Microsoft has rescheduled its most significant developer meeting for late 2008, after cancelling the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) that was originally planned for October 2007.

The Microsoft PDC is now on for October 27 to October 30, 2008, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, according to Microsoft's public relations firm. The conference, which hosts the largest crowd of any of Microsoft's developer gatherings, is typically held every other year and is timed to give developers an early look at new releases of some of Microsoft's most strategic software products.

The technologies in the spotlight at next year's PDC are expected to be Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008. Together, the three mark a major enterprise product cycle for the company, which has planned a launch event - also in Los Angeles - for all three products on February 27, 2008.

Not all products will be available at that time, however. While Visual Studio 2008 is already available, and Microsoft is expected to ship Windows Server 2008 on the day of the launch, the company has given itself until midyear for the final release of SQL Server 2008.

When Microsoft announced in May it was cancelling this year's PDC, the company said the timing was inconvenient to show off these infrastructure releases to developers. Microsoft watchers and partners at the time said it made sense the company would postpone the show until Windows Server, SQL Server and Visual Studio were more fully baked.

On Wednesday Microsoft released a new test version of Windows Server 2008, called Release Candidate 1, to developers, as well as offering a refresh of Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Visual Studio 2008 is available online, while SQL Server 2008 is available in technology preview.