Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has been making more comments about Microsoft's future projects, including Windows 8. Ballmer made his latest remarks at the 2011 edition of the Imagine Cup finals, an annual competition that brings together hundreds of student programmers from around the world. This year's Imagine Cup, which is sponsored by Microsoft is being held in New York City. Ballmer's opening speech is reprinted on Microsoft's web site where he admitted that this is the first time he has attended the Imagine Cups finals.
Ballmer talked about a number of Microsoft's divisions and businesses in his speech. He spoke in general about Windows 8, saying, "Hey, what's Windows 8? How do we drive it? What do we make happen? What are the key phenomena? When do we get to release it? How do we make it better, and better and better? Yes, there are some other guys we compete with. Boom we've got to do better, and better, and better, and better, and better. It's pretty exciting, pretty exciting stuff." Later in his speech Ballmer stated, "Windows 8 will be pretty important. You’ll hear more about that at our developer conference Build in September." Rumors have already hit the Internet that the Build conference is where Microsoft will release the first beta version of Windows 8.
Ballmer also spoke about the Windows Phone business, saying, " ... we're charging forward with Nokia. We have the second generation of our phones coming out this Christmas, and people are starting to do things they had never imagined before." he also talked about the recently launch of the cloud-based Office 365 software suite and how businesses in general are using cloud based services more and more. He states, "Twelve months ago, you talked to these big corporate IT departments and they'd say, we're not moving to the cloud. They were very conservative. Here we are 12 months later, and people are saying, we know we've got to go, we've got to move. We don't know exactly how quickly, some things will move fast and slow."
Ballmer also briefly mentioned the company's upcoming acquisition of the Skype Internet phone service and also the Bing search engine, stating, " ... most of us as human beings want to command these systems to do something for us. And the core technology we're developing to understand and try to simulate the world of users and what they're interested in, and how they want to get it done is all being done in Bing."