Ballmer talks up MS products

Summary:NEW ORLEANS -- Microsoft Corp. Executive Vice President Steve Ballmer outlined features of upcoming products, introduced developers to its new Microsoft logo strategy, and pledged to continue adding features to Windows even as the Justice Department pushes forward with plans to restrict the company.

NEW ORLEANS -- Microsoft Corp. Executive Vice President Steve Ballmer outlined features of upcoming products, introduced developers to its new Microsoft logo strategy, and pledged to continue adding features to Windows even as the Justice Department pushes forward with plans to restrict the company.

"Windows has a long way to go before we consider it done," Ballmer told the 9,000 developers at TechEd 98 in New Orleans, adding that he doesn't expect a finished product before the end of his working lifetime.






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"We have to teach Windows to speak, to learn, to listen," he said.

Ballmer said when people ask him to define the OS, he can't. "I can't give an answer," he said. "We face the need to push, push, push."

The definition of the OS is one of the key arguments in the Microsoft-DOJ legal tangle, with the government arguing that Internet Explorer is not an integral part of the OS and therefore should be offered separately. But Ballmer touted a strategy of tightly integrated products during his speech.

Logo program announced
Ballmer said developers who create applications that are compatible with upcoming Office features such as IntelliMirroring (which lets remote users automatically synchronize their programs upon return) will be eligible for a logo saying their products are "designed for" Office and Back Office.

Ballmer also said Microsoft would work harder to capture more of the market for software that helps companies analyze and track products, orders, and employees.

Ballmer said features of the upcoming SQL Server 7.0 would help move the company even further into the database market. "We are in the database business in every way shape and form," Ballmer said.

He also touted features of the upcoming Office 9.0 such as more integration with SQL Server and the Web. Over the weekend, Ballmer said the new suite would be called "Office 2000."

E-commerce capabilities shown
Ballmer also said Microsoft's products already are helping companies enhance their e-commerce transactions. The company demonstrated the Web site for the Gap Store, which uses Microsoft's SQL Server and Site Server to complete transactions. The Los Angeles Superior Court is using the technology to let lawyers, judges and others process about one billion documents a year.

But that capability wouldn't help Microsoft in its own legal wrangling, Ballmer joked.

"My only hope is the U.S. DOJ doesn't get access to this technology anytime soon," Ballmer quipped. "We don't have time to submit that many documents."

Topics: Microsoft, Browser, E-Commerce, Government, Operating Systems, Servers, Software, Windows

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