Microsoft opened the kimono and gave us all a nice long flash of Windows 8 yesterday at its Build conference in Anaheim. Amid all the over-the-top hype and raging speculation one key element was missing: the sweaty bald guy at the top.
This Win8 dog and pony event was run by Steve Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live, who also handled the Windows 7 launch. At that point, Microsoft's CEO was nowhere to be seen.
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Build is after all a Microsoft developers conference. Where's the bombast, the bluster, the buckets of perspiration? Where, for the sake of all that is holy, is the Monkey Boy Dance?
Ballmer has been keeping a decidedly low profile for the unveil of Windows 8, and that's probably a good thing. He was all over the launch of Vista back in 2006, and we all know how that went.
In fact, it's been months since we've heard a peep out of the Mad Ballmer. I can't remember the last time he made some outrageous statement about how Google isn't a real company or the iPad is just another PC or that Linux causes herpes. It's been forever since the man has thrown a chair in anger.
Sorry, that's not entirely accurate. Last week he appeared on stage at the launch of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. As far as we know, no furniture was harmed in the making of that presentation.
Ballmer is scheduled to deliver a keynote at Build this afternoon, followed by a meeting with Wall Street analysts, so maybe this will all change. Maybe Steve will drop a few bombshells or diss a competitor or make some impossible claim about how Windows 8 not only boots up seven seconds before you press the On button but also cures cancer. But I'm not betting on it.