10. Licensed ActiveSync to Google. Synchronization is the killer application for the connected world. So why in hell would Microsoft license its synchronization protocols to competitor Google? Perhaps someone at Microsoft saw advantage for Exchange Server. That's one way Google used ActiveSync, but not where the company got the real bang.
Immediately, Google used ActiveSync for e-mail, calendar and contact synchronization from its cloud services to iPhone and Windows Mobile handsets. Google also used the technology to provide Exchange Server sync with Google Apps, so that businesses could use the hosted service instead of Outlook. Sync is quickly defining Google's mobile handset and mobile cloud strategies, and Microsoft helped move it along faster. How dumb is that?
10. Debuted Silverlight 4.0. Microsoft continued making its nearly annual updates to Silverlight, releasing v4 beta during Professional Developers Conference 2009. Sadly, Silverlight 4.0 was the only real light coming out of PDC. Internet Explorer 9 is vaporware and Azure has morphed into last year's Amazon Web Services. But Silverlight promises Adobe AIR-like capabilities, support for microphones and Webcams, standalone Silverlight containers and better HTML support, including HTTP streaming, among other new features. A good thing is getting even better.