Microsoft tees up for this week's company meeting

On September 28, Microsoft will hold its annual company meeting at Safeco field in downtown Seattle. Other than arranging for comedian Amy Sedaris to play host, what do CEO Steve Ballmer and company have planned?

On September 28, Microsoft will hold its annual company meeting at Safeco field in downtown Seattle.

Other than arranging for comedian Amy Sedaris to play host, what do CEO Steve Ballmer and company have planned?

As anonymous blogger Mini Microsoft notes, there should be a lot fewer executive speeches this year, as the number of senior leaders at the company has dwindled considerably since the start of the year. There are now three Microsoft Presidents (Windows' Steven Sinofsky, Online Services' Qi Lu and Server & Tools' Bob Muglia) left, with Robbie Bach and Steven Elop both gone. That could mean a lot more Ballmer blablabla, given the CEO is currently running mobile communications, gaming, and the company's Office units.

Mini suggests Microsoft demo some of the Windows Phone 7 apps that have been developed by Softies. That'd be interesting and timely, given Windows Phone 7 phones are set to go on sale in Europe in October and here in the U.S. in November.

Mini also suggests that Ballmer or someone at the executive level give employees attending and watching (via Webcast) the meeting some kind of indication as to whether the trickle of ongoing layoffs is finally over. I recently got a note from a reader who heard about some additional cuts in Microsoft's partner organization. Microsoft execs have said that this summer's round of layoffs was in the hundreds, but the relatively slow pace has made it seem like more.

There are always product demos galore at the Microsoft meeting, some of which occasionally get tweeted or tweferenced to the delight of those of us who can't watch along from home. I wonder if there will be anything new or interesting shown on the slate front.

Any other guesses/thoughts as what Microsoft execs should and could show and share at this year's event?

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