Turning to its relationship with Intel, Ballmer brought Paul Otellini, Intels chief operating officer, on stage. Otellini said Intels relationship with Microsoft had expanded from the desktop and into the server market. While the "server performance crown" part of the market had eluded both companies, this was changing, he said. Otellini announced that a 32-way, Itanium 2 NEC Solutions Inc. server, the NEC Express5800/1320Xc, running the next-generation Madison chip had given the best non-clustered TPC-C benchmark in the world, a fact that received much applause.
"The interesting thing about our architecture is that we continue to scale. This morning Hewlett-Packard is announcing that they are now number one," he said, at which point Ballmer did a little victory dance.