What will Microsoft share about Windows futures in 2008?

Microsoft's 2008 conference dance card is starting to fill in. Here's a list of what's on my Microsoft-conference radar screen so far. My question, going into 2008, is how, when and if Microsoft will share more about its Windows futures plans with developers, partners and customers.

Microsoft's 2008 conference dance card is starting to fill in. It's looking like a very busy February and March for the conference-going set. And, as usual with Microsoft, mid-summer will be full of Microsoft industry and insider events.

What will Microsoft share about Windows futures in 2008?
The biggest questions going into 2008 is how, when and if Microsoft will share more about its Windows futures plans with developers, partners and customers.

Microsoft has postponed its annual Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) to some time in the fall of 2008. Usually, WinHEC is a May event. And there's still no word on when and if the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) will take place in 2008. Microsoft "postponed" the PDC, which was slated for the fall of 2007, and so far has not rescheduled it.

WinHEC and PDC are Microsoft's biggest Windows-roadmap events of the year. But given that Microsoft will be in a ramp-up period in 2008 -- with no new Windows 7 or Windows Server 7 bits ready to share -- it's going to be tough to come up with show content that looks ahead instead of back. (TechEd conferences, which usually are more focused on shipping products, not futures, are the primary venues for that.)

Windows 7 isn't expected to ship until 2010. Windows Server 7, if Microsoft sticks to schedule, could hit around 2010, as well. Both products will be in the early milestone phase, at best, by next year. Given Microsoft's reticence to talk about unannounced Windows products, I'm wondering what the Softies will have to say at WinHEC 2008 and, if it happens, PDC 2008. Stay tuned....

Meanwhile, here is a list of Microsoft events for 2008 that is on my radar screen so far:

* Consumer Electronics Show 2008, January 7-10, Las Vegas (Bill Gates keynote January 6) * Office System Developers Conference, February 10-13, San Jose, Calif.

* Game Developers Conference, February 18-22, San Francisco

* Windows Server 2008/SQL Server 2008/Visual Studio 2008 launch, February 27, Los Angeles

* SharePoint Conference 2008, March 3-6, Seattle, Wash.

* Mix '08, March 5-7, Las Vegas * Convergence 2008, March 11-14, Orlando, Fla. (conference for Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM partners and users)

* MVP Global Summit, April 13-17, Seattle, Wash. (for Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals only)

* TechEd U.S. 2008 Developers - June 3-6, Orlando, Fla.

* TechEd U.S. 2008 IT Professionals - June 10-13, Orlando, Fla.

* Worldwide Partner Conference, July 7-10, Houston, Texas

* Microsoft Global Sales Meeting (MGX), mid-July, location TBD (For Microsoft employees, sales and partners only) * Windows Hardware Engineering Conference 2008, Fall 2008, Los Angeles (my guess; local still TBD)

* Professional Developers Conference 2008 -- still no word if/when it is happening.

Any other Microsoft-related events that you're planning on attending in the new year?

(mothers' day calendars at the cdc. Image by Liz Henry. CC 2.0)

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