The fact that there’s an Office/SharePoint Development track at this year’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, CA from the 13th from the 16th of September is a big break for you, for us, for everyone.  Bill Gates mentioned a few weeks ago that the next versions of our entire like of Office technologies (as well as the next version of Windows SharePoint Services) will ship before the end of 2006.  Assuming that doesn’t mean the first half of the year, this means that, for the first time, we’re opening the kimono and showing you what we’re doing a year or more in advance of our ship date.

We’re going to be pretty tight-lipped about everything until then (except whenever I hint at stuff), but the floodgates will open and you’ll see what we’ve been doing since late 2003.  It won’t be beta-quality work, but you’ll see what’s going to happen and, hopefully, be able to adjust your development and architectural plans accordingly.

And we have a whole track.  And a keynote address.  We’ve got about 20 sessions to fill, and the big challenge is how to go about selecting what to present and how to present it.  There’s a lot going on in Office-land in both the client and server teams, and the work being done by the Windows SharePoint Services team is criticial to all of it.

If you hit the PDC site, you’ll soon see a preliminary listing of some of the sessions we’re envisioning.  Those topics aren’t etched in stone, but they’re a good guideline.  Also, unlike the other tracks, who are listing their most attractive sessions first, the first list we’ve chosen to provide is actually a set of the sessions whose titles don’t reveal too much too soon.

Which means it’ll only get better.

Now, I’ll end this posting with a caveat:  this is a developer conference.  We’re not going to cover deployment and infrastructure topics, and we’ll barely cover general product usage unless the features in question have a development tie-in.  If you’re trying to figure out what “Office 12” and SharePoint Services “v3” will mean to your users and your infrastructure, wait for a later event; we’ll be releasing more infomation in a steady stream after the PDC watershed event.  But if you’re a developer, get thee to The City of Angels this September.