So you're hoping to explore the pre-release WinFX goodies - WPF, WCF and WWF - from the comfort of home.
Do you need the PDC DVDs? Do you need an MSDN subscription? Do the stars have to be aligned?
No, no, and... well, no... although astral alignment can sometimes help.
Rob Relyea has the answer, complete with links, in his blog: How to get a [WinFX] development box going (order matters) if you are downloading everything from the web.
Here's the deal, straight from Rob's blog:
1. Operating System Required - Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista 5219 (not Windows Vista beta1!)
UPDATE3: Another important issue that Gerald Beuchelt ran into: When trying to install the VS2005 Beta 2 on Vista, it constantly failed and the installation stopped with an error when trying to install the MSXML 6.0 component. The solution is to install the MSXML 6.0 parser before you install VS 2005 Beta 2. The installer can be found in the VS directory in the subfolder wcu\msxml.
2. WinFx CTP installation
This installs WinFX on the machine...end users will need this done.
WPF (fka "Avalon"), WCF (fka "Indigo"), and .NET Framework 2.0 all get installed with an integrated setup.
3. Visual Studio (Beta 2!!!) (or you can also install Visual Basic Express or VC# Express - just make sure it is "Beta 2"!) Sorry, there is currently no build of WinFX that is compatible with RC or RTM builds of VS!
Once the install is done, make sure you do step 2 of the VS setup...install Help content - use it offline if you want it to work its best with WinFX SDK content to come later.
4. Windows WinFX SDK
This installs a ton of help content (samples, documentation) and some great tools (xamlpad, etc...)
5. VS Extensions for WinFx
This installs Project Templates and Item Templates for Visual Studio.
6. [My addition] WWF Visual Studio Extensions
This installs the Visual Studio Extensions for WWF, which will let you get started exploring Windows Workflow Foundation.
These were the bits I used to install the hands-on labs in Dublin, and this configuration is what I'd recommend as of today (14 Oct 05). Your mileage may vary and this recommendation has a half-life of an estimated few weeks. Don't hesitate to write me if I can help you with this install. And whatever you do -- this stuff is all pre-release! Don't install these components on a machine you rely on.