Half a million copies of Windows 8 have already been downloaded according to Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer, who made a surprise appearance at the company's Build conference in Los Angeles.
As the audience were beginning to clear their seats following a keynote speech about Windows Server 8 and Azure, the Microsoft chief executive burst onto the stage to deliver a ten-minute cameo.
Ballmer claimed that he was "gratified" by the worldwide interest being shown in Windows 8, adding that 500,000 copies of the developer build of the next-generation OS had been downloaded less than 24 hours since its release.
The Microsoft boss admitted the operating system was a long way from being complete. And after two days of near relentless focus on Intel-based Windows 8 systems, Ballmer underlined the importance of delivering the OS on ARM-based devices too.
"We have a lot of work to do on ARM systems, which are very important to us," said Ballmer. "It's not going to be be Intel or ARM, it's going to be Intel and ARM," he later added.
Ballmer spoke repeatedly of not only "reimagining" and "rebuidling" Windows, but also Microsoft itself. The Microsoft boss claimed that every division of the company is shifting towards the cloud, be it the Xbox gaming division or the cloud-based operating platform Azure.
"The push on cloud services is a fundamental part of the the rethinking, reimagining and rebuilding of Microsoft," Ballmer claimed. "We're all-in. We're retooling what we do."
And in a final rallying call to the thousands of developers packed into the Anaheim Convention Center, the ever-enthusiastic CEO said it was "a time of unprecedented opportunity for developers".
"There has never been a better time to have software development as a core skill," he said. "It's the day and age of the developer. It's the day and age of the Windows developer."
"Let's move forward together. Let's seize the opportunity for developers, developers, developers."
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk