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The PDC is missing its target audience

Can anyone please enlighten me as to why the PDC costs so much(2000$ and upwards)?

Let's take a look at their website and try to understand:


Be one of the first to look under the hood of "Longhorn."
"Longhorn" is the code name for the next major release of Microsoft Windows®—and the innovation runs deep. At PDC 2003, you can be the first to get information on how to build your applications to take advantage of "Longhorn," and be ready for the future.
Great. Worth 2000$? No.

Get up to speed on the next-generation database capabilities of "Yukon."

With deep XML support and Common Language Runtime integration, the next release of Microsoft SQL Server, code named "Yukon," will take programmability, scalability, availability, and business intelligence to the next level.
Great. Worth 2000$? No.

Experience the future of application development with Visual Studio "Whidbey."
Extend your power and productivity with upcoming versions of Microsoft Visual Studio®. Unleash the power of advanced Web services, harness business processes, and transform database programming with "Yukon." See the latest innovation in Visual C#®, Visual C++®, Visual Basic®, and other programming languages.
Great. Worth 2000$? No.

Take Web services to the next level with Microsoft .NET connected software.
Web services have become the industry choice for connecting systems. At PDC 2003, you'll see where Web services are going next, with new capabilities, advanced infrastructure tools, and new opportunities.
Great. Worth 2000$? No.

Get early code.
PDC attendees have always been the first to get developer previews of important future products. The tradition continues with PDC 2003—get early, and in some cases, exclusive code for Windows "Longhorn," SQL Server "Yukon," Visual Studio "Whidbey," and other technologies.
Great. Worth 2000$? No.

A great value.
Your PDC 2003 ID gets you into a keynote address on the next generation of computing from Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, as well as break-out sessions, exclusive parties, interactive labs, a full service food court, and much, much more.
Great. Worth 2000$? No.


So what will my company(if it decides to actually pay for this, which won't happen while I'm alive) get for the money? Basically its all just early adopter teasers and previews. No real added value here to my company(and many others) regarding development or technology. No real impact.

The only thing they would get is me coming back with a big smile on my face. Worth 2000$? No.

It's all just a big "who's who" party that costs a lot of money to get in to. Too bad. I  thought this was all still about making great technology, not merchendizing. Why can't you charge admission fees that are for human beings? Why must I sit aside and feel like I can't attend the "biggest dev event of the year" just because you target only corporate money? Isn't it all about marketing your new technology? Should'nt you be interested in what a regular developer has to say and see regarding these things? Well most of us can't be there. We can't afford it. The devlopers that will get to go will feel very privilaged, though. Maybe that's what you were planning for?

Thinking about it some more, maybe you do target corporate america, and that's what you'll get. But that would mean this is all just a big marketing show extravaganza, nothing more. No tech added value whatsoever was intended in the first place! I find that a bit on the low side.

Give me a low cost, low profile conference any day over that big hype. If you can't see why it's important for developers like me to go there(and be able to afford it), you're probably looking in the wrong direction.

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