Microsoft: 'Ballmer at WWDC' rumor is wrong

Don't start chanting "Developers!" yet: Microsoft says its CEO won't appear at WWDC, contrary to what some stories implied

For a minute there, it looked like hell had frozen over.

Reports circulating around the Web Thursday morning suggested Microsoft CEO (and occasional mad-man) Steve Ballmer would be crossing enemy lines to speak at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference next month.

It would have made for one hell of a story.

Unfortunately, it just isn't true.

Microsoft: No Ballmer at WWDC

The Ballmer-at-WWDC rumor started with a story published at Barron's, part of The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday night. The report cited one of those always-helpful analysts as saying Microsoft was set to appear at Apple's event, with Ballmer likely representing.

Per Barron's:

"Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with tiny Global Equities Research, contends that 7 minutes of the June 7 keynote by Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been blocked off for a presentation by Microsoft (MSFT) to talk about Visual Studio 2010, the company's suite of development tools. Chowdhry says the new version of VS will allow developers to write native applications for the iPhone, iPad and Mac OS. And here's the kicker: he thinks Microsoft's presentation could be given by none other than Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer."

Particularly given this week's news that Apple had surpassed Microsoft in value for the first time -- becoming the world's most largest tech company in terms of share worth -- the info seemed especially juicy. Blog after blog ran with the story, and Microsoft fanboys everywhere dropped their jaws in shock.

Well, I hate to burst the bubble, but here's what Microsoft had to say about the matter:

"Steve Ballmer not speaking at Apple Dev Conf. Nor appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Nor riding in the Belmont. Just FYI."

That statement was posted to Microsoft's official Twitter account Thursday afternoon. Poor Trip Chowdhry; bet that guy won't be allowed out of his cubicle again anytime soon.

Now, to be fair, the crew from Microsoft didn't technically deny that someone from the company could speak at Apple's conference; they just said Ballmer himself would not. So we'll see what happens. Bill Gates has actually shared the stage with Apple a couple times before, so some type of presence wouldn't be completely unprecedented.

Still, it's a damn shame about Steve. A Ballmer-Jobs "Developers!" duet would have been sublime.

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JR Raphael

PC World (US online)
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