Last night, I had a chance to watch/listen to Joe Long, Product Unit Manager for XML Enterprise Services at Microsoft, talk about the migration path from .Net Remoting, Enterprise Services, and Web Services to Indigo. One of the key points was that most of the current investments in Enterprise Services (ES) and Web Services (ASMX) will carry over into Indigo WITHOUT change.
The value of that last sentence, and the value of PDC, is realized when you are developing .Net solutions now for a client. As I write this, I am busy working on developing new ES solutions, with some porting of current COMPlus unmanaged code. We use Enterprise Services because of scalability, transactional, and security requirements for cross-machine processing. We chose not to use .Net Remoting, and from what I am seeing come out of PDC in regards to Indigo, that was a good choice. To me, the value of PDC at this time, even though new technology won't be available for some time to come, is that I can know today what will probably be supported or not supported for the future. That helps a great deal. Its a great selling point. It lets me develop applications with the foresight (as much as we can have, of course, with alpha and almost-beta software) that these applications will work a few years from now.
Why that concern? Because, in my consulting work, I still see (unmanaged) applications running that were written 3-4 years ago. They are still being used. I want to write managed code today that I can be reasonably sure will still be valid 3-4 years from now. That is important for me, and that is extremely important for my clients.