Okay, maybe not so stunning, but in response to several requests that have come in from commenters and private email, I’m happy to be able to share a few key details that might help those of you trying to figure out your conference plans and budget for the rest of the calendar year.
As I noted previously, PDC is focused on our forward looking platform roadmap. If you’re looking for education on shipping or soon-to-be shipping Microsoft software, TechEd might be a better choice. Likewise, if you’re an IT administrator, TechEd will be a better fit for you. PDC is really geared towards developers who will be making platform technology decisions and need to understand Microsoft’s future roadmap.
So, what counts as “future roadmap technology” and thus meets the bar for presence at PDC? There are some obvious suspects that come to mind – Longhorn, Avalon, Indigo and WinFS are all technologies we covered in 2003, and we’ll be revisiting them all to show how we’re progressing against the vision and goals we talked about in 2003. We’ll likely also include discussion around some newer technologies that haven’t been discussed publicly yet.
Whidbey (Visual Studio 2005) and Yukon (SQL Server 2005), which are about to become our current generation platform technologies, likely will not have a lot of broad content. These technologies are so close to shipping that they aren’t really part of the future roadmap, they’re part of the here-and-now story. That’s why they will have tons of broad educational/training content at TechEd. What we will likely do for Whidbey and Yukon at PDC is focus on some really deep architectural and performance content, 400-level stuff that will help you understand how we intended the technologies to be used and how to get the maximum benefit from them. We'll also have some content in our pre-conference sessions.
The conference fee will be the same as last year. Full price will be $1995, but we’ll offer some discounts, including a 15% early bird discount. We expect to open registration on the main site by the end of May, and then you’ll be eligible for the early bird discount for around a month or two after that. The pre-conference sessions will have an additional fee associated with them, I'll have to check on whether we're ready to share the price for that yet.
Hope that helps with your budget and conference planning!