- Associated Press - Thursday, October 28, 2010

REDMOND, WASH. (AP) - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has kicked off a conference for software developers, the company’s annual pep rally for people who will build programs for the Web, Windows computers and the company’s new smart phones.

Ballmer is known for his onstage enthusiasm. This year, he joked with the crowd that he wouldn’t repeat the memorable “developer prance” of years past, when he loped hollering “Developers! Developers!”

During the keynote address, Ballmer and Dean Hachamovitch, a top executive in Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer division, showed off how developers can program websites to take advantage of new features. Internet Explorer 9, which is in beta test form, uses more of a PC’s hardware to make pages load and run faster. A new version of the code is being released for developers Thursday.