If you've been getting an usual number of OOF (out of office) messages from Microsoft folks this week, it's not (necessarily) because they're at the beach, trying to escape Seattle's fallish temperatures in late July.
Many of them are in Denver this week. for the Microsoft Global Exchange -- the 12,000-or-so-strong internal meeting of Microsoft execs, product teams, evangelists and sales people.
This year, a number of self-appointed twitter police at the company are reminding regularly those attending MGX to watch their tweets. So far, they've complied and the MGX mentions have been nothing to tweet home about.
The Friday night closing party at Red Rocks seems to be on a number of attendees' minds, and rumors have included both the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lady Gaga (the latter thanks to a cab driver in Denver who didn't get the disclosure memo).
At MGX events, Microsoft execs tout the products and initiatives that they expect to be hot in the coming fiscal year. Microsoft also announces its Q4 and year-end earnings during the MGX conferences. This year, FY 2011 earnings for Microsoft are out on July 21. CEO Steve Ballmer already ballparked FY 2011 revenues around $70 billion and net profit at between $26 billion and $27 billion.
Typically, MGX attendees see and hear messages and positioning similar to what Microsoft execs first practice at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference events.
At WPC last week, Microsoft execs highlighted the continued momentum of Windows 7 (with repeated promises of Windows 8's awesomeness); the pressing need to get users off older Microsoft products (like Windows XP, IE 6 and Office 2003) and onto the latest versions; plans for 75 more Microsoft brick-and-mortar stores; the imminent arrival of Windows Phone Mango; the upcoming launch of the System Center 2012 family of system management wares; and planned pushes for Office 365, Xbox Live TV/Kinect; and Bing as a development platform.