It's fitting that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates delivered his final publicly scheduled speech as a full-time Microsoft employee to a roomful of software developers.
Gates started as a developer 33 years ago when he co-founded Microsoft, and the developers of the Windows OS are a primary reason the company is an industry powerhouse.
Gates, kicked off the TechEd Developers conference last week, addressing what is perhaps his company's most loyal audience. He spoke only briefly about his July 1 transition to spending most of his time at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, calling it "a bit abrupt" .
Aside from that, the speech was textbook Gates, outlining future directions for application development and services.
Gates unveiled Microsoft's future direction application modeling, part of Project Oslo (see page 22), Microsoft's application-development plan for making it easier for developers to build service-oriented architectures.
As for services, Gates articulated perhaps more clearly than ever before Microsoft's plans to compete with companies like Google and Amazon.com to provide the industry's largest data centres for hosted services