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Microsoft also looks forward to integrating Skype with its Lync unified communications application, Ballmer said. Microsoft in May said it plans to acquire Skype, a provider of IP-based communications, and in June received regulatory approval for the deal.
Microsoft will add digital meeting and whiteboarding capability to Lync this year, and plans to integrate Lync with Skype to give customers and partners complete control over all their communications, Ballmer said.
"And together with the combination of Skype and Lync, we'll be able to drive even better things this year," he said.
Microsoft is also in the process of integrating live TV through its Xbox 360 gaming console, allowing users to use the Kinect wireless controllers to access television shows and movies via Netflix without pressing buttons, Ballmer said.
The company will also integrate voice control and its Bing search engine as well, he said. "You say it, and Xbox finds it. . . . Just think how you can apply the same concepts at work," he said.
Dave Sobel, CEO of Evolve Technologies, a Fairfax, Va.-based managed services provider and infrastructure provider, said Ballmer's presentation was much tighter and clearer vision than last year's.
"The tidbits of reality were nice to hear," Sobel said. "He said things like Microsoft's mobile phone market share grew from 'very small' to 'very small,' and that it didn't grow like he thought it would. That's good."
Sobel said it was also nice to hear real projections about the expected growth of Microsoft's phone business, particularly the IDC and Gartner projection that Microsoft would have the number two market share. "It's going to be a tough fight for them," he said.