Microsoft's analyst meeting touts SaaS, .NET's victory over J2EE staff

Last week Microsoft held its first financial analyst meeting since it announced that founder Bill Gates would step away from his full-time role with the company to focus on philanthropy. With Gates on vacation and thus not available for the call, CEO Steve Ballmer, chief software architect Ray Ozzie and senior vice president of server and tools Bob Muglia all offered their thoughts.

Ozzie took on the familiar topics of software as a service and Windows Live, InternetNews reports here. Noting that the combination of bigger bandwidth and better computing power puts users in control, Ozzie said the challenge for firms like Microsoft is making data, applications and development tools available to these "well-connected" users in such a way that they can effectively deploy and use them on multiple devices.

Muglia said "J2EE has run its course" and .NET has become the platform of choice for enterprise development, eWEEK reports here. Echoing Ozzie, Muglia said the server and tools group would jump on the software as a service bandwagon. He also said Team Foundation Server put the company in a good position to challenge IBM Rational in the collaboration tool space.

As for Ballmer, he promised that Vienna, the code name for the successor to Vista, will not take as long to come to fruition, ZDNet reports here. He also defended Microsoft's $2.7 billion increase in its investment budget and said the company was well positioned to take on Apple's popular iTunes and iPod products.

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