Microsoft will hand out pre-beta copies of its next-generation operating system, Windows 7, at its Professional Developers Conference – – which starts later this month – – in Los Angeles, according to a TechNet newsletter. In an email to TechNet subscribers, with the subject line “Get Windows 7 pre-beta at PDC,” Mitch Irsfeld, editor of TechNet Flash, writes:
At this year’s Professional Developers Conference, October 27 – 30 in Los Angeles, attendees will get more than 20 sessions on Windows 7, and learn about new shell enhancements, best practices for Windows 7 development, and how to take advantage of new Windows 7 technology, including touch computing, new APIs for building context-aware applications, Web services in native code, and much more.
Microsoft is in somewhat of an awkward position; the company must begin to ready the market for the Windows 7 OS at the same time it is still having difficulty convincing businesses to migrate from Windows XP to Windows Vista. It’s not unusual to find solution providers, or their customers, who say they expect a broad portion of Microsoft’s market to try to hold off migrating from XP to Vista in the hopes they can shoot straight to Windows 7.
Among those features to be highlighted for developers at the conference, Microsoft has been working to put its own signature on “touch computing” by, among other things, touting its Surface platform this year. Rival Apple has also been working on touch technology, beginning with its iPhone and iPod Touch. By the time this developers conference wraps up this month, we could have a better idea of whether Microsoft is ready to wage an all-out fight with Apple over touch technology on the PC.