Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise appearance at the end of Wednesday’s BUILD keynote speech, telling the audience that Microsoft is in the process of reimagining itself.
Addressing Microsoft’s future, Ballmer said: “In a sense you could say that if Windows 8 is Windows reimagined, we're also in the process, and Windows 8's an important step of that, of reimagining Microsoft.”
He ticked off four big themes he said the software giant is focusing on: New hardware form factors, cloud services, new application scenarios, and new forms of developer opportunity. “While it's clear we have a long way to go still with Windows 8, we've been gratified certainly by the reactions and the interest,” Ballmer said.
“I sure hope the show has been interesting. I know it's been fun," Ballmer told the gathered developers. "I went and checked how quickly you activated the machines that you got yesterday, and I guess I could tell you what you were all doing last night.” Each conference attendee received a Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC tablet with the preview version of Windows 8 loaded on it.
Ballmer told the crowd that there have already been 500,000 downloads of the developers’ preview version of Windows 8, which is available to anyone who is interested.