Today was the Microsoft Company Meeting at Safeco Field in downtown Seattle.  Last year instead of the traditional "everyone takes a school bus to the stadium" meeting, they tried a webcast so that we could "watch from the convenience of our desk."  I didn't watch it and I don't think most people did, so I for one was happy to have the real company meeting back.

There was a lot of talk about the freezing cold--however, while it was chilly, I was far less cold than during our late-October meeting of 2003.  Brrrrrrrr.  Maybe that's because I wore pants instead of shorts and three shirts instead of one this time...

One of the things that really got me feeling positive was a broad look out our product pipeline.  My first company meeting was in 1996 and I can't think of a time in which we have had more important products set to ship in a year than in the next 12 months.  Starting with Visual Studio 2005 with NET 2.0 and XBOX 360 and SQL Server 2005, and then next year Windows Vista (finally) and of course Office "12" and Windows Server is coming and Exchange is coming and business solutions is coming and cool mobile devices are coming...

2006 is going to be one of the most important years for Microsoft since the wave of technology that came out around Windows 95.  Of course, I think Office "12" is as innovative as anything we've done, but there's lots to recommend across the company.  Kudos to everyone in the company who's made a big bet and followed through on it.