Ballmer bytes: Beating the drum for .net

The gremlins struck in Monte Carlo Tuesday felling the satellite before Ballmer's keynote, forcing the Microsoft President and CEO to bang the drum for .Net by voice only

President and CEO of Microsoft, Steve Bullmer finally made audio contact with the European IT Forum in Monte Carlo Tuesday afternoon, after an attempt to strike a live video link by satellite failed.

Undeterred the ebullient front man for the software giant devoted most of his presentation to the new .Net platform. ".Net is the platform of the future for Microsoft. Windows doesn't go away, the PC doesn't go away, but we needed a platform that was really designed to reflect the reality of the Internet, the reality of the new devices, and the reality of the way software is going to be built and distributed. .Net is really about this new vision that we articulated a year ago for our company empowering people through great software, any time, any place, and any device", he said.

Supporting Microsoft's .Net vision is a strong commitment to XML. "XML is king. XML is the lingua franca of the Internet" according to Ballmer.

He was also at pains to stress the work going in to wireless devices and alternative form factors, stressing joint projects with partners like, Compaq on Pocket PC, Thomson on smart TV sets, and important mobile research in the UK.

Commenting on the market correction earlier this year Ballmer echoed a popular message at this conference: "The third phase that we are in today is focusing on profit... the focus is on doing business better, more profitably, not simply on customer transactions." A consequence of the market correction is the focus of IT activity in an organisation.

"The real focus is on the agility that IT gives business. The agility to serve its customers in different ways, to work with new business partners" Ballmer said.

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