Thursday, March 06, 2008

MIX '08 - Steve Ballmer Keynote

So there are actually two keynotes at MIX. The second one just ended and it was a very candid, and eye-opening (for me) Q and A of Steve Ballmer by Guy Kawasaki. I personally didn't know who Guy was prior to the event, but after a few minutes of their quick banter back and forth your quickly learned that Guy worked out Apple at one point and Steve didn't hire him back in the mid 80s to work at Microsoft.

This was all delivered in some machine guy style, friendly barbs back and forth at each other which Guy continued in a humorous way throughout the hour long session.

Nothing was off limits as Guy asked "What is up with Vista", why Steve didn't have a MacBook Air (which he "fake" stomped and crushed Guys).

Steve Ballmer comes off as a very approachable, funny, self-deprecating individual. At one point during the attendee QA he got up and pumped his fist in the air with a wicked grin on his face yelling "Web developers, web developers, web developers". This sent everyone into a roar of applause.

Not much was learned, but it was very cool to see Microsoft's head honcho speaking candidly on a variety of topics from Silverlight, to the Yahoo takeover, Xbox, social networks and more. If some of his evasive answers are to be taken at face value, 2008 seems to have more suprises in store for the end user and developer. More tidbits about this keynote later (and I need to finish up my other keynote post).

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