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Ballmer garnishes Bing 2.0 with iPhone 'stomp'

Return of the Kool-Aid kid

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Microsoft has unveiled an upcoming date to Bing - and the first in an anticipated series of TV ads pimping Windows 7.

Both were on display at yesterday's annual day out for Microsoft's 90,000 or so employees in Seattle, Washington.

The third highlight of the employee meeting, according to reports and Tweets from the event, was the latest outburst of competitive exuberance from Redmond's chief executive. Evidently, Steve Ballmer seized an employee's iPhone and held it up to mass ridicule, before pretending to stomp on it and walk away.

The drama unfolded as Steve Ballmer entered the event at Safeco Field, home to the Seattle Mariners, "slapping hands, running around, and generally whooping things up". The staffer held up their iPhone to take a photo of the dome-headed madness.

Endgadget claims to have a copy of the iPhone photo here.

Ballmer's ability to turn on the shtick is becoming routine, and now, it's almost expected when he takes the stage at mass rallies and events. Here's some of Ballmer's earlier work here, here and here. The infamous chair-throwing incident was never caught on video - that we know of, at least.

His cheerleading apparently proved a peppy relief to show opener chief operating officer Kevin Turner, who provided a surprising reality check.

Anonymous Microsoft blogger Mini Microsoft wrote: "He did take on the job of addressing the tough year and I believe he said some things that really surprised me. Growth hides mediocrity being one of them. That we over hired."

Meanwhile, a parade of Microsoft group presidents and senior executives tried to wow the masses with product demonstrations. Apparently, most of the stuff was already public knowledge, including Project Natal for a motion-based gaming and Windows 7.

On the new side, employee's Twitter streams revealed that Microsoft also demonstrated Bing 2.0. The engine update will apparently combine maps that use Microsoft's Silverlight browser-based media player and pictures with search results. The search engine is apparently due next week. Bing 1.0 arrived in May, and Microsoft has promised two Bing updates a year.

Microsoft also previewed its first ad for Windows 7, due on October 22. The ad, here, is a disturbing hybrid that fuses the suffocating PotteryBarn poppetry of its earlier "I'm a PC" ads with something approaching the kittens of RatherGood.com. The precocious moppet apparently featured in those earlier ads too, which suggests we can look forward to more of the same. ®

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