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Power outage unplugs Microsoft conference

Parts of Los Angeles, including location of Professional Developers Conference, plunge into darkness.

LOS ANGELES--Parts of the city, including the location of Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference, plunged into darkness Monday afternoon as a result of a major power outage in the region.

The outage struck at about 12:30 p.m. and continued past 2 p.m. Microsoft group product manager Greg Sullivan was giving a briefing about Windows Vista when his Powerpoint presentation and most of the lights at the Los Angeles Convention Center went dark. "We haven't figured out a software solution to this one--yet," Sullivan joked.

"Damn Linux-based power supplies," one attendee remarked before it became known that the outage extended beyond the convention center.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department told Fox News that employees of the Department of Water & Power had accidentally cut a power line and were working to fix it.

Thousands are expected to attend the PDC, which begins on Tuesday, although there were many in attendance Monday for some preconference workshops. Among other things, Microsoft is expected to provide details about its "Web platform" strategy, through which it plans to entice developers to build applications that rely on its MSN properties.

This is not the first time Microsoft's conference was interrupted by a calamity--in 2003 raging wildfires prevented many people from being able to fly into Los Angeles.