Microsoft PDC: Developers, Start Your Coding Engines

Microsoft opens registration for its Professional Developers Conference, which will be held in Los Angeles in November. Microsoft also announces Code 7, a coding contest in which developers create Windows 7 applications to win cash and a trip to the PDC.

Microsoft has opened registration for its Professional Developers Conference, to be held Nov. 16 to 19 in Los Angeles, including pre-conference workshops.

PDC is "the definitive Microsoft event for software developers and strategic architects focused on the future of the Microsoft platform," according to the company's press materials. This year Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie and Server and Tools Business President Bob Muglia will unveil the next wave of computing and provide insights on the future development tools and technologies coming out of the company.

And this year, for the first time, Microsoft is bringing together its Technical Fellows for the Technical Leaders series of sessions at PDC. Microsoft describes its Technical Fellows as "the big brains that develop and drive technical strategies for Microsoft and the industry."

Since 1991, the PDC has been Microsoft's premier gathering of leading-edge developers and architects. A Microsoft description of the event said:

"Since the beginning, the PDC has been the epicenter of Microsoft's biggest platform announcements, including Microsoft .NET, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. This year, you'll hear more details about our services platform, the future of Windows, the web, devices, and our next generation of developer tools."

In addition to keynotes by Ozzie and Muglia, the PDC will feature sessions including Zero to Awesome in Nothing Flat: The Microsoft Web Platform and You; The State of Parallel Programming; Microsoft Unified Communications: Developer Platform Futures; Microsoft Visual C++ 2010: The "Accelerated" Way of Building Applications; Microsoft Silverlight Roadmap and Futures; Manycore and the Microsoft .NET Framework 4: A Match Made in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010; Developing .NET Managed Applications Using the Office 2010 Developer Platform; Data Programming and Modeling for the Microsoft .NET Developer; and Building Applications for the Windows Azure Platform.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has launched a programming contest called Code 7, in which developers can "code to the power of Windows 7," Microsoft's description of the contest said. "Code7 is where your ingenious application meets the opportunity to get millions of eyes on your work, plus you could win a trip to PDC09 and up to $17,777 in cash." Seven entries submitted by Aug. 15 will be eligible for a gift card worth $1,000.

Each contestant is required to provide a 3-minute video describing and demonstrating an application idea for Windows 7. Microsoft will choose one finalist from seven geographic regions: China; Europe and United Kingdom; India and Southeast Asia; Japan, Korea, Australia, Antarctica, and New Zealand; Middle East and Africa; North America; and South and Central America.

Microsoft has established a set of guiding principles for the Code 7 contest, including requiring the applications to support one of several Windows 7 scenarios. One scenario is "Simplify My Life," for which the developer must develop an application that makes the things customers do every day faster and easier, with fewer clicks, simpler navigation and easier ways to connect. Another is "More Media, More Places," for which the developer must design a great application to help customers create, edit, organize and share media. The third scenario involves gaming. The fourth is "Work from Anywhere," in which the developer must build an application to help customers be more productive at home, at work or on the go. For the fifth scenario, "Safeguard Your Work," the developer must build an application to help customers protect their data, whether it resides on a PC, USB device or network infrastructure. And the sixth scenario is "Applications for a Better Tomorrow," in which the developer should "use the power of your code to help communities prepare and plan for a better future," Microsoft said.

Microsoft said all entries in the Code 7 contest should take advantage of one or more of the following technologies: Libraries, Windows Touch, shell integration, DirectX 11, or the Windows 7 Sensor and Location platform. Windows 7 introduces a platform for using sensor devices, such as light sensors or GPS sensors, to create environmental or location awareness in programs.

PDC is the company's most directly developer-focused event. However, Microsoft also delves deeply into developer issues at its TechEd and Mix conferences. Microsoft TechEd is for IT professionals who are looking for training and guidance on Microsoft products that are shipping or soon to ship. TechEd 2010 will be held in New Orleans from June 7 to 11, 2010. Microsoft Mix is for designers and developers who build innovative Websites. Mix 2010 will be held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on March 15 to 17, 2010.