PDC - PDC sketches product road map

SAN FRANCISCO (10/24/2003) - Microsoft Corp. will attempt to cultivate early developer mind share at its Professional Developers Conference next week by previewing its next-generation OS, development tools, database, and Web services framework.

The company will finally release early code of Longhorn, which will include an SDK (systems developer kit) that will allow developers to begin working with some of the OS's new features.

"Developers should be able to start working with the fundamental things that will be in Longhorn. I think they will like the breadth and depth of what they see. But if you were to pop this onto your home PC, you would not be super happy with the experience," said Adam Sohn, product manager of the platform strategy group at Microsoft.

Microsoft will also release early code of the next version of Visual Studio, code-named Whidbey. Although the code should offer a feel for the finished version, Sohn cautions that the development platform is still in its early days and still needs work before all the pieces are polished and put in place.

Another early version of a long-awaited program to be released is Yukon, the company's next-generation SQL Server database. Yukon will include a Services Broker that makes use of asynchronous queuing and reportedly has guaranteed messaging. The product also has built-in support for Web services.

Furthermore, Microsoft will show off Indigo, its forthcoming framework for building Web services and creating applications that can be connected inherently across environments. Company officials are expected to underscore their ongoing commitment to compatibility with existing applications and platforms relative to Indigo and will make it clear they intend to leave no existing investment behind.

"We see the value of getting folks onto the next wave, but we also know the platform rises and falls on the success of other developers. You can't leave people behind. You must have compatibility," Sohn said.

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