Microsoft pulls major platform conference

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Microsoft pulls major platform conference

Delay feeds speculcation about potential product delays.

Microsoft has quietly pulled its Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) that was scheduled to take place early October in Los Angeles.

The company on Thrusday updated its website for the event, claiming that the show would overwhelm developers as they have to prepare for forthcoming Microsoft launches. The software vendor is currently preparing products including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server "Katmai", Visual Studio " Orcas" and the Silverlight rich internet application programming platform.

Microsoft is "rescheduling" the conference, but the company didn't disclose an alternate date.

Microsoft uses it PDC conferences to present major platform changes that will come out in 1 to 2 years. Previous editions of the show have been used to unveil the .Net platform, the failed Hailstorm identity project as well as future versions of Office and Windows.

Lead analyst Greg DeMichillie with analyst firm Directions on Microsoft doubts that the company is giving the true reasons for the delay.

"This doesn't make sense," DeMichillie told

"They knew that it was poorly timed when they put [the show] together 6 months ago."

Instead, DeMichillie speculates that Microsoft was preparing to unveil a major new technology but failed to meet internal development deadlines.

The company for instance could be preparing a development platform for its Live internet application platform, he suggested. Live currently offers about 15 services including online messenger, maps and email, but they lack integration, common application programming interfaces (APIs) and development tools. A common development platform would attract developers and help Microsoft compete with Yahoo.

Microsoft also could have intended the show's delay to avoid distracting developers from rolling out Windows Vista, DeMichillie said.

Several companies have publicly stated that they will delay rolling out the operating system until the end of this year, when Microsoft is expected to release its Service Pack 1 update that fixes early bugs and contains additional device drivers.

The analyst said that it is less likely that the upcoming PDC would have delved into a future Windows version because the operating system was launched only this January.

"It would be unusual for [Microsoft] to pull together any plans in 8 months."

Microsoft has previously said that the next version of Windows is scheduled for a, but the company hasn't officially issued a time table for its Vista replacement.
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