Apple WWDC vs. Microsoft TechEd

While Apple gets its iGroove on with the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Microsoft will lure techie professionals to New Orleans for TechEd.

Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft and Apple. The two most valuable tech companies in the world will host competing conferences next week for IT pros and developers. While Apple gets its iGroove on with the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Microsoft will lure techie professionals to New Orleans for TechEd.

How Apple topped Microsoft

Both conferences start Monday, June 7, and will last most of the week. Microsoft and Apple are the type of companies that make news every day of the year, and the pace will only increase this week because of TechEd and WWDC. While Apple is primarily a consumer company and Microsoft is king of the business technology world, those boundaries are starting to erase and the competition between the two behemoths was ratcheted up when Apple stole the title of "world's most valuable tech firm" from its rival.

Here, then, is a breakdown of what to expect from TechEd and WWDC.

Keynote speakers

TechEd: Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's server and tools business, will detail Microsoft's vision for the future of IT and cloud computing in particular.

WWDC: While it was rumored that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would speak at Apple's conference, in reality it will be Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivering the keynote address Monday morning.

Attendees

TechEd: 6,000 IT pros and developers are registered to attend.

WWDC: Apple expects 1,000 of its own engineers, as well as 5,000 developers.

Rumored product news

Microsoft: Industry watchers expect Microsoft to shed more light on its cloud computing strategy and Windows Phone 7 from its beleaguered mobile business unit. On the cloud front, an update to Azure, Microsoft's answer to Amazon's EC2 cloud service, is possible. On the mobile side, Windows application developers are hoping to see Windows Phone 7 handsets and beta versions of the operating system, as well as more details about the online Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.

Apple: The iPhone 4G -- the one featured in the Gizmodo lost iPhone scandal -- could be unveiled this week at WWDC. Updates on Macs, iTunes, iPads and HTML5 are also possible, but the next iPhone, if revealed, would likely garner the most attention. There are also rumors swirling about the iPhone coming to Verizon, but talk of that nature may be premature.

Cost to attend

TechEd: $2,195, plus $400 for pre-conference seminars.

WWDC: $1,599. Sold out in just days.

Location

TechEd: The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in New Orleans. The nation's sixth-largest convention center, according to its Web site, is "located along the mighty Mississippi River, within walking distance of the French Quarter, fine dining, attractions and 20,000 first-class hotel rooms."

WWDC: The Moscone Center in San Francisco, not far from the downtown and Fisherman's Wharf areas.

Sessions

TechEd: More than 1,000 breakout, interactive and technical sessions will be held on site, Microsoft says. The major theme of the show will be cloud computing for the enterprise and developers.

WWDC: Apple's show will feature more than 100 technical sessions and hands-on labs where attendees can learn from Apple engineers. "Sessions will dive deep into advanced development and design techniques that show you how to harness the revolutionary technologies in iPhone OS and Mac OS X," Apple says. There will also be iPad development sessions.

If you won't be there…

TechEd: Watch keynotes and other streaming content online here, and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter.

WWDC: Apple apparently doesn't broadcast WWDC live itself, but some Apple news Web sites are promising live coverage of keynotes.

Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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Jon Brodkin

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