Microsoft's upcoming cloud PDC: What's on tap?

Microsoft's upcoming cloud PDC: What's on tap?

Summary: Microsoft was not planning to hold a Professional Developers Conference (PDC) this year. But company officials changed their minds and announced this week that they will hold PDC10 in Redmond at Microsoft headquarters on October 28 and 29. What's on the agenda?


Microsoft was not planning to hold a Professional Developers Conference (PDC) this year. But company officials changed their minds and announced this week that they will hold PDC10 in Redmond at Microsoft headquarters on October 28 and 29.

This isn't going to be a traditional PDC. It will be focused almost entirely on cloud computing, rather than Windows, for one. Secondly, it will be a combined live and virtual event. It sounds like live attendance is going to be limited to about 1,000 or so people, with the rest of those interested being told to watch the keynotes and sessions via Webcast.

Developers and IT pros are still the intended audience for this year's PDC, as they typically have been for previous ones.  But the emphasis of this year's event will be on developing applications that can run on-premises and/or in the private and public cloud.

Microsoft is going to talk about what's happening with its promised virtual machine role capability for Windows Azure, known as Windows Server Virtual Machine Roles on Azure, at the October PDC, said Amitabh Srivastava, Senior Vice President of Microsoft's Server and Cloud Division. Srivastava also said Microsoft will share more about its Project Sydney -- IPV6 technology designed to connect on-premises and cloud servers. (Last year, Microsoft officials said Sydney would be finalized before the end of 2010; I'm thinking a beta by the PDC timeframe is more likely.)

"IT (professionals) want infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service," Srivastava said. "Azure was our platform as a service play. The VM (roles) will be our infrastructure as a service play."

The VM role feature will help users run their on-premises applications in the cloud, but applications that are hosted that way won't be multitenant-capable.

Microsoft also is going to talk about some of the underlying systems-management application programming interfaces (APIs) that Azure will expose, enabling customers and partners to use third-party solutions to manage Azure-based clouds.  Srivastava said Microsoft will be talking about tooling that works with Azure APIs during the two-day event, as well.

Microsoft announced at this week's Worldwide Partner Conference that the company will be providing Windows Azure Platform Appliances -- containers of pre-configured Azure servers -- to Dell, Fujitsu and Hewlett Packard for customer deployment before year-end. Microsoft also announced eBay would be taking delivery of the Azure appliance before year-end as well.

"It's key for us that Azure will be (located) in our own datacenters," said James Barrese, Vice President of Technology for eBay. Barrese said eBay is spread out across multiple datacenters, which the company needs to leave in place for security and data latency reasons.

"Microsoft was willing to modify the (Azure) platform as we learned and they get to learn from everything we did," Barrese said. "We're a microcosm of the Internet."

I'm betting eBay will be attending and maybe speaking at PDC10. Anyone interested in going? If so, what are you hoping to hear there?

Topics: Software, Cloud, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Virtualization, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Definitely attending....maybe virtually

    We need this...should have been done with VS Live as well....
  • RE: Microsoft's upcoming cloud PDC: What's on tap?

    I was under the impression that the focus would be Phone 7...
    • WP7

      Hi. There will also be WP7 sessions, but the primary focus will be on the cloud. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Microsoft Cloud Apps

    The Cloud is all very well, but what about those who
    can't afford the extra expense of internet access?
    Will Microsoft be developing new apps that will be
    internet-dependent? One shouldn't forget that there
    are more important expenses in everyday life:
    Telephone, Car (& insurance), Mortgage/Rent, Food,
    Medical ins, etc. Believe it or not, there are people
    out there who can just barely afford to purchase their
    computer, never mind internet access. I don't know
    what I would have done if I hadn't had my Art programs
    and the ability to combine them with my
    Writing/Word-Processor apps. Microsoft, if you are
    listening, please remember your customers in the
    lower income bracket. They will need apps that are not
    internet-dependant. Another expense added on to what
    we already pay for is not always possible.
    (Also, some simpler folk also prefer to work off-line,
    w/o the distractions that come along with access. )--
    Please don't shut out the people who are struggling.
    • RE: Microsoft's upcoming cloud PDC: What's on tap?

      @CaptSnaz: Microsoft has always provided great on-site apps, services and platforms. What it's doing now is extending many of those apps, platforms and services to be hosted online IF YOU WISH:

      In-house Online
      Windows Server => Windows Azure VM Role
      SQL Server => Sql Azure
      Exchange Server => Exchange Online
      Sharepoint Server => Sharepoint Online
      Lync Server => Lync Online (part of Office 365)
  • RE: Microsoft's upcoming cloud PDC: What's on tap?

    Kinda odd how MSFT is messing about with the PDC brand just when they need to establish a reason for people to continue to pay attention.

    For 20 years PDC meant an every 2-3 year event full of broad content and equally important, significant networking. The focus changed as the industry changed, but the PDC remained important.

    Now it is annual (3 years in a row now), down to 2 days from 4(plus a pre-con), narrowly focused, with a 1000 developer limit and in Redmond? Seems designed to be cheap for MSFT, yet annual to try for revenue.

    Thinking this sends a confirming message about Microsoft's decline.
    • RE: Microsoft's upcoming cloud PDC: What's on tap?

      @gardnervh - The difference is that these days, the scope and breadth of Microsoft's products and technologies have ended up with PDC being too big to host and too big for anyone to get the maximum benefit from.

      Also consider that MS now runs and participates MANY events every year including MIX, VSLive, SQL Connections, Code Camps, Firestarters, SXSW, etc. I prefer there being 2-3 conferences a year that interest me than one mega holy-cow brain melt conference once every 2-3 years.
  • RE: Microsoft's upcoming cloud PDC: What's on tap?

    The focus on cloud computing makes sense since it is such a hot topic right now. I am always hearing that the future is in cloud technology. I?ll be listening to the webcast, should I expect to hear a discussion about how cloud computing and other agile methods can increase business performance?
    TuneUp Utilities
  • RE: Microsoft's upcoming cloud PDC: What's on tap?

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