And the way to get there, he says, is with openness and open technologies -- a rising tide lifts all ships, and Microsoft wants to help all developers succeed no matter what technologies they use. Getting a billion-dollar idea to market is easier when you can stand on the shoulders of giants.
"It's no longer monolithic or proprietary," Thompson says. "It's about sharing."
Un-Microsoft-like, indeed. But maybe the surest sign yet that Microsoft is rethinking its relationships with developers. Which is a good thing, because if Microsoft is serious about this "platform," developers are going to be its most precious resource, and it has some image rehabilitation to do. In that light, having startups and independent coders at one of the premiere events for the same is a shrewd move.
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