Journalists ask questions...
Would it not be more to avoid a repeat of the below:
To criticise Microsoft is, of course, to attack not only an easy target but also a popular one. Many people hate the big M for the simple (and undeniable) reason that it is successful. This is a comfortable reason to hate a company because it guarantees an unending supply of hate figures; if/when the big M falls from grace …
An excellent point.
Most keynotes don't have a Q&A section but just suppose this one did (I don’t KNOW if it did because I wasn’t allowed in…..). In that case you could have put your finger on the problem; Ballmer didn't want those perfidious journalists asking the awkward ones. However my guess is that the audience there was quite capable of asking challenging questions on its own (which is probably why keynotes don’t usually allow questions.)
So, can any reader who was there enlighten us? Did Ballmer take questions from the audience?
So the whole thing was a total waste of time? No news at all?
Wow.... Id speculate that Steve Balmer threw a chair.... and then everyone was sworn to secrecy.
Honestly...since when does Microshaft have any earthshattering news anymore.... other than the next big fat hole in Vista or IE7/6.... big enough t run a Semi through without ever hearing a pin drop let alone the semi itself... but we already knew that.
It's sad however... for them.. that kind of business practice causes jouranlists.... that aren't too nice when it comes to telling it straight.... to speculate just like I did...and then you get a can of worms.
M$ only has itself to blame for THAT one.
"Many people hate the big M for the simple (and undeniable) reason that it is successful."
No they don't.
People hate MS because they effectively have an unjustified tax on the world's computers. They're the planet's biggest spongers.
Apple is successful with the ipod because people choose to buy their music players, Nintendo is successful because people choose to buy their consoles, Nokia is successful because people choose to buy their phones.
When did you last see someone actively wanting to buy Windows, as opposed to being bounced into it by compatibility issues?
"When did you last see someone actively wanting to buy Windows, as opposed to being bounced into it by compatibility issues?"
You mean, apart from all those people who just want to put in a CD or install a graphics card without having to write scripts and drivers for it themselves? (Yes I know Linux has moved along, but not necessarily that far, and no, I'm not referring to Vista.) It's just better for some people than others.
Last time I was at the partner conference, in Seattle, a large proportion of it was Steve taking written and verbal questions - I think he covered one I'd written in. He did it with the usual energy - enough to propel a chair a long way - and with little bullshit because the partners know the nitty gtitty of the programs. But that was open and public. My guess, he was announcing the Home Server going to system builder news they wanted to be fresh for WinHEC, or something similar, because there were no big announcements at WinHEC beyond the already-leaked name of WS 2008. WinHEC isn't about news, but it does MS PR more good if it gets into the news cycle with something than with the headline 'nothing new since Vista'. The headline 'Ballmer talks in secret' isn't a good one either, of course ;-)