend Gamefest this year, but are not associated with any registered developer program, I encourage you to attend GDC and register for our tutorial days. As always, the majority of these presentations will find their way to the web sometime after the conference season, but seeing it presented live and interactive is usually more informative.