Microsoft has cancelled plans for its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October in Los Angeles in favour of a later, as-yet-unannounced date that will be "better timed with the next wave of platform technologies”.

The 2007 conference would been held at a time when upcoming technologies like Windows Server 2008, the next version of SQL Server now called Katmai and the next version of Visual Studio now called Orcas are be available to developers, Microsoft said. The conference is generally held every two years.

Without providing specifics, Microsoft said Katmai and Orcas "will be approaching launch" by the fall, "which is where we'll focus our developer engagement in the near term”.

Microsoft said it will reschedule the conference on a date "that is better timed with the next wave of platform technologies”.

At the 2005 PDC, Microsoft touted Windows Workflow Foundation, a workflow engine and new tools now available in Vista for building workflow-enabled applications. It also devoted much of the conference pushing its web client framework created to help developers build rich internet applications.

Microsoft also used the 2005 gathering to alert developers of plans to position Office 12 as a platform that could be used for applications that use the application suite as a front end.

Robert Scoble, a former Microsoft evangelist wrote on his blog that the conference has traditionally been used to announce major new Microsoft development platforms -- usually a new version of Windows or a new internet strategy. "So, this means a couple of things: no new Windows and no major new Internet strategy this year," he wrote.

In addition, Scoble wrote, now that Google, Amazon.com and Apple are aiming tools at Microsoft developers, "Microsoft has to play a different game. One where they can't keep showing off stuff that never ships”.

www.computerworld.com