Longhorn, Whidbey, Media Center Snag Prime Billing at WinHEC

In their keynotes at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, Jim Allchin and Bill Gates plan to stress the value of melding hardware and software innovation, as well as demonstrating what some of Microsoft's new technologies can do.

SEATTLE—Microsoft Corp. officials are giving attendees at the annual Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) here this week more bang for their buck by increasing the number of business planning and strategy sessions to 40 hours of content, while still providing a range of deeply technical sessions.

Microsoft executives Jim Allchin, the group vice president of platforms, and Bill Gates, the companys chief software architect, also will use their keynote addresses Tuesday to announce a device profile for Web services and to tell the audience that Microsoft will publish a specification for the device profile itself and propose this to the Universal Plug and Play Forum for consideration in the UPnP 2.0 specification.

Attendees also can expect to receive a Longhorn build, but this will not be an alpha version of the product but rather an update of the developer preview of the software that was handed out at last Octobers Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

The Windows 64-bit client for extended systems, when released in the last quarter of this year, also will have near feature-parity with Windows XP Professional.

That 64-bit Windows release will include support for Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework, Version 1.1, Greg Sullivan, the lead product manager for Windows at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., told eWEEK in an interview ahead of the conference.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here for a glimpse of Visual Studio .Nets future.

"We are also going to be handing out those bits at WinHEC of the 64-bit extended systems SKU that have those attributes, so you will be able to download the .Net Framework and run it and .Net Framework applications," Sullivan said. "It also has all the important XP Pro features like system restore and Windows Messenger and Visual Studio .Net support."

/zimages/3/28571.gifMicrosoft says it is adding service packs for Visual Studio and the .Net Framework. Click here to read more.

Microsoft had also listened to feedback about the show. "Attendees told us they wanted the content to be even more technical but, at the same time, they also wanted more strategy and planning sessions. So, we are doing both this year and have added a whole track on business planning and strategy."

Allchin and Gates both will be using their Tuesday keynotes to hammer home the notion that the innovations happening in Windows and in the hardware need to be looked at together so products can be jointly developed that will meet real customer needs and deliver an experience that is meaningful and creates value.

"And if we can do that, that in itself creates opportunities for all of us," Sullivan said. "If we can design products together that build on the innovation that we have in both software and hardware, and really create valuable experiences, as an industry well sell more of them, well make money, be more successful and our customers will be happier."

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about hardware makers looking to operating-system support from Microsoft.

In his keynote, Allchin will talk about an experienced-based economy and predictions for the future, as well as some specific, prescriptive guidance on what Microsoft and its hardware partners need to do together to deliver those kinds of products.

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