Microsoft's Ballmer won't present at Apple conference (duh)
A testament to the waves that one wildly speculative analyst and an army of overzealous bloggers can make, Microsoft responded to rumors Thursday morning, asserting that Chief Executive Steve Ballmer would not be presenting at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference.
Microsoft sniped the gossip using its Twitter account, which is run by two spokespeople, with class and good humor.
"Steve Ballmer not speaking at Apple Dev Conf," the tweet read. "Nor appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Nor riding in the Belmont. Just FYI."
The Ballmer theory originated from Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry. OK, let's all point and laugh. Ha, ha, ha.
Chowdhry said in his widely circulated report that either Ballmer or Bob Muglia, Microsoft's server and tools chief, would field a seven-minute presentation of the company's Visual Studio 2010 software -- a suite of tools for developers. That supposed presentation would happen during a keynote by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Microsoft squashed the rumors, but not before they had spun out of control. Bloggers speculated that Ballmer would introduce a version of the Silverlight multimedia Web tool for iPhone as a way to assail Adobe or make Bing an exclusive iPhone search engine to attack Google. Not.
In more reliable Apple gossip, the developer conference, which kicks off on June 7 in San Francisco, will probably bring the official unveiling of a new iPhone -- after Gizmodo's unauthorized sneak peek.
Apple still leads Microsoft in stock valuation, a shift that transpired Wednesday. The Ballmer rumors had no effect on either company's stock. Apple's market cap on Thursday was $229.6 billion, while Microsoft was worth $228.3 billion.
Responding to the displacement, Ballmer told reporters in New Delhi, India: “It is a long game. We have good competitors,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal. “We, too, are very good competitors."
“I will make more profits, and certainly there is no technology company in the planet which is as profitable as we are,” Ballmer added.
-- Mark Milian
Photo: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer addresses a press conference in New Delhi, India. Credit: EPA