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Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is a relatively unique event in the industry. Unlike other conferences of its type, this one is largely staffed by Microsoft programmers -- the same kind of people who generally attend these things. People tend to connect better with those who are similar to them, which makes this kind of conference vastly more powerful than those that are staffed by marketing types talking to developers about what the company will do for them in the future.
<For their part, Linux and Apple will need to step up to the competitive risk that Windows 2005 represents to avoid the fate of OS/2 and of Apple in 1995. If the Linux and Apple communities spend more time writing rhetoric than code, 2005 is likely to look a lot like 1995>
Yeah right! Apple and Linux are making headway and in the case of OSX, innovations now. You seem to assume that they're going to be just standing around till 2005 waiting to see what Microsoft does? I can't see people running to upgrade either. The scale of Longhorn is enourmous I can imagine the amount of bugs that will be in that release. They'll be releasing service packs for years to come.