There were plans for a DCE v2.0 based on the experiences with the first version, but the Open Group has now stopped funding the development of DCE. There is an attempt by groups inside and outside TOG to have DCE free-d/open-sourced. (There are also groups (IP lawyers, bureaucrats, ...) trying to stop it: the original code came from several organisations with various licences; it has been modified by other organisations who feel they have some rights). There is a lot of checking of code and licences to be done.
If (when!) the DCE code is freely available, there are many interesting possibilities:
LDAP substitute for CDS. CDS has not become as widely used as other parts of DCE. The directory service that has found widespread commercial favour is LDAP. The RPC interface to directory service could be extended to use any of the commercial LDAP services.
LDAP as an alternative global directory agent. Another possible project is to enable DCE's Global Directory Agent to use LDAP as a global directory service alongside DNS and X.500.
Enable Public Key Certificate Login. Use of Public Key certificates for authentication would enable users without a DCE environment to access DCE services. There are several vendor-specific implementations that already provide this functionality.
Interfaces to other programming languages. Support for languages other than C, C++ and Java would make DCE more widely useful. Borland's Entera with language specific wrappers could be the model. An alternative would be to provide integrated support for SOAP and CORBA which are currently supported by gateways. The JADE II project was developing DCE client software that could be downloaded to a web-browser.
While the problems that DCE tries to solve are even more pressing today than when DCE was designed, DCE has never had a very high profile. This is partly the fate of middleware - a hidden technology that does not provide any solutions by itself. Another reason may be that DCE was never new and sexy: it re-used tried and tested technology. But for many distributed computing applications, DCE is still a very good base to build on.