Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer opened this year's Professional Developer Conference with the announcement of some surprising new allies and a host of new products and services.
Ballmer emphasised Microsoft's position as a market for developers, with 240 million Windows 7 licences in the first year and 10 million downloads of the Internet Explorer 9 beta, a new version of which was made available today.
However, while Microsoft is selling more copies of Windows as the number of PC users in the world continues to increase, the company is losing market share, according to Gartner Fellow Neil MacDonald.
"The drop in market share may seem small but, when you are talking about hundreds of millions of machines installed worldwide, every tenth of a point of market percentage drop is a large number," he said.
Windows Phone 7 deployments are going well, with 60 operators in 30 countries since the launch earlier this month.
There have been more than 500,000 downloads of the free Windows Phone Developer Tools, according to Microsoft, and over 1,000 applications are ready for when the phones go on sale on 8 November.
The applications include a TurboTax title from Intuit, a Facebook widget and full support for books for Amazon's Kindle platform, and delegates at the conference were given a free LG Phone 7 handset.
"Having 1,000 is a good start from a developer standpoint, as it all comes down to getting units into the market. It's not a hard platform to programme on, " Jeffrey Hammond, principal analyst at Forrester Research, told V3.co.uk. "I don't get into app counting; the question is does it have the 50 I need to use?"
Ballmer also threw his weight behind HTML5 as the "lingua franca" for the future. "The glue that I think allows this world to come together and allow for amazing information is HTML5," he said.
But Ballmer also went out of his way to emphasise the support for Java that Microsoft is building into its latest products and services, particularly updates to its Azure cloud services.
"The success of Azure does provide you with the choice," he said. "We're making Java a first class citizen."
Ballmer's performance was more sedate than at previous developer conferences, which he acknowledged in his opening remarks.
"I won't be doing the developer dance," he joked. "I can never do it as well as I did many, many lean years ago."
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