News from Microsoft's Worldwide Partners Conference 2007

On Tuesday, I attended Microsoft's Worldwide Partners Conference 2007 in Denver. During his keynote speech, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner made an exciting product announcement: Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008 will be launched February 27, 2008.

Microsoft's keynote speakers spent a lot of time talking about the company's "software plus services" initiative. The idea behind software plus services is that users will continue to use software to complete certain tasks, but will now have the option to use Web hosting services for other tasks. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, focused on Silverlight and the Windows Live platform during his keynote speech. Silverlight is Microsoft's new cross-platform, cross-browser plug-in, which Microsoft says will bring collaboration and interactivity to user's online experience. According to Ballmer, Silverlight's going to transform the UI. Brian Goldfarb, the lead product manager for the Web Platform and Tools team at Microsoft, demonstrated Silverlight's HD video quality, which is amazing, and its video-scaling functionality, which will enable advertisers to create more intriguing online ads. "What's ours is yours," seemed to be Microsoft's tagline for the Windows Live platform at the conference. Brian Hall, the general manager of Microsoft's Windows Live group, used it repeatedly during his Windows Live demonstration and explained that you can now pick and choose Windows Live services to use in your applications to build engaging Web sites. For more information about Microsoft's software plus services initiative, see Microsoft, Finally, Talks Cloud Computing.

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