Everyone’s curious about what financial path Microsoft will choose to take over the next few years, even more so after CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement late last week. And while we’ll all be allowed to watch via webcast, the press won’t be let in.
According to AllThingsD, this is the first time that the Redmond-based software giant has excluded the media from this kind of event.
And while there have always been fairly strict rules about reporting on the event — only financial reporters were allowed to ask questions and only the formal presentations were on the record for instance — this effectively puts the press at arm’s length. It also means that journalists will miss out on the banter between the company executives and analysts that they’re usually privilege to.
It’s unclear why Microsoft has decided to go this route, although falling sales and Ballmer’s retirement — which appears to have been more sudden that it first appeared — may mean that it’s decided to “circle the wagons”, as it were, until after the meeting.
Certainly, CFO Amy Hood gave no indication that the company would be shutting the press out when she announced the investor meeting during an earnings call back in July.
“In late September, we will host a financial analyst event here in Redmond at which point we will discuss our strategy, our new organizational structure, and any changes to our reporting segments,” Hood said at the time. “We will also give more thoughts on our full-year outlook at that time.”
Still, at least there’s actually going to be meeting this year. Last year, Microsoft skipped it entirely.