Photo Gallery: Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference

Get a glimpse of the conference where Microsoft allowed an early look at Windows 7, at its first Web-based Office applications, and at its new Azure platform for cloud computing.
Thousands of Windows developers last week attended Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, where they got an early look at Windows 7, at Microsoft's first Web-based Office applications, and at its new Azure platform for cloud computing.

Not a cloud in the sky. Inside, Microsoft announced the underpinnings of its cloud computing strategy.
(click for image gallery)

PDC is a bi-annual event where systems integrations, independent software vendors, corporate developers, and other programmers get a four-day cram course in the guts of Microsoft software. There were dozens of technical sessions at this year's conference, ranging from how to build a supercomputer application to a deep dive into Internet Explorer 8's new rendering engine.

The dominant theme of PDC 2008 was Microsoft's embrace of Web services—on the desktop as part of an integrated experience with Windows 7 and Office, and in the form of Windows Azure, its new operating system in the cloud. In his opening keynote, chief software architect Ray Ozzie described the embrace of services as "the transformation of our software, the transformation of our strategy."

Many of the technologies demonstrated at PDC—including Windows 7, Windows Azure, and Office Web applications--are still in development and not yet available to customers. Likewise, the Azure Services Platform, from which Microsoft will offer database and other on-demand cloud services, is in limited preview mode.

The new technologies lay the groundwork for Windows environments years to come. Ozzie said the backend infrastructure introduced at PDC could become "the basis for our horizontally scaled systems of the next 50 years."

InformationWeek editors attended PDC 2008. Check out our photo gallery and other resources to see what it was all about. –John Foley

See the photo gallery here.