Apple's next Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) takes place June 6-10 in San Francisco, the company announced last night.

An annual highlight for Apple's growing developer community WWDC will be held at San Francisco's Moscone Centre once again.

"One of the keys for this year's conference is going to be innovation," Ron Okamoto, Apple vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations, told MacCentral.

Apple promises developers the event will: "Give them the in-depth knowledge, hands-on instruction and one-on-one support you need to deliver products and solutions that transform the way your users work, play, search, and share on a Mac."

The format is to be tweaked slightly for 2005, in order to give developers more hands-on sessions, so they can spend more time with Apple's engineering team to enable them to implement more OS X 10.4 features in their applications. The company promises: "Rich sessions. Practical tutorials. Hands-on labs." It describes a "full-spectrum experience".
Apple's focus and clear developmental road-map continues to attract more developers. The company offers developers a road-map for future development - while some cross-platform developers grumble they lack such guidance from Microsoft.

"Our developer community has grown two and a half times in the last two years," Okamoto said.

"When you look at what's included in Mac OS X Tiger, it is the most significant release the platform has seen since the original Mac OS X. We've been talking to developers and they are getting really excited," he said.

Apple is offering a number of discount deals to tempt developers to the critical event. The "buy four get one free" deal means groups of developers can buy five tickets for the cost of four, if they register before April 22. (Usual cost $6,380, offer cost $5,180).

A standard WWDC 2005 ticket costs $1,595, though developers who register before April 22 pay just $1,295. Apple is also offering developers the chance to buy WWDC access and the Tiger Early Start kit together for just $1,695 (usual cost $1,995).