Oh how very disappointing. After I'd written a piece about how Chris Anderson had written that PDC demos would use production code, an item appeared in The Register - Microsoft celebrates Longhorn 'Gold Release' early.
Two sources are good enough for me (cue comment that if one source is good enough for HM Government....), brilliant, the PDC would be a real shocker of an event - "hi guys, you leave here with Longhorn, .NET 2 and SQL Server; go forth and write great code". 55,000 people have beta tested this code, its solid its ready for your users. The world media would be so shocked they wouldn't (at least for a few days) quite know how to react other than "MS Shock - Longhorn is in the shops, and it looks good too". And we all know that first impressions count in media stories. How wonderfully subversive it would ahve been, how unconventional - which after all is what PCs used to be about; stuff the MIS department, go get yourself a PC and get the reports/functionality done yourself on your PET/Apple/Superbrain (yes I once worked on a national bacon buying planning system for a large UK supermarket chain on a Commadore PET).
I know, impossible (Longhorn release, not the bacon buying - it worked), but for a moment it looked like it might be fun. Unfortunately, Chris Anderson has burst the bubble:
Let me clarify what I meant... Typically there are 4 kinds of demos... .... Obviously given that Longhorn has a while until it ships, we can't really demo using "gold" bits
Oh well, back to receiving bits you can't use for some indeterminate amount of time.