Tom Brokaw Brings a Conscience to Microsoft Launch

Hitting the delete button will not eradicate world poverty and hunger, the former NBC Nightly News anchor said.

LOS ANGELES-Microsoft trotted out NBC journalist and former anchor Tom Brokaw at its launch event for Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, who made it clear he's not looking for a new career writing code or designing new networks.

An avid user of IT, Brokaw did say, "its inner workings remain a mystery to me," before lauding the power of technology and the potential it has to change all of our lives in a positive way.

But Brokaw also reminded the audience that "hitting the delete button will not eradicate world poverty and hunger," adding that "it will do us little good to wire the world if we short circuit our conscience."

Introducing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Brokaw quipped that "you are allowed to say 'Yahoo' as you welcome him."

In his keynote, delivered at the Feb. 27 event titled "Heroes happen {here}" at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Ballmer praised the three products behind the launch, even though only the server software is actually starting to ship.

Visual Studio 2008 was released late last year, while SQL Server 2008 has been pushed back to late 2008.

Ballmer also talked up the company's Dynamic IT initiative, which is designed to help customers optimize their people, processes and technology, effectively positioning IT as a strategic asset for their businesses. "People need IT to help them do more with less," he said.

Ballmer said Microsoft helps customers through introducing new releases while helping them maximize the benefit of the products they already have.

"These products will simplify management and enable customers to focus more on driving their businesses forward," he said.

Ballmer identified four big trends: software plus services; virtualization; openness; and the trend back to a rich user experience.

"These trends give us the opportunity to drive forward our Dynamic IT strategy," he said, adding that the three products being released today hit the "sweet spot" of that strategy.