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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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March 3, 2008 9:03 AM

Gates still packs 'em in as Microsoft kicks off big week

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The line formed at least an hour in advance for Chairman Bill Gates keynote speech to Microsoft's SharePoint conference here in Seattle this morning. The conference is sold out with 3,800 people in attendance. The company announced an expansion of its online services for businesses this morning, previewed in this story.

Gates' appearance begins a week in which nearly all of Microsoft's "C suite" will be speaking. Also today, CFO Chris Liddell is talking at Morgan Stanley analyst conference and CEO Steve Ballmer is taking the stage with a panel of European political leaders, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of CeBIT 2008, a tech expo in Hanover, Germany, expected to draw 475,000 people.

Tomorrow, Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie speaks at Microsoft Research TechFest in Redmond.

The venue shifts to Las Vegas on Wednesday when Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie gives a keynote address at Mix, the conference for Web designers and developers. It's a rare public appearance for the company's key software strategist.

Of course, Mundie and Ozzie are the two executives assigned to fill Gates' roles at Microsoft when he steps away from day-to-day involvement at the company later this year.

On Thursday, Ballmer takes the stage at Mix for a Q&A with Guy Kawasaki, the famed Apple evangelist and now venture capitalist. That should be interesting.

General Counsel Brad Smith is meeting with governments and others in Asia and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner is participating in events in Europe.

Check back here throughout the week for coverage of these events and anything else that comes up on Microsoft.

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