Microsoft to Give Away Code at PDC

Microsoft will hand out at least six DVDs at its Professional Developers Conference, including a beta of its Atlas tool for building AJAX applications.

LOS ANGELES—Microsoft Corp. will be handing out software at its Professional Developers Conference here this week, including a beta of its upcoming tool for building AJAX applications, the company said.

Microsoft will hand out at least six DVDs amounting to 30GB of code to each developer in attendance at the PDC, said Charles Fitzgerald, general manager of the platform strategy group at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash.

When asked what would be on those DVDs, Fitzgerald, tongue in cheek, said: "A lot of ones and zeros."

However, in June, Microsoft announced plans to deliver tools support for AJAX—Asynchronous JavaScript and XML—development via a tool known as Atlas. As promised in June, Microsoft will include a beta of the Atlas tool in the handouts for developers at the conference, Fitzgerald said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifMicrosoft wants a piece of AJAX. Click here to read more.

"Microsoft is in the business of providing tools and infrastructure for developers, and this is an opportunity to make this style of development much easier and acceptable to a much broader set of people," Fitzgerald said in an interview in June. "So one of the things youll see in Visual Studio 2005 and ASP .Net 2.0 is [a] bunch of tools support for this class of applications."

In addition, Microsoft is expected to include recent builds of its Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 in its conference giveaways.

"We are on track to deliver a release candidate of Visual Studio 2005 at PDC or somewhere around the PDC timeframe—Im not sure if its going to make it in the attendee bags or not," said Prashant Sridharan, senior product manager for Visual Studio 2005, in an interview last month. "But around PDC we will issue a release candidate of Visual Studio 2005. And at that point were pretty much on track to launch. And the SQL Server guys are pretty much coincident with our release candidate, and they will issue another CTP [Community Technology Preview] of SQL Server 2005. And theyre on track to ship with us on Nov. 7."

/zimages/3/28571.gifMicrosofts PDC 2005 mission: To broaden its developer base. But will programmers find its new technologies hot enough to pledge their loyalties? Click here to read more.

Fitzgerald said the PDC is growing while conferences such as JavaOne, which is a developer conference for Java, have been dwindling.

"JavaOne has been shrinking for the last several years, and its not nearly as deep an event," Fitzgerald said. "The PDC is the quintessential geekfest. We basically take development teams offline for a month or two so they can prepare."

Fitzgerald said the PDC will focus on several broad themes, including advances for the PC platform, what is next for Web services and service-oriented architectures, improvements in the user experience, and how software becomes more and more important to maintaining an enterprises relationship with customers.

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