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The Microsoft PDC Goody Bag

Attendees at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles this week got their hands on enough code to keep them busy until formal public betas hit next year.

Amid the standard collections of code samples and white papers were bits of code that Microsoft hopes will get independent software vendors busy thinking about how to build next-generation applications for Windows "Longhorn" and SQL Server "Yukon" with Visual Studio "Whidbey."

On their way to lunch on Monday, attendees got:

  • Two Longhorn CDs. They included a 32-bit version, an Intel Architecture 64-bit version and an AMD 64-bit/x86 (which Microsoft has elegantly begun calling x64). Officially the build of Longhorn is called a "Developer Preview." The formal Beta 1 version is slated for release in the second half of 2004.
  • A Longhorn driver kit and a Longhorn Software Development Kit.
  • Virtual PC 2004, a version of the client virtualization software that Microsoft acquired from Connectix earlier this year. The special PDC version supports the Longhorn Developer Preview.
  • The private Beta 1 version of Yukon. A formal public beta is supposed to launch next year.
  • A developer preview of Whidbey.

    Lest anyone have the urge to go out and deploy the Developer Preview of Longhorn across a corporate network, Microsoft group vice president for platforms Jim Allchin attempted to set expectations.

    "We still are very early. We've never shared bits this early," Allchin said. "There's things in terms of the programming model that we haven't cleaned up yet. Performance is not good."

    "You should put [it] on only high end machines, and I propose that you not put it on any production machines, and I propose that you not connect it -- at least not knowingly -- to the Internet."

  • About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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