I'm the PDC09 Content Owner, and your comments point out an interesting challenge we face with PDC sessions particularly this year. Before providing more details, I want to assure you that the focus of PDC definitely has not changed and many sessions are structured to complement and extend what you can learn at a conference like TechEd. If you attend PDC09, you will hear about the future of the Microsoft platform and you will see and hear about a lot of new products, services and technologies for the first time.
We definitely are looking for ways we can improve how we let people know what will be presented at PDC as well as better ways to make clear the session distinctions with conferences like TechEd. Let us know if you (or anyone else on Channel 9) have any suggestions for improving the sessions or how we disclose them.
Before responding to your comments, I want to provide a little context. Given that we only published a few initial sessions, it’s difficult to get across the depth, breadth and uniqueness of the PDC sessions. Another challenge is we only have a short title and a couple of sentences in the abstract to describe a session. Given the few words we have to work with, it’s difficult to get across the full scope of a session and how it differs from similar sessions at conferences like TechEd. Also, in many cases we are not allowed to disclose the new information that will be covered in a session until it is publically announced (often during PDC Keynotes).
Now I’ll address some of your specific comments and see if I can change your opinion a little. In some ways, this PDC is a little less “future” than in the past. This is because we will be releasing a lot of major products and services around the PDC timeframe. At TechEd, you will learn about the release versions of these new products and how to best use our current platform in your business. These new products and services also will have a lot of great new features added in the next year or so. At PDC, we will tell you (in most cases for the first time) what you need to start planning for over the next 18 months to get the most out of all the new products and services we are releasing. Because of all the major releases happening around PDC, you will be hearing a little more this year about what will happen over the next eighteen months in addition to our longer-term plans. However, as in the past the PDC sessions this year will still largely be future focused with lots of new information not available at any other conference.
You mention .NET 4 and VS, and there will be sessions covering these products at PDC. As mentioned above, most of these sessions are being selected to complement and extend what you will hear at TechEd, and the focus for these sessions at PDC will be the new features that will be released over the next couple of years. You also mention concurrency sessions, and we included two when we launched the site this week. At PDC08 last year, we disclosed some of our tooling plans for concurrent programming. At PDC09 this year, we talk in much more detail about our new tools for concurrent programming as well as talk about future plans for the “new technologies” we are releasing at PDC. Some of this will be covered in the manycore session we just published. The other concurrency session is part of our new Technical Leaders series. In this session, you will get to hear Burton Smith, a Microsoft Technical Fellow and recognized worldwide expert in Concurrency) talk about where he sees the future of parallel computing and associated tooling moving and how he sees it affecting developers and businesses. It should be a fascinating session that fits perfectly in PDC.
Sorry for the long response. Like I said above, I hope this helps change your opinion a little.
PDC09 Content Owner