The hype, the fervor, and quite honestly, the exciting deadline that is the PDC is looming over us in Redmond currently. (That, and the fact that it's starting to enter the rainy season). I'm certain from those tracking Microsoft news (and if you aren't, I'm curious as to why this blog is interesting to you :)) this isn't new, nor is, in particular, the hype.

It's fairly simple, really: PDC '03 will be the first real public discussion / forum around "Longhorn," which is our next big version of Windows. In particular, I'm quite excited as I've been working on Longhorn for some 2 years now (in some capacity or another) and it will be our first opportunity to start getting the word out, getting down to the actual brass tacks, and getting feedback from our closest friends. To be fair, "Yukon" and "Whidbey" look to be large attractions as well, plus tons of other content. Check out the link above to the PDC site to see just what the entire affair will entail. You'll have to forgive my general eagerness about Longhorn: I'm not likely to talk about anything else for quite a while!

So, this means that I'll finally be able to explain in some fashion what it is I do, and what it is I've been working on. It'll also give me a lot of content for this blog - and an opportunity for you to seed that. In the meantime, I'm sure speculation will run rampant, and rumors will be plentiful. You can check out PDC Bloggers to see a community site that seems to have sprung up on interest about the PDC - clearly, a great opportunity to guess what's coming up. :) Aside from that, it looks likely to provide a lot of "direct from the conference floor" information, so it has some serous potential. And that's not the only site doing it - there's already more than I can list.

I'll actually be doing the same thing - updating my blog live from the conference floor - talking about various interactions I've had, comments and questions, and so on. Maybe we'll even figure out some sort of "spot the blogger" game (mail me ideas!).

In the meantime, I'm merrily crunching away, preparing slides, demos, and wherever possible, pointing out that "code wins." At the same time, we're working hard to get software ready to hand out, I'm certain people are working hard on what the freebies will be (personally, I'd like to for go the usual bag, and get a nice leather jacket - is that too much to ask? That, or something that will really annoy my team when I get back from LA). We're also busy on making progress to keep going on Longhorn - PDC is clearly just the first step of many in making Longhorn happen.

One of the important reasons for my going is to be able to connect with developers on this stuff - get some hard honest feedback, but also share what we're thinking and do the mindmeld on where software is headed. I know of several developer buddies from outside Microsoft who plan on attending, and it's going to be interesting to sync up with them after having to say "Gee, I wish I could talk about that but I can't" for 2 years now. :) My hope is that I'll continue to have that fun experience through this blog.

I just realized that two of my colleagues on the Windows Shell team, Amar Ghandi and Walter Smith are also blogging now (we all basically started at the same time) so I thought I'd give a bit of a shout out. Alright. We'll get to how we're all involved together soon enough - but check out what they have to say.