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What's Next for Microsoft


Every July, Microsoft Corp invites a sizable Wall Street crowd to its leafy, low-rise campus outside Seattle. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and his top managers take a half-day to explain where the world’s biggest software company is going, to a generally friendly audience.

This year things didn’t go quite according to plan.

Ballmer, CEO since 2000, talked excitedly of Windows 7, its new Bing search engine, new Phone software and the Xbox game system. But he was skimpy with details of how Microsoft would counter Apple’s hugely popular iPad, a question that has been vexing investors.

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