Microsoft May Join Apple on WWDC Stage

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may join Apple chief Steve Jobs on stage at Apple's WWDC event, according to an analyst.
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) -- Will


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share the stage at the iPhone maker's

Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)

next month?

As always, Apple's plans are shrouded in secrecy, although a media report says that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may join Steve Jobs on stage when WWDC kicks off on June 7. Jobs, who is expected to debut the new iPhone, has reportedly allocated seven minutes of his keynote to Microsoft.

Steve Ballmer


, citing a report by Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry, says that Microsoft will take the WWDC stage to discuss Visual Studio 2010, its application development software. Intriguingly, Chowdhry says that Microsoft's pitchman could be none other than CEO Steve Ballmer, whose high-octane delivery would provide quite a contrast to the ice-cool Jobs. Another possibility, he adds, would be an appearance from

Bob Muglia, Microsoft's server and tools chief


According to Chowdhry, the new version of Visual Studio will let developers build native applications for the Mac OS, iPhone and iPad, hence the Microsoft appearance at Apple's developer bash.

These are certainly interesting times for Apple and Microsoft. Yesterday

Apple finally surpassed Microsoft's market cap

as the software maker struggles to make its mark in the mobile device space.

Earlier this week

Microsoft announced that two key executives within its Entertainment and Devices division are leaving the company

, which is having a rough time competing with Apple and


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in the smartphone/tablet space.

Steve Jobs has even replaced former Microsoft CEO

Bill Gates

as America's 'geek-in-chief'. The turtleneck-loving Apple supremo prompted a media feeding frenzy during his medical leave of absence last year, but has returned to launch the iPad and a

new version of the iPhone operating system


Attention will again turn to the iPhone at WWDC, which takes place in San Francisco during the second week of June.

Apple has previously launched phone hardware at WWDC, unveiling its iPhone 3G at the

2008 event

. The following year, the souped-up iPhone 3GS also made a WWDC debut.

Neither Apple nor Microsoft has yet responded to


request for comment on this story.

Apple shares rose $5.99, or 2.45%, to $250.1 on Thursday, mirroring the broader advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq rise 2.42%. Microsoft's stock also headed northward, gaining $1.01, or 4.04%, to reach $26.02.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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