The company will distribute the software on Tuesday, following morning keynotes by Bill Gates, Microsoft's chief software architect, and Jim Allchin, the group vice president in charge of Windows.
In addition, company executives are hosting several sessions at which they plan to lift the hood on the inner workings of Microsoft'ssuite and encourage developers to build applications on top of Office.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's MSN division intends to MSN-oriented developer site on Tuesday. The effort is part of a long-term strategy meant to help programmers build applications that combine information from public Web sites.to a number of its Web properties, including MSN Search and Messenger. The company plans to launch a new
As it has done at past conferences, Microsoft is providing technical details as a way of seeding the market for third-party applications that run on Microsoft's development "stack," or combination of components, as well as its Web properties.
Office 12, due out next year, will include a number of features to improve collaboration, in part through closer integration with Microsoft's server products. To ease development of workflow-oriented applications, Microsoft is upgrading its InfoPath form-based application builder, and it will outline search improvements to its SharePoint portal server, according to the PDC session descriptions.
At the conference, Microsoft is also expected to provide more details on BizTalk Server 2006, which is due early next year, and its integration server strategy.
Planned sessions include discussions on writing online Web applications with MSN properties, future directions on Windows, the company's planned use of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) protocol and planned support for scripting languages in the Common Language Runtime.CNET News.com's Mike Ricciuti contributed to this report.