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Microsoft plans Windows Summit for May

Redmond says the conference is aimed at those needing a kick-start creating products for Windows 7. It won't be the place where Microsoft talks about the future of its desktop operating system.

Microsoft is planning a new Windows conference for May, but it sounds like Windows 8 won't be on the agenda.

The Windows Summit, as the Redmond, Wash., event is known, is aimed at helping software and hardware makers create products that work with today's versions of Windows and Internet Explorer. The three-day event, for which Microsoft quietly began registering people last week, will be held May 25-27.

"Windows Summit 2010 is an opportunity for partners and developers to interact directly with the Windows Team and learn to build great products based on technologies in Windows 7 and Internet Explorer," Microsoft said, in response to my query about the conference. The company said it is for those hardware and software developers "who are looking to engage with Microsoft on an intimate level or who haven't engaged with Microsoft in the past 18 months."

General Manager Mike Angiulo is delivering the keynote speech at the event, but Microsoft says there won't be any big news, nor will attendees be under any sort of nondisclosure pact. It seems like the main purpose is for those who haven't been working on IE8 or Windows 7 to get help to get started. "While many developers, software, and hardware companies are already building great solutions we know there are still others who still need to be engaged. This event is for them to gather guidance, ideas, best practices, case studies and tips on how to implement Windows technologies into their devices, PCs and software."

The event sounds similar--but not identical--to WinHEC, the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference that Microsoft last held in 2008, an event that focused on Windows 7, then still in development. Microsoft said it hasn't decided when to next hold WinHEC.

"We are currently evaluating the best timing for the next conference for this audience," Microsoft said in a statement.